Tue 25 Sep 2012
Diehard fans of imported games had better be prepared to buy multiple international editions of the Wii U if they want to play every game available for the system worldwide. Following an off-handed mention in a translated report from Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, Nintendo has now confirmed to CVG that its upcoming system will be region locked, meaning that Wii U games will only work on hardware sold in the same region.
This isn't exactly a new policy for Nintendo—every one of the company's home consoles since the original Nintendo Entertainment System has featured a similar region lock, though various hardware and software workarounds exist for many of those systems. Nintendo's portable systems have historically been able to play games from all regions, but the company implemented a region lock on the Nintendo 3DS when it launched last year.
Both Microsoft and Sony allow publishers to decide whether to implement a region lock on specific game discs for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Almost every PS3 game is sold without such a lock, but international compatibility for Xbox 360 titles varies widely.