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

King Gilga

Member
Sep 1, 2013
6,706
1
385
When the PS4, xbone or vita are region free, nintendo has no fucking excuse.

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, you can downgrade your 3DS's firmware while keeping your gateway firmware up to date.

If you do that you don't need no internet to launch gateway.

I think, I've never done it myself.

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.

That sucks.

Well then that's 'nope' to for w/e nintendo's next console is from me then.

Does anyone have an example of a current games system which is 100% region unlocked?

As far as I'm aware every console has different regional stores with different content available at different times with different pre-order bonuses, and so on. In music, movies, and mobile apps, it all differs by region. Nintendo may be behind the curve, but there isn't exactly a shining example for them to follow.

If only you know, there was a way, to maybe, you know, have multiple accounts for different regions on a console.

If only.

It's not even fucking comparable to nintendos bs. But still the Vita having only one account at a time was fucked up as well.
 

sörine

Banned
Sep 1, 2013
7,582
0
0
That's basically what we have now, and it sucks. The whole point is to bypass any availability issues where regional releases are held up for BS or non-reasons.
That's not what we have on Nintendo platforms. It is on PS/Xbox, and the overwhelming majority of publishers opt for region free
 

Nesther

Member
May 25, 2014
3,132
0
415
Does anyone have an example of a current games system which is 100% region unlocked?

As far as I'm aware every console has different regional stores with different content available at different times with different pre-order bonuses, and so on. In music, movies, and mobile apps, it all differs by region. Nintendo may be behind the curve, but there isn't exactly a shining example for them to follow.

When it comes to regular games: PS4 and Xbox One, like I said. One requires you to have multiple accounts, and the other one is simpler in that it just needs you to change the region of the store.

Not sure about other media like streaming, music, Netflix and such, I think these are IP locked. Same with the odd MMO.

It's not even fucking comparable to nintendos bs. But still the Vita having only one account at a time was fucked up as well.

Switching out memory cards is still more viable than having to buy multiple systems.

A friend of mine does that for JP games, he says it's viable if you don't care about themes and organizing your skittles. Honestly it'd be too big of a hassle for me, but the option is still there.
 

Pandy

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Sep 4, 2014
3,854
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If only you know, there was a way, to maybe, you know, have multiple accounts for different regions on a console.

If only.

It's not even fucking comparable to nintendos bs. But still the Vita having only one account at a time was fucked up as well.
That's the user circumventing the system, which causes it's own problems in some cases, including breaches of TOS.

Why can't I boot up my European PS4 and immediately access the Japanese Store on my single account?
That's region free. Anything else is a half-measure.
 

Easy_D

never left the stone age
Jan 5, 2008
23,623
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Getting access to Japan's VC library would be monumental. They get 20x more titles than what we get on our front.

Hah. Imagine the feelings of us Europeans who might be able to access the US VC and just leave those horrible 50hz monstrosities behind forever
 

Nesther

Member
May 25, 2014
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415
That's the user circumventing the system, which causes it's own problems in some cases, including breaches of TOS.

Why can't I boot up my European PS4 and immediately access the Japanese Store on my single account?
That's region free. Anything else is a half-measure.


Such as? As far as I know there have never been any reported cases of account flagging or even bans due to having multiple accounts.
Even Sony employees like Yoshida have multiple accounts so, eh.
 

LeleSocho

Banned
Jun 13, 2011
16,021
13
760
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.

Welp this settles it.
Pack it up guys, nothing to see here.
 
Jul 16, 2014
1,020
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6 months is not enough for them to come to a conclusion? Sorry Nintendo, but I don't think anyone can defend that.

It's actually pretty easy. Removing the feature was never going to happen before they release their next system which is at least a year to three years away. A study of any impact on sales and licensing can happen very quickly, and Iwata will do it when he's good and ready. I don't see the rush.

Don't get me wrong, region-locking is the bane of my gaming existence, but this whole "everything Nintendo does is indefensible" meme is absurd.
 

stan423321

Member
Jul 24, 2014
4,817
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0
Is there anyone "for" region lock? I always find it baffling that people "who don't care" about region lock act like they are for it.

