Nintendo remains firm in being the last remaining holdout of region locking. However, the house of Mario might be listening to the changing tune of this globalized gaming world.
At a recent investor’s Q&A, Iwata responded to the following question of whether Nintendo will be unlocking their consoles with the following:
“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.”
As always, Nintendo remains diplomatic in its answers of whether it will follow industry trends by dropping the fact that the company has been looking into the possibility, it remains to be seen what will come of this news. Personally, I don’t import any games, but many of my friends and co-workers do and it would be awesome to see them not having to buy a North American and Japanese version of Nintendo consoles just to play the games they want to play.