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GN Podcast #484

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Smash Wii U review

Adventure Time rev
 

Iwata explains why Nintendo sticks with region locking, says it's not solely because of business

Coming from an IGN interview with Mr. Iwata...

"From some people’s perspective, it might seem like a kind of restriction. However, we hope people can appreciate the fact that we’re selling our products worldwide. 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. There are always things that we’re required to do in each different region, which may go counter to the idea that players around the world want the freedom to play whatever they want. I hope that game fans can understand that the industry isn’t doing this solely out of business ego. There are some reasons behind it."

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62 total comments (View all)
No Avatar
03 Jul 2013 21:13

JustJoe wrote:Yeah, because this is what the biggest issue with the Wii U is, people are holding off on purchasing the system because they can't pay over $70 to import a game they can't understand. If you're legitimately angry over this, your need to rethink your priorities.


This wins so hard.
User avatar
03 Jul 2013 21:18

LegendofZelda1996 wrote:
metalpants wrote:Uh... why can't you just import? It's not Iwata's fault they have to do this.


Because imports, in general, are very expensive.

What is very expansiv..?
What is your line, where you won't pay more..?

Solaris Japan has some good prices, the new Mario and Luigi RPG is even cheaper than on the german Amazon Store right now. xD And one of the guys behind it makes a Podcast about Japan, for the german videogame magazin M! Games. I bought MOTHER 3 there and is was quick, easy and not very expansiv.
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03 Jul 2013 21:52

I didn't import the WiiU because I live in japan and I trusted Nintendo in bringing most of the games to the japanese WiiU,
a system from a region, which until now got far more games than the other regions.
I didn't know that it turned out so bad.
Next time though, I will import!

For the prices, japanese stuff is in general a bit more expensive. And then add import costs...
User avatar
03 Jul 2013 22:03

TheDreamingHawk wrote:OH NOOOOOOOOO I CAN'T PLAY A GAME I CAN'T READ

I am trying to think of a sillier reason to choose not to play an awesome game than 'I can't read the terribly-written story', and so far I am drawing a blank.
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Anonymous
03 Jul 2013 22:06

@JustJoe

>they can't understand

There is that assumption again. The Japanese language isn't really that hard to learn, Christ.
User avatar
03 Jul 2013 22:18

Am I the only one here that doesn't care? Very rarely does a game that I want NOT come here, and even if there were a game in another region that I wanted, I'm to cheap to import anyway! Still, sucks for those that care.
User avatar
03 Jul 2013 22:51

I'll stop complaining about region locking when Nintendo brings over the last 4 or 5 Dragon Quest games that haven't been been localized for 3DS and Wii/Wii U. Nintendo went out of their way to help Americans fall in love with the Dragon Quest series on the DS, and now they've totally left those people out in the cold with the 3DS.

They should make region unlocking an eshop feature that you can purchase for $10. That would make up for any potential losses they are imagining. Or why not make it a partial region unlock that simply allows players in North America to play Japanese and European game cards and eshop downloads, for example. Or vice versa. That way they can exclude whatever problematic regional sales snafus they are actually worried about.
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03 Jul 2013 22:52

Please think also the other way round.
It's not just games being imported FROM japan, but also imported TO japan.

And what about binational couples for example japanese/american, who can't read perfectly the others language.
Do they have to have consoles from both regions?
User avatar
03 Jul 2013 23:24

LegendofZelda1996 wrote:
metalpants wrote:Uh... why can't you just import? It's not Iwata's fault they have to do this.


Because imports, in general, are very expensive.


How does making it "region free" make importing games less expensive? Just because a system is region free, still doesn't mean games from all regions are released in every region. You still have to import the games, right? They just will play on any console in any region.

Also, I don't care either way. I don't know any friends I talk with regularly, who game, that have ever imported. I would prefer Nintendo concentrate supporting their own regions well. If the Wii was region free, that still wouldn't have made NOA bring over Disaster: Day of Crisis, The Last Story, or Pandora's Tower, despite those games being translated already.
User avatar
03 Jul 2013 23:37

"I hope that game fans can understand that the industry isn’t doing this solely out of business ego."

I guess Nintendo thinks that it's the entire industry because Xbone and PS4 are region free.
No Avatar
03 Jul 2013 23:53

keep region locking ,
provide every (japanese) game on the eshop like they did with fist of the north star ,code of princess and kokuga,
the one without a western publisher
don't charge the publishers for that service unlike what MS does for free region
opt out of the optional rating systems for those games OR rate all games at R16
put those games in a special category or different eshop , hanabi festival style

done and done, gamers should be smarter with their demands, sales taxes should be paid and are not that huge it's the handling fee that is. That campaign sounds like "let me get games cheaper" and no they don't want that. It has been years, the reality is that small studios cannot get a western deal if those games can be played. It's not their reasoning, it's the western publisher reasoning. As for sony and ms, they don't give a hoot , they only rely on that vast aaa gaming. And MS do charge Cave for free region. Oh and they get 60 free dollars every year from those consumers so yeah they can provide stuff.

I did import trauma team, went through all the hassle with my wii 1 so yeah eshop would have been a better compromise. Eshop allows self publishing, and since "fans" pretend to be dedicated surely they can support their niche studios by buying the game on eshop and give the vast majority of profit to them, unlike what retail does.
It's clear to me, that region free would be beneficial for niche studios, a big game will be in retail in the west.
User avatar
04 Jul 2013 00:01

Yeesh... what an awful defense. That's terrible reasoning. Your competitors are allowing it. "Cultural differences" be damned.
User avatar
04 Jul 2013 00:32

metalpants wrote:Uh... why can't you just import? It's not Iwata's fault they have to do this.