Its one of the main reasons people tend to mod. Give the consumers what they want.

Best wishes.
...you just gave me a reason to wish for region lock.

WHY.
 

Pandy

Member
Sep 4, 2014
3,854
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0
Such as? As far as I know there have never been any reported cases of account flagging or even bans due to having multiple accounts.
Even Sony employees like Yoshida have multiple accounts so, eh.
I was more thinking about stories where you can't use your credit card because of the registered address, and have to buy using PSN cards or whatnot. Sony are happy to leave it as a grey area, allowing their users to breach the rules, but that doesn't mean Sony actually created a region free console.

If Nintendo ever do go region free, I certainly hope they don't follow Sony's example.
 

mclem

Member
Jan 16, 2007
42,665
3
1,190
Doesn't seem to be that much of an issue for 3DS modders...

Well, no, they're not restricted by legal requirements!
 

Sub Boss

Member
Mar 6, 2013
21,752
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i was not aware how many issues could potentially be if they remove the region lock, going by previous comments, seems the best chance is to wait for NX to be region free, a shame Wii U or 3DS weren't region free to begin with, seems to be a problem with Nintendo and the digital space.
 

test_account

XP-39C²
Mar 22, 2007
23,613
2
1,130
On Wii Saved Games were used to smuggle in the Homebrew Channel, which means the ability to run your or someone elses code.

Hackers only had to get that one single key and were able to modify one single saved game per region to get their code running on all consoles.

This method simply wouldn't work on 3DS/Wii U, because every single console has its own key to encrypt/decrypt saved games.
Its actually been done with the Cubic Ninja hack on the 3DS. It works for every version of the game (US, Europe, Japan). I also believe that Gateway works on every 3DS regardless of region (as long as the firmware version is low enough that is), so it should be possible. I'm unsure about the WiiU, but i would assume that the same things apply there. Every PS3 has its own unique key as well, but the system was still hacked. Its a safer method for sure compared to have the same encryption key for every single system, but its not necessarily hack proof.


By selling the PS3 as a "region free" console, buying games from other regions should work. Always. Which simply isn't the case.
Was it really sold and advertised as being region free officially by Sony? I dont think i ever saw that, and i also find it very weird why the PS3 has the ability to region lock games, which apparently every publisher could choose as they like, if the PS3 was sold as being completely region free. That wouldnt make any sense to me.


That fact is still wrong even when it's getting repeated over and over.

It's at least 2 games. Persona 4 Arena + Joysound Drive are explicitly region locked on PS3. And various others are not fully playable depending on the region of the console, which I have to see as region locked as well. There is not a lot difference between a game getting blocked and a game not being playable on a console from a specific region.

And at least the Metal Gear Rising demo was even IP region locked to the JP store.
I think you misunderstood what i was saying, but maybe i could have worded it differently. I didnt say that only one PS3 game is region locked. I said that one game being region locked is enough to prove that the PS3 isnt 100% region free. Even if it was just one game or hundred games, we would only need one game as an example to show that the PS3 isnt 100% region free.

So yeah, as you mentioned earlier, it is indeed a lie to say that the PS3 is completely region free. That is why im saying that everyone that has read up on this wont claim that the PS3 is completely region free. If you mean that Sony has claimed that, then i would be very interested in seeing where they said that, honestly.


So now it's my problem to figure out if a game works on the so called "region free" PS3 or if it doesn't? That's not what "region free" is supposed to be.

The games should simply WORK. All of them.
If Sony claimed that the PS3 was completely region free, then it shouldnt be your problem, no. But i was just saying that you could check up on it before buying because you are clearly aware of the situation, that some games might have issues. Then you wouldnt necessarily have to gamble about what you're buying. I was also talking in regards between the choice of being partially region free and not being region free at all. You said that you would prefer a system not being region free at all to avoid these issues. Personally, i would rather have a partial region free system even if it had some issues, because i could most likely read up which games that did work or not.


