Gamers beware: Nintendo Wii U will be region-locked

The company told famed Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu that gamers in different parts of the world won't be able to play games available in other regions.


Nintendo's Wii U is following in its predecessors' footsteps with region-locking.

A company representative reportedly told famed Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu recently that the Wii U won't allow gamers to play titles imported from other regions. The news was published today by posters on gaming forums NeoGaf. Nintendo then appeared to confirm its Famitsu statement to CVG.

Region-locking is common in the gaming space. The restriction stops gamers from playing titles available in other regions on their respective devices. Nintendo's Wii, along with all of its predecessors dating back to the Nintendo Entertainment System, are region-locked. Microsoft and Sony allow publishers to decide whether their titles should be region-locked or not.

Region-locking is one of the more annoying limitations placed on gamers. And many gamers, including this reporter, would like to see it abolished from the industry. Too bad that doesn't appear to be happening anytime soon.

Nintendo is launching its Wii U on November 18 in the U.S. The console will come in two flavors -- a basic set for $299 and a deluxe set for $349.

Read the full CNET Review

Nintendo Wii U Deluxe Set

The Bottom Line: Despite some clever dual-screen gaming mechanics, the Wii U's lack of compelling exclusive software and an overall unpolished user experience make it tough to recommend in its current state. / Read full review

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.



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