Nintendo Region Free
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Nintendo: Stop region blocking - make the 3DS and Wii U region free

I’ve been for the longest time a firm opponent when it comes to any sort of “Regional Lockout" whether it’s DVDs, websites, or video games. I’ve never understood restricting services just because of your location.

One reason usually given is that it's because of NTSC/PAL and while that may have been true 20 years ago, TVs nowadays support all formats.

Another reason given is because of each country's rating system being different.

Different HOW?

Every single country has General to 18+ rating and the PS3 uses a number scale, 2 being General and 9 being Restricted.

PS4 will be Region Free.

Xbox One will be Region Free.

So why aren’t the Wi U and 3DS Region Free? Why is Nintendo still doing this archaic, pointless practice? It clearly isn’t to keep game stores happy as both their competitors are removing this restriction.

Nintendo needs to let go of this notion, especially with how travel is nowadays, I myself am planning on moving to Canada in the next 2 years and I don’t want my Wii U collection to go to waste. But you wanna know why Nintendo should remove region lockout?

Why should you stop Region Locking Nintendo?

1. More profit.

Preventing your customers from buying your products isn't good business sense. Only encourages piracy, which we know you don't like.

We the fans want to buy and play your good games. Too many games come out in select regions only. Region Free is pro-choice.  Nintendo you said yourself that you're taking a loss on every Wii U and 3DS you sell. So asking us to buy a second system just to play import games is asinine. OK, let's say I buy two Wii Us. I spend $600 and you actually take a loss on that sale. I just spent $600 so I'm probably only gonna get one game for each system. 

Now if you were region free I could have used the other $300 to buy more games and in return give you more profit.

2. Hacks and piracy.

Your Wii was hacked to pieces. The fact that it was just an overclocked GameCube with motion controls did not help. But it was first hacked to make it region free, but to do that they had to open the system all the way, making it very easy for piracy to happen. You will never end piracy, but region locking only helps to encourage it.

Posted Tue 7th Jan 2014 10:30 by Thomas Whitehead

Plays legit cartridges only

It's no secret that some gamers would like Nintendo to drop its region locking policy, especially in light of major rivals doing just that with their latest systems. It's not a simple argument, as Nintendo has legitimate reasons and the demand for playing games from other regions is probably, when all is said and done, minor. Yet it does frustrate some gamers, to the point that it seems a group has found a way to modify a 3DS so that it will play legitimate retail cartridges from any region.

Details have been posted over at, with the process requiring a 3DS that hasn't been updated for a number of months — this means version 4.5 or before, due to system updates locking out so many flashcards. It requires the one time use of a DS flashcard — of which there are controversially so many — along with the usage and modification of a specific launcher; ironically, applying the back-end change to the launcher will mean it no longer runs DS ROMS, but rather only retail 3DS cartridges. It is then apparently possible to run 3DS retail games (only legitimate copies) from another region on any 3DS, essentially breaking the region lock. It's far from simple, however, as even though it's possible to update the 3DS firmware after the change has been made, playing titles such as Monster Hunter 4 online is reportedly out of bounds.

We'll have to see what, if anything, Nintendo does to respond the this development, while the tricky implementation and limitations also mean that this is very unlikely to be widely adopted. We've seen Nintendo successfully block out various hack attempts at the 3DS in system updates, and it may explore its options once again.

This workaround does show that some gamers — perhaps small in number — are keen for region locking to come to an end. Nevertheless Satoru Iwata explained his reasoning for the policy in 2013, while we've considered the pros and cons in editorials.

Let us know whether you still wish for region-free Nintendo systems in the comments below. When discussing this topic bear in mind our Community Rules, sticking to the issues raised in the article and refraining from posting any links that are inappropriate.


A new report out of Japan outlines what Nintendo's approach to mobile could be.

by Chris Pereira JANUARY 27, 2014

For years, there have been calls for Nintendo to bring its games to smartphones -- calls which have only intensified in light of its recent adjustments to sales projections for both Wii U and 3DS. According to a new report, Nintendo will soon announce plans to leverage mobile devices, but not in the manner some believe it should.

According to a Japanese consulting firm, Japanese publication Nikkei reports Nintendo will release videos and playable mini-games on mobile devices intended to promote its games. In other words, it would release content meant to encourage people to buy Nintendo hardware, which will remain the only place to play the full versions of its software. These mobile releases wouldn't be full or free-to-play games; they would simply be limited demos released free of charge. (Nintendo subsidiary The Pokemon Company already has an iOS app -- the official Pokédex app -- available for download).

The plans for this initiative could be announced as soon as this week's quarterly financial briefing, which is scheduled for this Wednesday.