I have noticed tons of button prompt issues in all sorts of games. Sure, I could have made some blog about it. But why should I put in even more effort, when those companies including Sony give a shit about it? They won't fix it anyway, because they don't care.
One reason to do it is the one that you mentioned yourself:

"If those were actually well documented, it wouldn't be such a nightmare, because there would be a list, that you could simply check before buying."

:)

Check -> this list <- regarding games for PS3 custom firmware for example. The list might not be 100% complete, but its still a really well documented list thanks to community effort.

Its up to each person to decide what they want to do of course, but since the companies might not change it like you mentioned, and if complaining about it wont change anything, at least making a list would make the situation easier.

You're also right that most people dont care about these things, but that also goes for custom firmware on PS3, yet such a detailed list were compiled. It doesnt necessarily takes that many people to make such a list.

-------------

As for all the other, i think we have a different opinion about how the PS3 was sold. If your arugments are based around that Sony did advertise the PS3 as being 100% region free, then i see all your points and i would completely agree that Sony should have enforced compability, no doubt. However, i dont think that is the case, especially since Sony included a region lock feature in the PS3. That makes me believe that the choice was left at the developers/publishers primarily.

If Sony could make it easier, like the SDK stuff that you mentioned and that the X/O changes can be done without any problems, i would of course be all for that. I'm not arguing against that just to make that clear. I'm just saying that i dont think that Sony is obligated to make sure that this is happening, and i feel that the responsibility is mostly on the developers themself, but of course it would be nice if Sony did it easier or had more strict requirements around this. And yeah, i've heard about the hardware button thing on the PS3. I was thinking about a solution that would fix this when i mentioned what i mentioned earlier :)

But my main point in this whole discussion was to say that region free is a huge part of Sony's latest systems. You're only giving examples on how it is on PS3, how is it on Vita and PS4? Honest question. I think that the Vita and the PS4 is more relevant in this regards because those are the systems that will go forward, while the PS3 is on its way out. I think its fine to point out the flaws and wish that it worked better, but i think its important to not let this to overshadow all the cases where it actually works fine, especially concider when the majority of games actually works. I dont know if that is the intention here, i'm just generally speaking.

I also cant blame anyone for being under the impression for thinking that the PS3 was region free. If i remember correctly, i was also under that impression myself for a long time. But unless i see some evidence where Sony promoted the PS3 as being completely region free regarding all games, i will continue to be under the impression that Sony didnt advertise this because i cant recall having seen it myself.

EDIT: I added some text.
 

blu

Wants the largest console games publisher to avoid Nintendo's platforms.
May 4, 2007
13,697
271
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What problems would there be if Nintendo decided to make it region free?
Their one region-free handheld console barely made it..
 

Diddy Kong

Banned
Dec 18, 2011
5,814
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Pretty much expected regardless that it wasn't going to be removed from Wii U and 3DS. It's probably not something even worth doing for the Wii U at this point, so it makes sense I suppose. I'm expecting NX to be region free.
 

Koren

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Mar 11, 2005
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Was it really sold and advertised as being region free officially by Sony? I dont think i ever saw that, and i also find it very weird why the PS3 has the ability to region lock games, which apparently every publisher could choose as they like, if the PS3 was sold as being completely region free. That wouldnt make any sense to me.
Is this totally clear from Sony talks that the PS3 is region-free?

Because it's region-locked, like PSP (not sure about Vita/PS4). It's just that there's only one or two games that are region-locked. The reason why it's so low (compared to 360 whose games are sometimes region-locked) is probably that Sony enforce region-free when they deal with publishers.

(besides, there's probably more than one hundred EU games that don't work on NTSC PS3 if you're using SD output, although that's probably a software issue)


By the way, even if Sony says that their console are region-free, I wouldn't totally trust them. They say that second-hand is allowed, and their ToS says the opposite. Their ToS also say that your games must be used in their original region. They fortunately don't enforce everything, but there's some double-talk there.


