In the course of the Q&A at Nintendo’s latest financial briefing report, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata was presented with a question regarding region-locking. Nintendo and their region-locking policies are something that both fans and critics find unfavorable and while nothing has been officially announced, it appears that Nintendo is indeed reviewing their region-locking policies.

“We realize that it is one thing that we must consider looking to the future.”

When asked if there were any plans to unlock the restriction, Iwata first explained that “region-locks have existed due to circumstances on the sellers’ side rather than for the sake of the customers,” due to things like marketing and licensed content.

“As for what should be done going forward, if unlocked for the benefit of the customers, there may also be a benefit for us,” he admits. “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.”

Again, nothing was officially revealed to be changing with this statement, however, it does appear that Nintendo are open to the possibility of changes in regards to region-locking in the future.

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  • Ryan Haney

    So, does this mean we could eventually buy a used game from Europe on eBay and play it in North America, or am I thinking of something else?

    • hobusu

      That’s the basic idea, yes. This could be done with Game Boy games — I have a Japanese copy of Pokemon Red and a European copy of Fire Emblem 7, and they work fine on my US GBA.

      • True Davad

        Except that game is too old to be patched. It would only affect new games and maybe old games that can be patched.

        • hobusu

          I think you missed the point of what I was saying. Those games already were region-free, so there’s no need to patch them. I understand this (possible future) change in Nintendo’s policy would only affect new(er) games, I was just using some older games as an example to explain what removing region-locking would mean.

          • True Davad

            Oh sorry, I didn’t realize.

  • Kalung Po

    I think most of the consoles/handhelds now that has region locked can’t be unlocked anymore. If the unlocking happens it will be on new consoles/handhelds.

    • Andrew DeCaire


  • Peter de Keijzer

    I’m more annoyed by the fact that games come out on different dates in different regions than I am by region locking. I have never understood why this is done.

    • Tzero280

      Localization, Customs, etc

  • Trinosaur

    It’s at least reassuring to know that they aren’t completely ignoring the problem