News / WII U

Region Locked! Is Nintendo Losing It?

The news hit me like freight train going 100 miles per hour and sent me into another realm, all in the hope of trying to possibly understand what is going on at Nintendo these days.

Nintendo recently announced a release date for the next gen console, the Wii U, and along with that came the specs.  A pretty decent amount of RAM Memory split equally between running the games and the OS,  it also features a good size for the game disc format that can hold up to 25 GB of data.  Well this is kind of where the good news stops actually, as they managed to miss almost every single opportunity to put out a truly next gen console from that point on.

Wii U white bundle

First off, the memory issue for the Wii U.  The base model for the Wii U comes with a measly 8 GB of memory, with the argument coming from Nintendo that if a gamer needs more space, then he can upgrade the hard drive and get a bigger one.  Well yes that is true, jus as the PS3 and the XBox 360 which are both current gen consoles allows you to do similar upgrades, but unlike the Wii U, they both have models that already come with a decent amount of internal memory and doesn’t force you to automatically have to buy an additional hard drive right off the bat.  We have current gen downloadable games on the PS3 and Xbox 360 that can’t fit on the basic model of the Wii U, which is supposed to be a next gen console.

I would touch on the strengths and capabilities of the console, but I think it’s much too early to make that call.  The consensus so far is that the Wii U is not leaps and bounds more powerful than the current gen consoles, which ultimately leaves  the Wii U to suffer a similar fate to it’s predecessor, the Wii, when all the new consoles hit the market.

Wii U Pro Controller Black

But the move that takes the icing and the cake for me personally, is the fact that the Wii U will be region locked when it releases this November.  Meaning that unless developers decide to actually localize a game for your region, you will not get to play that particular game that you may have wanted to.  Quite a few gamers import games from Japan because they are not available for their country in which they reside, and now Nintendo has made it that much harder for those guys who are willing to pay a much higher premium to get a game they like.  As to why such a move is deemed necessary for a supposedly next gen console is really beyond me.  And it’s forcing me to ask myself, “is Nintendo losing it?”

Reggie Fils-aime

Whether or not the Wii U will be able to repeat the success of the Wii is really anybody’s guess at this point in time.  But Nintendo is making it harder on themselves to win those hardcore gamers that they lost during their little experiment that they called the Wii.

Will this news of the Region Locked Wii U affect your decisions on purchasing a Wii U?  Or is it a case of “nobody cares about that meaningless feature anyways”?

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11 thoughts on “Region Locked! Is Nintendo Losing It?

    • Thanks for the comment Manto

      But I guess this is where we fundamentally disagree. Every Nintendo console being region locked does not make it ok for a next gen console to also have that restriction. Speaking of what the devs want, I’m a gamer, and as much as I respect the devs who make the games, I have to side with “gamers” on this issue. Devs also like to sell DLC’s that are already on the game disc, should we support that as well?

      Also, best exclusive library of this gen is suggestive at best, but we can debate about that another time.
      With the Wii, the majority of the titles that sold well were first party ones, is that another thing that all the devs want as well?

      But hey, I respect your opinion as you’re entitled to it just as I am to mine.

  1. Nintendo has always “Region Locked” its consoles so I expected this, but your right its pretty stupid and a pain in the a**! I was truly a huge Nintendo fan until March of 09 when I realized I was missing so many 3rd party games because of how under powered the Wii was, at which point I bought a PS3 and never looked back. The Wii U is what we should of got 6 years ago when every other console already had the capability/power to run HD and then it would of gotten every 3rd party game PS3&360 got. As soon as PS4&720 release Nintendo again will have a under powered last gen console compared to Sony and Microsoft. AGAIN! I’m done with Niny! Pii U something stinks! LOL!

  2. You need to do some research before you make ridiculous claims like this. The original Xbox 360 launched with two models, a “Core” system with no internal storage AT ALL (you were required to have a memory card to even save a game) and a “Premium” system with a 20GB hard drive. The original Playstation 3 came in 20GB and 60GB options, and was the ONLY console this generation to not offer a model with little to no storage. That probably also was a contributing factor to the PS3 being a $600 console at launch, despite coming out a year after the 360 (although I know it was mostly due to blu-ray capability). You can hardly fault Nintendo for offering a low-storage alternative for those people who don’t plan on downloading a lot of games or storing full games on the internal storage. Having built-in storage AT ALL is a feature that is new to the current generation, no console has had it before the PS2 had the add-on HDD that was barely utilized by game devs. I could certainly see me finding a use for a small-storage console, especially if the console supports USB storage, which I would imagine the Wii U would, although I haven’t heard it specifically.

