Nintendo will reveal details about its 'NX' console in 2016, could arrive without region lock

By Shawn Knight · 19 replies
May 11, 2015
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  1. nintendo smartphone gaming e3 wii u 3ds nes gaming console satoru iwata nx nx console smartphone games region locks

    There’s both good and bad news to share as it relates to Nintendo. During a recent investor meeting, Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata said his company won’t be discussing its next console, its mysterious health project or its slate of five smartphone games at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June.

    Iwata said Nintendo will, however, discuss specifics about the new “NX” console next year. He noted that because they are calling it a new concept, the team working on it isn’t thinking of it as a simple replacement for the 3DS or the Wii U.

    In a seemingly unusual move, Iwata announced the development of the NX back in March – largely to quell concerns that Nintendo might be exiting the home gaming system industry. Aside from the codename, not much else is known about the project as of writing.

    In other Nintendo news, Iwata said customer feedback and proposals from the market have prompted the company to investigate the possibility of eliminating region locks.

    Nintendo was the first console maker to implement region locks with its NES system through the use of different sized cartridges versus the Famicom. The early console also used an authentication chip that was coded for one of three different regions.

    Region locks are still widely used for a variety of legitimate reasons and while Iwata said removing them from current game machines doesn’t seem realistic, they are looking at it optimistically going forward with the NX.

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  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,730   +3,703

    What would the gain be for removing region locks?

    I don't see very many people needing anything more than one region. I can't see the removal helping anything other than merging production into one region. Surely that is not a big expense, manufacturing more than one region.
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I didn't even know Nintendo were still in business, I haven't seen hide nor hair of them for years now, not that I usually pay any attention to them.
  4. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,738   +3,757

    Removing region locking enables console owners to play imports. On traditionally region-locked consoles, if you buy a JPN or PAL game, for instance, and try to play it on an NTSC machine, the console will not run the software.
  5. SantistaUSA

    SantistaUSA TS Booster Posts: 94   +22

    For people that travel a lot or even when they are on vacation and not having to worry about region lock is awesome, I grew up in Brazil and my first nintendo console (SNES) was purchased in the USA, I had to mod my console back then to be able to play a few games.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,730   +3,703

    So what you are saying is that not all games are put out in more than one region, which would then need importing to other regions?
  7. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 861   +875

    Um, you live under a rock?
    Games like the first few custom robo games, some of the fire emblems, Dynamic blade for the wii, captain rainbow, mother 1 and 3, destroy all humans path of the furon on ps3 (we only got the xbox 360 version), and many others never saw a US release. all of those have english versions, but for europe, not the US. so, with this new system, I could enjoy these games here.

    Not to say countries like australia, where many games have extremely delayed releases or never come out AT ALL. or some european countries, for that matter. south america has it even worse.

    Unless you only play call of duty #247 modern warfare 17, medieval time travel edition, there can be many good games, especially smaller ones, that never get released in some countries, even if there are english versions.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  8. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,730   +3,703

    If the last console I played was an NES, means I live under a rock. Then that answer is yes. Because you can keep your consoles. Now do you have something serious to say or ask? I don't know, let me continue reading your comment.
  9. BlueDrake

    BlueDrake TS Evangelist Posts: 378   +112

    It's a bit silly expecting everyone, to be sitting there knowing everything in the gaming community. Especially those who have very little interest in console gaming, unless you count the various gems each generation had. Which often could be region locked, for one reason or another. Japan has a lot of strict rules and regulations for various things, so it leads to less attention on otherwise great games.

    There was a lot of reasons to region locking, but many consoles are opening their doors. A lot of games usually go unnoticed, it's by those serious followers awaiting something new, that something might get recognition. You can list off hundreds of games, and most people wouldn't know of it.

    Usually being it's very niche for a game or doesn't have, a huge hype behind it despite being probably very appealing to the masses. So it often goes unnoticed by everyone, and leads to less likely translations / work so you need to import to continue the series. It's hard to grab someone's attention for something, when others put millions into market hype and others maybe put a couple thousand at best. There's always games falling through the cracks, that might otherwise have had mass market appeal.

