Nintendo Wii U games reportedly region locked

Bye Bye game imports
So long game imports

Sad news for gamers: Nintendo confirmed Monday that the Wii U will feature region locking for games.

The revelation came initially from the latest issue of Japan's Famitsu magazine, which suggested that Wii U games would be region-locked for that country.

Nintendo UK then confirmed to Eurogamer that games on the new system will be under the same restriction for everywhere.

What this all means for Wii U users is that games released in Japan, Europe, and North America won't work with Wii U systems from other countries.

Fans won't be pleased

Region locking is nothing new with videogame consoles. Nintendo's own home consoles have always been subject to region restrictions since the original NES.

On the other hand, Nintendo's handheld systems were traditionally region-free, which changed with the Nintendo DSi and 3DS, both of which have region locking for games.

When Nintendo announced region locking for the DSi, it cited region-specific net communication and parental controls as reasons why the feature was necessary.

While region locking for games on the Wii U is not necessarily a surprise, it will come as a disappointment to many fans.

Importing games from other countries has become an important market when certain titles only release in one region.

Fans often resort to modifying their systems, either through hardware chips or unofficial firmware updates, to play imported games on region-locked consoles.

Among competing home consoles, the Xbox 360 also enforces region locking for games while Sony's PlayStation 3 does not.

Via Eurogamer