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Iwata updates position on region-locking at Nintendo investor Q&A

Vibranium

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Feb 20, 2013
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Awesome, hopefully Nintento can seriously make it happen for the NX handheld and console. They must know that many of their fans travel a lot.
 

Lord Ghirahim

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Jul 2, 2011
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If I'm correct in my J business lingo, Iwata just said:


That is mostly correct. 前向きに is business code for "maybe it will happen, maybe not". Some people even go as far as to say 前向きに just means "nope" nowadays. 「前向きに検討します」is a notorious example since it's the go-to rejection phrase for job interviews.
 

Jarmel

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Mar 3, 2010
43,442
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That is mostly correct. 前向きに is business code for "maybe it will happen, maybe not". Some people even go as far as to say 前向きに just means "nope" nowadays. 「前向きに検討します」is a notorious example since it's the go-to rejection phrase for job interviews.

Ugh. Just ugh.

Nintendo...
 

InsaneZero

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Jul 25, 2008
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Cool thanks. Yep, he's saying no.
Still hope that changes. It would be great if the world buys American.

If Iwata really wanted to say no then he wouldn't have suggested anything in the first question to begin with. Hinting at a change in business practices to investors that they don't actually intend to follow through is not Nintendo's modus operandi. They will promise unrealistic goals to appease their investors, but they don't say things like "region-locking provides no consumer value" since Nintendo does not like to admit that something they're doing is shitty until they decide to do something about it.
 

PreyingShark

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Dec 2, 2012
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Doesn't seem to be that much of an issue for 3DS modders...
RegionThree is a very half-assed implementation of Region Free, though I believe the best Smealum could do with his method. I can't update my Japanese games and more or less can't go online with them. Furthermore, if I press home the game crashes but I believe the CFW solution fixes that.

At least I can play my games, which is great, but it's limited. This basically shows that it's not as simple as flipping a switch. That's basically what Region Three does to my understanding and it has multiple issues.
 

Sir TapTap

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Jun 17, 2014
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Did modders find a way to successfully unlock the n3DS in such a way that doesn't require a constant internet connection? Last I heard it had not been done. I think the goal was to completely change the region identifier in the system to make it think it was a NA device?

Yes, there is a method only for old 3DS (possibly only old firm ware too) that only requires an internet connection to launch (you can use a local server if you must, but it's a browser exploit). It simply fires off the game in the cart slot without regard for region and breaks a few things (home button will not work, DLC doesn't work since your store region is still (console region) and so on). Once the game is launched you can keep the game in sleep without internet for however long, I've been doing it with Senran Kagura 2 since it's the only use I have for my old 3DS.
 

Faustek

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Apr 25, 2013
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People we should just give up on this generation.
The N3DS was the perfect opportunity to rectify this. It didn't happen and now we're getting nothing more than fluff and people working overtime in the speculation factory when in reality it isn't something they should ever care about and instead just present the middle finger to Nintendo.
It isn't your job to defend it, it's Nintendo's, and a FYI you're doing it badly. The region lock isn't even behind any heavy encryption. If you have problems grasping this just go read up on region3.

So for now, fuck Iwata, fuck Nintendo and fuck region locking.

But yeah props to Gibson and Cheesemeister

RegionThree is a very half-assed implementation of Region Free, though I believe the best Smealum could do with his method. I can't update my Japanese games and more or less can't go online with them. Furthermore, if I press home the game crashes but I believe the CFW solution fixes that.

At least I can play my games, which is great, but it's limited. This basically shows that it's not as simple as flipping a switch. That's basically what Region Three does to my understanding and it has multiple issues.

Nelson? Major is that you?
Why should we care? For all that its worth it could involve felatio from a radiated Crocodile it still shouldn't bother us. Their mess to fix.
 

ninjabat

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Oct 20, 2014
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I think there is a pretty good chance that NX is region free. Iwata caved on going mobile, and using there properties outside gaming (universal theme park, zelda tv series, maybe count amiibo). Giving investors region free looks like its going to happen.
 

Eila

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Feb 22, 2015
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I don't mind region locking as long as prices are well thought for every region. Why are digital games in Latin America more expensive than the US store?
I love the current steam implementation, and it's led me to buy more games.
Ideally, you should be able to play physical carts from every region but can only buy digital from your current region or something.
 

Yoshi

Headmaster of Console Warrior Jugendstrafanstalt
May 4, 2005
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Exactly. They'd have to notify publishers and retailers of the policy change, ask publishers if they wanted any past titles to be exempt from going region-free, and update the firmware to skip a single if statement. It shouldn't be very hard at all.

I could still think of two possibilities for this to really be an issue:
1. The region lock is intertwined with the copy protection, so taking out the region locking may also weaken the copy protection
2. You can only either disable region locking all-together or leave it intact. Removing region locking for past titles could lead to contractual issues with third parties.

I don't want to state either is true but those things are the possibilities on my mind.

