In a bid to stop Nintendo producing region locked hardware, many fans have petitioned to the company in order to purchase region-free games. The petition, which outlines the reasons behind why Nintendo should allow region-free titles, has over 13,000 signatures and – at the time of writing – only needs 1,548 signatures to be submitted to Nintendo bosses.
The company has previously explained why region locking exists for their hardware, stating that they “take into account different languages, age rating requirements and parental control functionality” when producing games. Region locking also occurs as there can often be problems with software bought from another region when playing on hardware from your current region. But with region locking seen as something of the past, the petition claims that Nintendo should look to the future as it’s creating consumer restriction.
Following Microsoft’s U-turn on its DRM policies, including making the Xbox One region-free alongside the PS4, Nintendo is now left as the only major console manufacturer that maintains a region-locking policy. This practice is restrictive to customers, including those who enjoy playing foreign games not available domestically, speak foreign languages, serve in the military, or otherwise travel or live abroad. If anything, region-free policies encourage the additional sales of legitimate software that cannot otherwise be obtained in a given country; the money would still go to Nintendo, the developers and the distributors behind each game.
The petition recognises Nintendo’s stance on the matter, though, and has stated that it has shortened the amount of time between releases in each region, using Pokémon X and Y’s worldwide release as an example. If you’d like to sign the petition, you can do so here, but let us know your thoughts on region locking in the comments below.