Nintendo Considering Removal of Region Locking for Next Console
In the notes of a recent Nintendo investors meeting (thankfully translated by one intrepid NeoGAF user, courtesy of Polygon), the topic of region-locked devices arose from one investor. He reminded Nintendo president Satoru Iwata of his statement from six months ago, that he "would consider removing region-locking in response to a question asking about it," and asked for an update. Iwata answered the inquiry two-fold, crushing the hopes of those who want current region locks to go away but instilling faith in those who don't want them in any future Nintendo devices.
For those who don't know, region locking prevents games of a certain territory from being played on the systems of another. Due to region locking, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U consoles in North America and Europe can't play games imported from Japan, despite how easy it is to buy an overseas games online.
"Removing region-locking from current game machines presents various issues, so we don't consider that to be very realistic," Iwata said, "but regarding NX, given the customer feedback and proposals from the market, while nothing has been decided yet, we're currently investigating internally what problems there would be in realizing it."
While we're not taking that for an official confirmation of zero region locks for the next Nintendo console, we're certainly accepting Iwata's consideration of it. Nintendo used to be a company that was stubbornly steadfast in its ways, taking a "like it or leave it" approach to its design choices. Now we may be seeing a Nintendo more considerate of their fans' wishes, and that can only mean good things for the company in the future. Now if only they could figure out the whole amiibo thing...