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Xeodrifter diary #13

GN Podcast #480

EoD - Smash Wii U!
 

Wii U GamePads are also region locked (UPDATE)

UPDATE - The Japanese message above reads, "The update cannot be completed with an overseas Wii U GamePad." In other words, it seems that you can use an imported GamePad to play games, you simply can't apply firmware updates without the original.

Read more at http://www.destructoid.com/uh-what-wii-u-gamepads-are-also-region-locked-update--241255.phtml#BI594cqo50ICbhvq.99


This might be a step too far. Looks like you can only use Wii U GamePads if their from the same region as the Wii U itself. That means no Japanese GamePad use on your North American Wii U. I don't know how often this issue would crop up, but it still seems a bit silly to implement.

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23 total comments (View all)
User avatar
25 Dec 2012 12:01

Region locking sucks.
User avatar
25 Dec 2012 12:01

If this was about the Pro Controller, I can see it being a problem, but who the hell would import a GamePad in the first place? (importing enthusiasts aside)
User avatar
25 Dec 2012 12:30

HammerGalladeBro wrote:If this was about the Pro Controller, I can see it being a problem, but who the hell would import a GamePad in the first place? (importing enthusiasts aside)


First,I live in North America.
Let's say that a slew of Japan-exclusive games were released. Because of Nintendo, I need to order a Japanese Wii U just to play them. Or there could be a healthy amount of games that makes their way to Europe, fully translated (like what has happened to Fatal Frame 2, Another Code R, Last Window, and a bunch of others). I'd then need to have a European Wii U to play those, too.

So, I'm here with My original North American Wii U and maybe one or both of the others (not likely to happen in real life, but...).
Uh oh, my Japanese Game Pad breaks!
I can't use the other one(s) from the other regions. I have to import another friggin' Gamepad from another region.

Things like this puts me in the mood to encourage hackers, so they can do whatever they need to do to remove these stupid limitations. With region-locking, there are no benefits that comes our way as gamers. None.
User avatar
25 Dec 2012 12:35

ugh, are you kidding me...

So I tried google translating it, and from what I understood it shows some "update" that can't be downloaded when you try to connect with gamepads from other regions? that's weird...
No Avatar
Anonymous
25 Dec 2012 12:38

I don't really see the issue here. We already knew the Wii U was region locked. If you're going to import a Wii U, you get Gamepad with it. I get the idea that if it breaks you shouldn't have to import a Gamepad but I honestly feel like the Gamepad is more of a major part of the Wii U and not a controller. It's going to have its own settings and options that work with it. For all we know, this region locking could just be covering up a potential error that could occur between foreign systems.

Either way, I don't see why it's a big deal at all.
User avatar
25 Dec 2012 12:49

Assuming that a method to play games from other regions is discovered, I wonder if the games will check to make sure you have the right region's Gamepad.
User avatar
25 Dec 2012 12:55

Well that's interesting and stupid.

I suppose they don't want people importing special edition Gamepads or something. Or if they're cheaper somewhere else.
User avatar
25 Dec 2012 12:57

You don't say...

I's good to know that the gamepad comes included with... I don't know, the console itself?
User avatar
25 Dec 2012 13:31

Awww, now I can't take my Gamepad to my friend's house over in Europe. I visit him like every once or twice a month and can't stand using his gamepad...
User avatar
25 Dec 2012 13:31

Guess I'll have to check for region if I ever get a gamepad from the net (when they become available individually)
Does anyone know if this also applies to things like the Pro Controller, or just the gamepad?
User avatar
25 Dec 2012 13:37

My sympathies to the 12 people this will ever affect.
User avatar
25 Dec 2012 13:40

This isn't so much a region lock as the gamepad streams the same format as your Wii U outputs on your TV.
This is done to ensures the images on your gamepad and your TV are identical in frame rate and format.

Each regional TV format runs differently at a different MHz.

EU/AUS = PALS
U.S./Americas = NTSC
Japan = NTSC-J (it is slightly different than NSTC)
S. Korea = NTSC-K (it is different from NTSC and NTSC-J)

All streaming devices and technology are formatted to your region's TV standards.
So it is not just Nintendo.