People want to import games, not consoles. That's what the problem is. :roll:
User avatar
04 Jul 2013 03:24

Fuffelpups wrote:Don't worry. Viva la Homebrew. (^_^)


This.
No Avatar
04 Jul 2013 03:46

DeAngelo Guillory wrote:
metalpants wrote:Uh... why can't you just import? It's not Iwata's fault they have to do this.


People want to import games, not consoles. That's what the problem is. :roll:


I can definitely agree with that. Still, the percentage of Western/European gamers that read Japanese/etc. is FAR too small for Nintendo to really bother with the whole region locking thing I think.
User avatar
04 Jul 2013 04:34

LordRoto wrote:
tellis429 wrote:
Fuffelpups wrote:Don't worry. Viva la Homebrew. (^_^)


Yep, Nintendo is just asking for fans/hackers to take things into their own hands.


No, it's not Nintendo as a company asking for these things, it's the fact that immature human nature is all about ME ME ME and I WANT THIS and I WANT THAT and HOW DARE THEY NOT GIVE ME THAT WHEN I WANT IT.

It's not Nintendo's fault that their consumers are "forced" to "act" like "children"


Shouldn't companies want to give consumers what they want?

If you don't offer something they want, they won't buy. See Wii U currently.
User avatar
04 Jul 2013 04:35

DeAngelo Guillory wrote:
metalpants wrote:Uh... why can't you just import? It's not Iwata's fault they have to do this.


People want to import games, not consoles. That's what the problem is. :roll:


Actually *I* want to import a 3DS. But I can't play any of my games on it.
No Avatar
04 Jul 2013 05:51

metalpants wrote:
DeAngelo Guillory wrote:
metalpants wrote:Uh... why can't you just import? It's not Iwata's fault they have to do this.


People want to import games, not consoles. That's what the problem is. :roll:


I can definitely agree with that. Still, the percentage of Western/European gamers that read Japanese/etc. is FAR too small for Nintendo to really bother with the whole region locking thing I think.

I can reverse your argument and say that they care enough about region locking to spend money and time just to develop a way to block regions when developing new consoles. So if they actually don't care, they can use that money and time that would normally be used to region lock consoles on something else.
User avatar
04 Jul 2013 09:56

What "industry" is he talking about?
User avatar
04 Jul 2013 10:03

Iwata wrote:From some people’s perspective, it might seem like a kind of restriction.

Wait, are there people who don't see it as a kind of restriction? It's a kind of freedom for them? :shock:

Iwata wrote:However, we hope people can appreciate the fact that we’re selling our products worldwide.

Like Apple, microsoft, sony, Samsung, and others. So what?

Iwata wrote: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.

Meaning Apple, microsoft, sony, Samsung, and others don't have to deal with these things?

Iwata wrote:I hope that game fans can understand that the industry isn’t doing this solely out of business ego.

Um, Iwata, I don't think anyone said it was done out of ego. I'm going to guess either laziness or technical ineptitude. Possibly a combination platter.

Now, explain to me why StreetPass puzzles and special Miis are sometimes region-locked.



Yoshikun wrote:And what about binational couples for example japanese/american, who can't read perfectly the others language.
Do they have to have consoles from both regions?


Good point.

It's not just consoles, either!

Certain games will totally ignore other localized versions like Monster Hunter 3G refuses to see Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate via local play or even StreetPass! So, if one person prefers English games and the other Japanese games, well, you still can't play together. Seriously, what was the reasoning behind locking that? O_O
No Avatar
04 Jul 2013 11:07

People being so hateful about region locking always bothered me more than region locking.

There are regulation and taxing bodies involved, and lots of effort goes into localization.

I suppose I would care more about it if I could read Japanese, though. :P
No Avatar
04 Jul 2013 11:50

squall23 wrote:
metalpants wrote:I can definitely agree with that. Still, the percentage of Western/European gamers that read Japanese/etc. is FAR too small for Nintendo to really bother with the whole region locking thing I think.

I can reverse your argument and say that they care enough about region locking to spend money and time just to develop a way to block regions when developing new consoles. So if they actually don't care, they can use that money and time that would normally be used to region lock consoles on something else.


Yeah, I thought about that. I thought if Nintendo stops worrying about region locking, they might actually make more sales on a given product compared to what they had originally projected.

That will bring its own set of problems like having people here get their hands on a game that would be brought stateside later on before the majority of gamers. I think it's safe to assume that that could tick off some people.
No Avatar
05 Jul 2013 04:45

Jibbles wrote:People being so hateful about region locking always bothered me more than region locking.

There are regulation and taxing bodies involved, and lots of effort goes into localization.

I suppose I would care more about it if I could read Japanese, though. :P

So what makes Nintendo so different that they have to worry about these so-called "regulation and taxing bodies" while Sony and Microsoft don't?
User avatar
05 Jul 2013 09:59

"...which now leaves Nintendo as the most conservative hardware manufacturer."

I believe that the above statement is very subjective. I don't believe it is true because Nintendo's Wii U is the only new system that does not require a subscription to play games online.
User avatar
05 Jul 2013 10:37

... I will just say that being the President of a company is not quite as easy as making decisions alone. He have to convince other people too that "help" him in the decision-making. I'm pretty sure it's the Nintendo legal team that is VERY shy about this. They think if they go region free some country may start arguing and try to block them legally. Microsoft and Sony think they can handle it, but not Nintendo. I wonder why. :/

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