    As for region-locking, while I do know some gamers that import games, “quite a few” doesn’t even come close to a majority. Most gamers can’t read the text from an imported game, which makes it hard to play, so the vast majority of gamers don’t care about importing a game. Sure, it might affect a few people who want to play that awesome version of an RPG that has no localized version, but game devs and hardware manufacturers can’t make business decisions based on such a small, vocal minority.

    • Hi NachoKingP and thanks for taking the time to comment on the article.

      You mentioned that I need to do some research before making ridiculous claims, and then go on to compare the launch of the XBox 360 to that of the Wii U. Well let’s be clear, I did research this prior to writing the article. Let’s take a few things into account here, The Wii U is launching in late 2012, that puts it 7 years later then the XBox 360’s Launch, that’s number 1. Secondly, 7 years ago, digital distribution was nowhere near as big as it is today, so not to make excuse for the Xbox 360, but this is factual. My third point is that, both the Xbox 360 and PS3 are current gen consoles, meaning that we have current gen console games, that you cannot download on the basic model of the Wii U, which is a next gen console. But wait it gets even more obvious if you consider that Next Generation games are going to be bigger in terms of file size, point in case why the Wii is using a 25GB disc for games. So if you put 2 and 2 together, you’ve used up half of the available hard drive space on the basic model of this next gen console. This kind of send you back to the PS1 and PS2 where memory card was mandatory, except that now instead of memory cards, you need to purchase a hard drive as well. Even if you get the premium version, you’re actually better off buying the Basic and using the extra $50 to buy a bigger hard drive. So in my opinion, it’s not really a consumer friendly move from Nintendo.

      And as for region-locking, it is exactly that, a big inconvenience. I travel, and depending on how long I’m going be travelling for, I normally bring along my console, or handheld system. So you’re telling me that, as a consumer who purchased an North American Nintendo console, I’ll have to shell out money to buy a new one if I happen to be in Germany and want to play a game that just came out. And as for your point of “but game devs and hardware manufacturers can’t make business decisions based on such a small, vocal minority.” Of course they do, you should try a PS3 or PS Vita, you’d be surprised.

      • OK, yes, I compared the Wii U to older systems, but I don’t know many people who only buy their games digitally for consoles. I would have to think that 95% of console gamers play their games from disc, and you don’t NEED onboard storage to do that. The Xbox Live Arcade system only has 4GB of onboard storage, but game devs just design the games to accommodate that.

        I would rather get the Deluxe Wii U because I’d like that charging stand, the pack-in games, and frankly, I’d pay to get a black version or the console. Black goes with my other equipment better. Yes, you COULD just buy the bigger hard drive for cheaper, but the value-added featured of the Deluxe package are more than just the hard drive.

        I do agree that the 25GB disc choice is not terribly forward-thinking of Nintendo. They’re basically boxing themselves into a corner, but at least there’s the option of multi-disc games.

        As for travelling with your console, you said you might want to play a game that just came out while you’re in a different region. How often does that come up? Unless you’re on the road half the year, I would imagine waiting a few days to get a copy from NA wouldn’t be the end of the world.

  3. Lame! It would have been the moment to drop that. But when you look at the bigger picture it’s not going to change much : few people play in Japanese and most games get a simultaneous US/EU release. Only people like me who massively import games from Japan will be penalized. Now if I am indeed going to buy WiiU I have to buy a Japanese one. One more reason to keep the the wait and see approach

  4. Whats with the nintendo fanboys arguing everything in the article. I dont care about region lock since im not wasting money on wiiu, but why are these fanboys crying in the comments section. Get over it and get a life,nintendo is not going to compete well againt the NEXT generation lol.

    Unless nintendo get extremely luckyAGAIN, it just doesnt look to be shaping up well in the lead up to launch. That is not a good sign, the narrative for nintendo has been pretty gloomy so far.

    Nintendo = Mitt Romney. Lol.

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