@Zanreo
This only applies to the gamepad due to the streaming technology.
User avatar
25 Dec 2012 14:21

M1 wrote:This isn't so much a region lock as the gamepad streams the same format as your Wii U outputs on your TV.
This is done to ensures the images on your gamepad and your TV are identical in frame rate and format.

Each regional TV format runs differently at a different MHz.

Can't a European PS3 stream data to a North American or Japanese Vita?
User avatar
25 Dec 2012 14:34

M1 wrote:This isn't so much a region lock as the gamepad streams the same format as your Wii U outputs on your TV.
This is done to ensures the images on your gamepad and your TV are identical in frame rate and format.

Each regional TV format runs differently at a different MHz.

EU/AUS = PALS
U.S./Americas = NTSC
Japan = NTSC-J (it is slightly different than NSTC)
S. Korea = NTSC-K (it is different from NTSC and NTSC-J)

All streaming devices and technology are formatted to your region's TV standards.
So it is not just Nintendo.

@Zanreo
This only applies to the gamepad due to the streaming technology.

Awesome.

Someone that isn't yelling at Nintendo and is actually using reasoning.
User avatar
25 Dec 2012 15:12

I was thinking about there could perhaps be some preinstalled software on the Gamepad itself. My mean even the Wii had a tiny bit of memory for the Miis. Maybe just for languages.

And of course what M1 wrote. That makes even more sense ;)

And seriously now: Why even import a gamepad? I don't see the point really...
User avatar
25 Dec 2012 16:26

Not sure why people are surprised by this. The "streaming" the GamePad does should have been a dead giveaway.
User avatar
25 Dec 2012 16:39

The gamepad is so tied to the system.... I think for that reason this doesn't surprised me too much.... but there is still a little pinch of HMPH in there... lolz
User avatar
25 Dec 2012 17:27

Don't see any problem with this. Never travel, always get stuff from local/online store.
User avatar
25 Dec 2012 18:07

The only way I can see this affecting me in a realistic scenario is if I buy a second gamepad, and it turns out to be japanese or PAL. Which is what happened with my spare wiiremote, but that time it worked no problem regardless of region. Not terribly angry, but not indifferent about this.
User avatar
25 Dec 2012 23:37

I can see this sucking if they ever release some sort of Japan exclusive colored\themed gamepad, but besides that, this controller seems very expensive to purchase in the first place, let alone importing one. Right now, it doesn't bother me, still waiting for someone to region crack the system itself in case some great Japanese game comes out since there's like nothing new here.
User avatar
26 Dec 2012 08:39

@M1
PAL/NTSC are analog encoding terms and have no meaning in HDTV's or a digital display like the Wii U controller.
PAL/NTSC are terms that are simply still being used incorrectly in the gaming industry to describe something relating to region locking.

480p/720p/1080p all run at the same frequency no matter where you are in the world.
So no, the PAL/NTSC myth is irrelevant here.

"All streaming devices and technology are formatted to your region's TV standards."
Again you're wrong here. I have an iPad from the U.S. and it streams fine to my EU TV. As does my Western Digital Media player. Different "regions" are interoperable. Every TV in the last 15 years at least (if not older) can display PAL/NTSC anywho and will automatically interchange depending.

Ever import a SNES game and play it on your TV? It had no problem displaying the opposite format.

So Nintendo region locking the GamePads has absolutely nothing to do with anything relating to picture formats, even if Nintendo tries to claim it so so save face.
User avatar
26 Dec 2012 15:55

Update: The Japanese message above reads, "The update cannot be completed with an overseas Wii U GamePad." In other words, it seems that you can use an imported GamePad to play games, you simply can't apply firmware updates without the original. Apparently, GamePads have their own firmware that is unique per region, hence this uncommon hurdle.]
Read more at http://www.destructoid.com/uh-what-wii- ... XXso4fH.99


Imported gamepads seem like they can in fact play games, but updates are out of the question.

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