"There Are Reasons Behind It"
The Wii, 3DS and Wii U are all region-locked, which stops Western import fans from enjoying the fulsome content that often takes months if not years to finally reach our shores (and often arrives far too late). Following a recent anti-region locking petition that attracted over 17,000 signatures, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has spoken out on the issue, claiming that it's an unavoidable part of doing business.
"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," Iwata told IGN.
Ninty's CEO suggested that, rather than a ploy to raise more cash, their policy is due to different regions having cultural differences, different tastes and local legal requirements that need to be respected. "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," Iwata concluded. "There are some reasons behind it."
The Wii's region locking policy led to the rampant sale of chipped units, while gamers had to constantly harangue Nintendo Of America to secure the release of games like Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story. We're not at all convinced that Iwata's explanation holds water since Sony presumably has to deal with exactly the same "cultural acceptance and legal restrictions" with the region-free PS3 and PS Vita, but for now, the company shows no sign of budging.