I don't mind region locking as long as prices are well thought for every region. Why are digital games in Latin America more expensive than the US store?
I love the current steam implementation, and it's led me to buy more games.
Ideally, you should be able to play physical carts from every region but can only buy digital from your current region or something.
I think this is the worst possible argument for no region locking. It's fine to have different pricings per region, but some games are not releasing everywhere and then the publishers should allow for importing those games. For me, bypassing regional pricing is an unwanted side effect of this and I would be completely fine with a solution that ensures always-offline access to all games (on all consoles) but prevented playing games from a different region where the game also released in your region. Not that I could think of such a solution...
 

plasmawave

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Aug 28, 2013
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The only thing that's keeping me from buying Nintendo machines. I don't wanna pay extra to import JP version WiiU.
I can easily buy Japanese games on my PS4 with PS store. It's awesome.
 

Boss Doggie

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Jul 1, 2008
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Wait, people don't know region differences?

While I know region locking is scummy, people saying that region release don't have differences is very, very ignorant. You'd have shit like different store content (see: DLCs not working due to different regions), different pricing (see: Valve's region based market and region locking products and trade), and licensing (see: Valve's region based locking product).

This is coming from someone who is from SEA. While I am thankful Asia edition of Nintendo is essentially US version, this isn't the case for other services. For PS3 you have to get lucky that the R3 (Asia) uses US store purchases for compatibility or not (otherwise I have to make an Asian account and use HK cash for shopping). Capcom games for instance allow DLC from US store to work with R3 games, but Sony games themselves? Nope. I can buy games with very low prices from Steam but I can only give them to fellow SEAn players.
 

Jucksalbe

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Oct 31, 2007
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I honestly didn't expect them to remove the region lock from their current devices anymore. Like others have said, there are probably legal issues behind this. Like how the "region free" PS3 is still region locked for PS1 games.
Anyway, it's good that this is an issue they are aware of for their upcoming system(s). And they know they will face..umm...criticism...if they'd keep the region lock. I'm actually rather optimistic their next system won't be region locked. Not sure if this is more due to the pressure of the consumer or the competition, though.
 

BadMediaKarma

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Jan 16, 2015
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God this company is a disaster. So basically they still don't know if NX region free is a sure thing? How can a company be so out of touch. The fact that there's even a defense force for it. I just wanna know what's so special about what they are doing that doesn't let them go region free like the other 2.
 

Hermii

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Sep 17, 2012
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Of course they are way.too late to the party when it comes to this and accounting system but at least they are taking steps in the right direction.
 

Jucksalbe

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God this company is a disaster. So basically they still don't know if NX region free is a sure thing? How can a company be so out of touch. The fact that there's even a defense force for it. I just wanna know what's so special about what they are doing that doesn't let them go region free like the other 2.

It's more that I wouldn't expect them to publicly commit to anything before they even showed their new system.
 

Stilton Disco

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Honestly, that just sounds like he's fobbing everyone off with a noncommittal answer.

I don't for one minute believe they couldn't end it if they really wanted to, or that the expense and effort required wouldn't be easily offset by the good publicity and possibly even the ensuring surge in import purchases from the enthusiast market.

Like so many stupid decisions, odds are this is just yet another example of Nintendo's need to control everything and indifference to the wider trends of the industry.

Since I also don't believe Iwata is that blinkered or a git, I'd also suspect this is yet another problem caused by the rest of Nintendo's elderly and out of touch management, that we've heard from insiders make getting any real change or progress next to impossible, being ornery bastards as per usual.

At this point I'd say odds are the next round of hardware at least will still be region locked too.
 

StormKing

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Jun 8, 2014
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Honestly, that just sounds like he's fobbing everyone off with a noncommittal answer.

I don't for one minute believe they couldn't end it if they really wanted to, or that the expense and effort required wouldn't be easily offset by the good publicity and possibly even the ensuring surge in import purchases from the enthusiast market.

Like so many stupid decisions, odds are this is just yet another example of Nintendo's need to control everything and indifference to the wider trends of the industry.

Since I also don't believe Iwata is that blinkered or a git, I'd also suspect this is yet another problem caused by the rest of Nintendo's elderly and out of touch management, that we've heard from insiders make getting any real change or progress next to impossible, being ornery bastards as per usual.

At this point I'd say odds are the next round of hardware at least will still be region locked too.

Doubtful. If Iwata believes that region free is more profitable than region locking then he will go with that.

Looking at the mobile ventures, new account system, theme park branding, nintendo has shown signs of change.
 

Boss Doggie

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Jul 1, 2008
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God this company is a disaster. So basically they still don't know if NX region free is a sure thing? How can a company be so out of touch. The fact that there's even a defense force for it. I just wanna know what's so special about what they are doing that doesn't let them go region free like the other 2.

So this has come to this then? That rational explanations are now defense force?
 

efyu_lemonardo

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Jun 19, 2011
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I remember back in the Game Boy days something about Yamauchi saying that their portables were region free because they wanted to encourage people traveling abroad to buy games before their flights without having to worry about compatibility.