Just don't include region checking. Done. I don't understand why this is so difficult for them.
What if the region-locking and the signature of the game are checked at the same time? Removing region-locking could also break the security that prevent pirate carts and unsigned code from working.

I don't say that's the case, but there could be software (or even hardware) hurdles.

But I'm pretty sure there's more business issues with publishers of already available games.


Anyway, if they go region-free for the next generations (especially for portables), that's great news.
 
Q

qizah

Unconfirmed Member
This sounds like him more or less saying they won't have region locking without promising it just yet.
 

test_account

XP-39C²
Mar 22, 2007
23,613
2
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Is this totally clear from Sony talks that the PS3 is region-free?

Because it's region-locked, like PSP (not sure about Vita/PS4). It's just that there's only one or two games that are region-locked. The reason why it's so low (compared to 360 whose games are sometimes region-locked) is probably that Sony enforce region-free when they deal with publishers.

(besides, there's probably more than one hundred EU games that don't work on NTSC PS3 if you're using SD output, although that's probably a software issue)


By the way, even if Sony says that their console are region-free, I wouldn't totally trust them. They say that second-hand is allowed, and their ToS says the opposite. Their ToS also say that your games must be used in their original region. They fortunately don't enforce everything, but there's some double-talk there.
From what i've read and can remember, i dont think Sony has advertised PS3 as being region free officially. If you check out the Phil Harrison interviews from the PS3 early days, he gives answers like this:

http://www.1up.com/news/gdc-2006-phil-harrison-ps3

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=95015

Doing some search on Google, i see that different website reported these answers as "PS3 being region free".

Personally, i cant recall having seen a statement from Sony that said that the PS3 is region free with every game. Its not like i've read everything though, so who knows if i have missed something.


EDIT: I cant really blame anyone for thinking that the PS3 was suppose to be region free though. If i remember correctly, i was under the same impression myself for a long time. My arguement here is that i dont think Sony had the primarily responsibility to ensure 100% cross-region compability if they never promoted the PS3 as being completely region free for games.
 

ArkhamFantasy

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Oct 13, 2013
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This sounds like him more or less saying they won't have region locking without promising it just yet.

Thats not how i read it at all. Sounded to me like it will he just didnt want to kill hype for their new console before its even been revealed.
 

Nesther

Member
May 25, 2014
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415
Thats not how i read it at all. Sounded to me like it will he just didnt want to kill hype for their new console before its even been revealed.

Pretty much. The posts by the two guys who know some JP business lingo seem to confirm this sentiment.
 

GoonerTRON

Banned
Mar 9, 2015
1,068
0
0
New Zealand
Hey Nintendo GAF can you help me find the interview were Miyamoto talks about looking out a train and imagining a man jumping over the mountains that lead to Mario. I can't find it anywhere, leading me to believe I imagined it.

I need it for reference for a Uni paper,
 

Mpl90

Two copies sold? That's not a bomb guys, stop trolling!!!
Mar 10, 2011
22,885
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theflyingthoughtsblog.wordpress.com
For what it's worth, the exact same word for looking forward optimistically (&#21069;&#21521;&#12365;) was used in A3, where Iwata was telling Miyamoto his reactions from the meeting with NBC Universal in regards to a theme park deal.

So, yeah.

I think you should put it in the OP. People are still referring to Lord Ghirahim's post and saying "Well, that's it, lol", while the context seems to put that expression in a different light. :p
 

Starwolf_UK

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Dec 5, 2008
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Harking back to that IGN interview and recent observations the "problems" Iwata are referring to is how to handle regional differences. Streetpass Mii plaza is a good example. The DLC purchasing is different in the European versions. You have to use a separate shop section of the plaza and also the sales bunny does not look sad if you decline to buy. This is to do with guidelines from the Eureopan commission. It sounds a lot like why Rusty's Real Deal baseball will not come to Europe.

Sorry if that already posted. A quick glance did not see it.