The company has already stated more than once that it doesn't believe the proliferation of smartphones and tablets means there is no longer a market for console and handheld games. Just recently, CEO Satoru Iwata said this "doesn't mean that we should put Mario on smartphones." That statement doesn't preclude the possibility of using mobile devices in some way, but this new report hardly satisfies the many questions it raises. For instance, it's unclear just how Nintendo would create demo versions of its games on platforms lacking physical buttons or the second screens that distinguish 3DS and Wii U from other platforms.

Earlier this month, Nintendo slashed its forecast for the current fiscal year, which runs through March 31, 2014. The 3DS is now expected to sell 13.5 million units (down from the previous projection of 18 million), and the Wii U is expected to sell only 2.8 million units (down from a projection of 9 million). This announcement resulted in a hit to Nintendo's stock price. Iwata, who has been CEO since 2002, has stated he will not resign.

Stay tuned to IGN this week for the latest news regarding Nintendo's plans for the future.

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer who spends his spare time agonizing over the final seasons of The X-Files. Check out what he's saying on Twitter and follow him on IGN.

Nintendo Reaffirms Commitment to Region Locking

IGN - Nintendo's President Discusses Region Locking

Let's break down the letter little by little.

1., "From some people's perspective, it might seen like a kind of restriction. However, we hope people can appreciate that fact that we're selling our products worldwide," Iwata told me.

First of all, region locking is a restriction!! Anything that keeps me from buying and playing the games I want is a restriction.

Second, I do thank you for releasing your first party games worldwide. But there are still too many games not released worldwide that are exclusive to your systems.  Operation Rainfall should not have been necessary. You would not have to release every single game worldwide if you had region free systems. 

Region locked games list (games not released in all regions)

2. "There are many different regions around the world, and each region has its own cultural acceptance and legal restrictions as well as different age ratings."

We're not asking you to localize every game in every region. We know that's not possible. Also if I want to import a game I should able to. As the consumer I take full responsibility for the "cultural acceptance".

Heck Sony and Microsoft overcame the "legal restrictions." You even did it with the Game Boy, GBA, and original DS. I just noticed something: the Wii, Wii U and 3DS and DSi have online. You started the region locks with the DSi on the heandhelds. If it's because of the online, then restrict the online if you must but there's no need to restrict physical media. Especially on a handheld.

Oh and about the different ratings, Sony is region free and has Parental Controls. Their Parental Controls are by levels and the levels incorporate ratings from all regions. Why can't you do levels for you Parental Controls?

Oh no Parental Controls. Thank you Google. In like 2 secs I found out how to bypass the parental controls on the 3DS and Wii and Wii U. Not hard to do.

3. "Iwata noted that the strategy behind regional approaches to hardware and content was something not unique to Nintendo, that it was something the entire industry had to "grapple with" and manage."

Nintendo I call BS on that. Sony has been region free. PS4 will be region free, the PS3, PSP, and Vita are all region free. Even Microsoft is going region free with the Xbox One. You even did region free with the Game Boy, GBA, and original DS. I do know that Sony's online is regionally restricted. But not their physical media. Physical media should not be restricted, especially on a handheld.

Smartcards from Japan, passwords will also unlock extra content.

by Ryan Parreno on 9th Aug, 2013

Serebii has confirmed that Pokemon Rumble U's NFC figures, as well as other physical accessories like smart cards, will be region free. Wherever you are in the world, you will be able to import these figures to play on your copy of the game.

Pokemon Rumble U's NFC figures are already out in Japan, and were confirmed to get a limited release via Gamestop for the US at the same time as its game's official release in August 29. Europe is getting the game on August 15, but received no confirmation on any NFC distribution. It will be expensive, but for those who really want it, importing the figures is now an option.

Interestingly enough, aside from the 18 figures US is getting that matches what's already out in Japan, there will also be new secret figurines. We don't know if these will be new Pokemon or revisions of existing Pokemon like Pikachu. Regarding the Japanese smartcards, which include transit passes and NFC cards, they will actually give you Pokemon.

Again, to make things clear, all the Pokemon up until Pokemon Black and White 2 are confirmed to be in the game, so unlike, say, Skylanders, or Disney Infinity, collecting the NFC figures is not a required element to the game. However, using the NFC figures will allow you to augment Pokemon you already have with more abilities, giving you a tactical advantage.

It's safe to assume the smartcards will unlock Pokemon already in the game, and not new Pokemon not available otherwise, at least for the foreseeable future. Crazy as this sounds, the game also has a password system that will allow you to unlock even more Pokemon, and Nintendo promises that some of those passwords will be freely distributed in outlets like TV, Facebook and Twitter.

We have yet to hear official word that Nintendo is ending region locking for their consoles and games, but at least this is a step in the right direction.

Source: Serebii

nintendoregionfree is not affiliated with Nintendo.