    Region locks are a massive headache to anyone, and those dedicated enough will find ways around it. Just for the general consumer it's too much bother, and leads to lost sales of customers that might otherwise want said game.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  10. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,738   +3,757


    Historically, as mentioned earlier in the thread, console gamers have been required to either mod their consoles or purchase foreign units to play games not available in their home markets. For instance, there are a number of interesting Japanese titles currently out for the PS4 in Japan. If you purchased one of those games and popped it in your North American Playstation 4, the system would tell you the game isn't compatible with the console. The same is true of every console marketed to date (to the best of my knowledge). By removing region locking, a console user can effectively play any game in the world written for his or her system.

    It's a smart move by Nintendo. Hopefully Sony and Microsoft will do similar.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  11. Forg0t2

    Forg0t2 TS Booster Posts: 147   +25

    During my stay in Japan I saw a lot of games that will never reach European market officially. Removing the region lock allows me to buy Japanese only released games or U.S. only released games through Amazon and stuff. For most of the people this is irrelevant since they don't play foreign game releases anyway. It does however (for game enthousiasts) keep a console more interesting for a longer period of time since they can import games from all over the world that normally aren't available in their region.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  12. Didn't sony support region free for the ps3 console?
  13. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +67

    Street Fighter 2 on the Super Famicom was out for months before they finally released the Pal version for the SNES in the UK. The only way to play it till then was to buy the U.S. imported cartridge and an adaptor that let you plug US cartridges in to the SNES. Total cost was close to £100. When the PAL version was released it was a bargain at £64.99..
  14. bexwhitt

    bexwhitt TS Guru Posts: 355   +73

    I wonder what unergonomic controller they will come up with this time?
  15. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,738   +3,757

    Rumor mill suggests it will be a saucer of some type.
  16. bexwhitt

    bexwhitt TS Guru Posts: 355   +73

    I was thinking bucket and spade
  17. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,738   +3,757

    Too ergonomic.
  18. Stalepie

    Stalepie TS Rookie

    Yes, and so did Nintendo with the first DS, the DS Lite, but not the DSi or 3DS (the two most recent models). Also their earlier handheld systems, Gameboy and Gameboy Advance, are region free.

    The Super NES was practically region free - it did have two small plastic pieces that kept a Super Famicom cart from inserting into its slot, but a few seconds with a pair of pliers removes it. You usually have to use a converter cartridge with the NES.

    So it's different with every system. Another example: most pre-1992 Sega Mega Drive games can be played in Sega Genesis, but later ones started adopting a region code that requires a Game Genie (or similar) code to bypass, with a special code entered separate for each game. (Anyone happen to know Dynamite Headdy's, by any chance??)
    davislane1 likes this.
  19. CommonSense

    CommonSense TS Rookie

    Who here loves the Nintendo brand but hasn't bought any of the newest systems because of graphic performance?

    Having the new systems (ps4/xbox one) out already Nintendo could gain some major ground in this go-round if they were to offer a system with the latest UBHD player (the same way the PS3 did with BD support) and 4k gaming for all the new TVs that don't have much viable content. At a price that would be cheaper than the cheapest UBHD player so that people who want a player would simply buy the console instead. This alone could turn the tides for Nintendo in the console wars. God knows I would love to play a zelda, metroid, mario game in 4k goodness!
  20. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,738   +3,757

    Not me. I passed on the Wii U because of content. Specifically, the lack of new IPs. A nonstop stream of Zelda, Super Mario, Mario Party, and Mario Kart (among others) have worn on me after 19 years.

    I won't be spending money on a Nintendo console (or another Sony console) until they can demonstrate a library composed of something substantial and new. I'll take 90s era creativity with sub-par visuals over 4K and worn out ideas every day of the week.

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