They added region locking because of piracy. It's another line of defence - if the system is cracked, maybe the region locking holds, leaving piracy in one territory.
It certainly makes counterfeit cartridges less appealing to produce, which was another problem the DS had prior to the flashcarts. I have heard of no reports of 3DS cartridges being counterfeited.

That reminds me of another point. Loss of income. It does not matter if it is your own side or a pirate it is still income that part of the company or the distributor representing the company has lost. If you want to see this action look back to the NES in Europe being two regions (different distributors) and yes, the games were even incompatible with each other.
 
May 14, 2011
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You know some big non-region lock is headed our way when Nintendo will release a small but simple eShop title that is region free (and hopefully multi-lingual). You know, as a type of experiment. Kind of like how Rusty's Real Deal Baseball was a small experiment in F2P, or how now we are seeing DS on the VC for Wii U (preping for the NX maybe?)
Kind of like how we'll know that electric cars are going to be mass produced when they begin to build charge stations on every corner.

In fact, I don't know much about mobile games, do you think there will be any region issues with DeNA games?
 

Shmuely Bully

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Jun 2, 2013
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Pretty much expected regardless that it wasn't going to be removed from Wii U and 3DS. It's probably not something even worth doing for the Wii U at this point, so it makes sense I suppose. I'm expecting NX to be region free.

Assuming there is some sort of hardware DRM they can't remove it from 3DS/Wii U, at least existing ones. As for the NX I'll believe it when I see it. Iwata has a bad track record when it comes to keeping promises and he hasn't even gone as far as promising anything here.
 

Agent Unknown

Member
Mar 6, 2008
7,854
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The Satellite of Love
Also just want to say one of my favorite gaming memories was importing a purple launch Gameboy Advance and a copy of SMBAdvance from Japan back in March 2001. Being able to play a new Nintendo system and a spiffy Mario remake about 3 months before the U.S. launch was magical.
 

Boss Doggie

all my loli wolf companions are so moe
Jul 1, 2008
72,887
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Don't know about PSAS, but pretty sure most/every DLC is region locked to your version of the game on Sony systems, not your console region. Bought a game from the US? Get the DLC from US PSN store, and so on.

I'm still not sure what does that have to do with what I've said, even if PSAS was region locked. I know Persona 4 Arena is region locked on PS3, but most other games are not, the point is not all developers want to region lock their games, so don't force it on everyone.

My point was that it still exists and their reasons aren't forum-arguing, and chances are changing them mid-production is very little.
 

mothball

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Dec 3, 2009
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truth wall

you gave that way more effort than he deserved tbh
i had to stop reading because i was laughing too hard when he seriously suggested that having a region lock and knowing you're completely unable to play any foreign games is better than the "nightmare" of swapped button prompts and having 2 games and a demo out of the entire ps3 library being unplayable
if it wasn't the usual guy i would've thought it was satire
 

Pancakes R Us

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Aug 24, 2007
6,711
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I doubt it'll happen. This is Nintendo, after all. I think what I was most upset with regard to region licking this gen is that they region locked a handheld system.

Fuck you, Nintendo. Fuck you.
 

bomblord1

Banned
Sep 6, 2014
9,616
2
0
Have to remember there's a lot of subtext to Japanese speaking. "yes" doesn't necessarily mean "yes" in a lot of cases.
 

Cheesemeister

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Feb 14, 2005
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English: http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ir/en/library/events/150508qa/03.html

Official translation:
Q7: When you were asked if you would lift the region locks at the Financial Results Briefing six months ago, you answered that you would take it into consideration. Please explain the current situation.

A7: Iwata: My understanding is that it is not realistic on the existing video game systems because unlocking them after they are already on the market poses a number of hurdles. On the other hand, regarding NX, we understand that many consumers hold such opinions and such suggestions exist in the market, and although we have nothing concrete at the moment, we are internally analyzing what hurdles exist to lifting region locks. That is the situation right now. We acknowledge your request, and I personally want to give it positive consideration.