and you can import games if you have an import machine so they're not doing that... region locking still exists on Blu Rays and DVDs too btw.
I'm not against region locked retail, as I can at least understand the protectionist mindset - looking after regional retailers and distributors, allowing the companies involved to protect themselves against adverse market conditions etc. However, I can see this policy extending to digital games when retail is all but dead... and that doesn't make sense to me. I should be able to pay the currency converted value for any game from any region when its available digitally imo. Even then, I can kind of get the argument that money for localisation has to come from somewhere, but the amount of people who actually import foreign language stuff has got to be a tiny niche at best... it wouldn't hurt to be more laissez faire. In fact it may help.
People hold up Sony as the example of best practice, but I think its better left to the developer / publisher - as Microsoft allows.
They never locked for handhelds before then, but they were talking about the new eShop, some online functionality, and how including parental controls (I think some places require that by law now) meant they'd need to region lock. Which really wasn't necessary, but that's the Nintendo way of doing things.
They never, ever locked controllers by region, and I doubt they'd start that. It's too much effort over losing profits, MAYBE, on a relatively small handful of controllers. And most likely if someone needs a new controller ASAP for multiplayer they're going to just go to the local store for it, not try to order one from another country.
Studies like that do not exist unless Nintendo gets information on exactly what you play on your console. Since a large number of consoles esp. Wii are not connected to the Internet it is impossible to make any reasonable estimate on the size of cross-border game importation. I would estimate cross-border importation to be <1% of total sales.
The decision to region-lock is made by uninformed management, simple as that.
i'm usually assuming this is the same problem we get with overpriced anime - regional pricing is high in some places and wants to discourage importing or the like? i'll be honest, i don't really know why the situation is this way, other than:
Vita's retail games are region free, as were PSP's, and PS3's. Sony's stupid PSN account stuff is because they view handhelds as 1 per person, thus only 1 account needed. They view consoles as family devices, hence more than 1 account. PS4 won't be region locked.
i hope you're right, ive loved being able to play Kenzan!, Siren etc - but havent we seen articles recently about publishers not happy with people accessing demos/content earlier than they wanted via PS3? i too fully expect multiple user accounts on the PS4 but im not sure ill see multiple region accounts, i'm hopeful but im still kinda assuming this goes the way of gamesharing - theyre gonna want to bend over backwards convincing publishers to work with their ecosystem.
Secondly releasing in certain regions takes time. For example European releases might take some time to translate to all the different languages. Without region locking, people in the UK who speak English can import from the US. This means when the game finally comes out sales are much lower and the UK publisher suffers.
Or so goes the theory. Mostly I expect the price is the real issue. I can sit on my computer and pre-order a game from the UK or US. Sure it takes a few days extra to arrive, but I'm pretty much getting half price.
I'm not against region locked retail, as I can at least understand the protectionist mindset - looking after regional retailers and distributors, allowing the companies involved to protect themselves against adverse market conditions etc. However, I can see this policy extending to digital games when retail is all but dead... and that doesn't make sense to me.
I would've liked to play some games in Japanese to help with my studies, but it looks like that's out (not that I expected region-free). It would be nice if Nintendo included Japanese language options in EU releases, but that probably won't happen either.
All this does is encourage people to hack the WiiU!
Edit - Also, Xbox 360 has easily the best region system - they leave it up to the publisher. Some games are locked, others aren't. If WiiU had followed this lead, Nintendo could've locked the games they publish and allowed games that will never be released outside Japan to be region free if they want. Everyone would win that way.
Going completly hd? Someone from SCEA confirmed you can swap hdds like previous models.
Region free is not dying, every PS3 game outside P4A is region free, Bluray movies have always been region locked so how does that make region free dying? Sony just released a new region free handheld and I imagine PS4 will be region free aswel. I can go and create a US or Japanese PSN account and download their stuff so don't understand why you brought it up.
I expected this but it still sucks. I seriously considered buying a Vita instead of a 3DS due to the region locking but in the end I caved. Same will probably happen with the Wii U, but hopefully hackers will crack it wide open and disable it, just like with the Wii.