Bring back Yamauchi, in zombie form if necessary!
I used to love doing this!
then I took an arrow to the knee
 

Sayad

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Feb 24, 2014
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The "business/licensing problem" is just forums nonsense, what could prevent them from leaving already region locked games the way they are and region unlocking games from this point on if they wanted to? Even give those who still want to region lock their games the ability to do so like Sony/MS does. This is obviously something they have no desire to change, and I wont be holding my breath for it to change with their next system.
 

Augemitbutter

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Feb 3, 2008
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small chance for next systems? i doubt anything will change for current.

region locking is despicable. never make this mistake again. especially not for your portable system. sigh.
 

Stilton Disco

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Doubtful. If Iwata believes that region free is more profitable than region locking then he will go with that.

Looking at the mobile ventures, new account system, theme park branding, nintendo has shown signs of change.

That's more signs of expansion and creating new revenue streams than change.

Trying something new is pretty standard for Nintendo, it's reversing or even altering course on policies and decisions they won't generally budge on.
 

Boss Doggie

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Jul 1, 2008
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The "business/licensing problem" is just forums nonsense, what could prevent them from leaving already region locked games the way they are and region unlocking games from this point on if they wanted to? Even give those who still want to region lock their games the ability to do so like Sony/MS does. This is obviously something they have no desire to change, and I wont be holding my breath for it to change with their next system.

I dunno. I am looking at the region locked DLC from PSAS right now.
 

Neff

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Feb 6, 2012
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I remember back in the Game Boy days something about Yamauchi saying that their portables were region free because they wanted to encourage people traveling abroad to buy games before their flights without having to worry about compatibility.

Bring back Yamauchi, in zombie form if necessary!

It's crazy, because literally every Nintendo handheld up until the DSi was region free.

I'm still convinced NX is a handheld, or can function as one, myself.
 

PillarEN

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Feb 23, 2015
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Make your handhelds region free and I will buy. Simple as that. Only reason why I don't have a 3DS
 

GoonerTRON

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Q8. Why the hell haven't you put out a proper Wii Sports sequel yet? Actually why wasn't it a pack in when it launched? You do realize it was the reason Wii was sucessful right? Iwata come back!
 

Diffense

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Jun 9, 2004
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That is mostly correct. 前向きに is business code for "maybe it will happen, maybe not". Some people even go as far as to say 前向きに just means "nope" nowadays. 「前向きに検討します」is a notorious example since it's the go-to rejection phrase for job interviews.

Thanks for explaining the nuance of the language there.

So it's like "Should I get in touch...",
"It's OK, We'll call you".

in one word.
 

Tempy

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Feb 6, 2005
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Doesn't really confirm anything either way unfortunately. Even if they did decided to go region-free, they'll probably not mention this until a proper NX reveal.
 

Kudo

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Nov 11, 2014
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I seriously hope NX is region-free and it has backwards compatibility with 3DS games, instant buy for me.
 

Boss Doggie

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You can use that on every PS3 and Vita system, cant you?

we're talking about region locking differences, not account

it still exists and the fact they're inconsistent shows, primarily due to licensing and price (see: Steam)

maybe people should stop being console warriors for once, try to open Steam and use the "region" change suffix to see the variation of prices, the warnings on how the game won't work on "x" regions, etc.
 

Kysen

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Oct 6, 2012
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If the wiiu was region free I'd have some games to play on it right now(FF, XBX). Nintendos loss due to shortsightedness.
 

pinkurocket

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Jun 17, 2014
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I'm amused by the amount of times that Detective Latoya Jackson gif got quoted.
By yea Nintendo, plz no lock. ):
 

Hours Left

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Jun 28, 2006
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There's no "issue" removing region lock from current systems, they just don't want to admit it was a mistake.
 

Rich!

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Dec 16, 2009
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I didn't say it was a special "security chip", just a chip that handles the security. It could just be the CPU for all we know, but it has a region-lock clause in its use..

What the hell are you on about? Seriously, what?!

Region setting is a flag in the firmware and set to sysnand and the logistics of it all on a technical level is entirely Nintendo. Absolutely nothing you are saying makes sense or is remotely true.
 

Lord Ghirahim

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Thanks for explaining the nuance of the language there.

So it's like "Should I get in touch...",
"It's OK, We'll call you".

in one word.

I was actually trying to think of an equivalent in English earlier, and I settled on "we'll call you" as well. Even assuming Iwata did honestly mean what he said, he must be aware of the connotation... which means there's still nothing concrete in place.


Slightly off topic, my Xenoblade X Wii U bundle left Japan yesterday, and I'm currently worrying about potential customs duties, taxes, and the possiblity of getting a DOA system. You do not want to know the frustration of having paid through the nose for a defective import. If the hardware were region free, I might have spent that money on other Nintendo products instead of making the postal service rich.
 

Eolz

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Jun 1, 2014
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That's promising.
And of course it was never gonna change for the current platforms. Would be way too much work for consoles at the end of their life. Not worth it, it's not a simple on/off switch.