Despite protests and petitions from fans, Nintendo will not be lifting region restrictions on its struggling Wii U console.

With Sony and Microsoft allowing users to play discs from any country on the new PS4 and Xbox One consoles, many felt Nintendo had to follow suit in order to compete.

However, company president Satoru Iwata has ruled out the move citing legal restrictions and differing age ratings and has pleaded for understanding from gamers.

Speaking to IGN, he admitted the decision may impact console owners' ability to play the content they want from around the world may 'seem' like a restriction (that's because, by definition, it is).

Freedom isn't free

Iwata said: "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.

"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."

While Iwata's reasons are somewhat valid, it's something that Sony and Microsoft have been able to navigate quite comfortably in order to make their new consoles more appealing.

The struggling Wii U is already facing an uphill battle to compete with the Xbox One and the PS4. Is this another blow to its potential? Microsoft thought it was a big enough deal to reverse its policy. Should Nintendo find a way to do the same? Let us know in the comments below.