When it comes to region-locking it’s something that’s all but haunted all Nintendo fans for years. Whenever a Nintendo console launches we’re always excited about the possibility of that console being region-free. In other words, that you can buy your game from anywhere in the world and get it to work on your console. You know, like the PS3 and PS4 allows players to do. Region-locking protects local markets, like ours, from importing cheaper goods and in return protects that region and secures an income for it, but it stops us from buying Japan/US-based titles. That might just change.
During an investors Q & A the questions was brought up and this was Satoru Iwata’s, Nintendo President, response to it:
[quote]Q4: At present, your company’s hardware and games make use of region-locking, by which games purchased in one region cannot be played in another region. Are there any plans to unlock this restriction?
A4: Iwata: The game business has a history of taking a very long time with localization among other things, such as having to deal with various issues of marketing in each particular country, or games that have made use of licensed content that did not apply globally, and had all kinds of circumstances, so to say, that region-locking has existed due to circumstances on the sellers’ side rather than for the sake of the customers. In the history of game consoles, that is the current situation. As for what should be done going forward, if unlocked for the benefit of the customers, there may also be a benefit for us. Conversely, unlocking would require various problems to be solved, so while I can’t say today whether or not we intend to unlock, we realize that it is one thing that we must consider looking to the future.[/quote]
I highly doubt it will ever become a reality, but if it does I’ll be a very happy person.