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Wii U region lock fears for Sony PS4, Xbox 720

If you are thinking of pre-ordering the Nintendo Wii U console at the end of November, you may want to be aware of one notable issue that could affect the way you purchase your software titles.

A lot of people will have already expected this to be the case, but just to make it crystal clear – the Wii U is definitely going to be region locked, meaning that you cannot import titles from say Japan and play them on your US or UK based console.

Seasoned Nintendo veterans will be well aware of this, since every Nintendo console since the DS has also been region locked, but it will still be a shock to those unaware gamers who were hoping that the console would support any disc put into the system. Do you support Nintendo’s decision to maintain their strict policy regarding region locking, or do you wish that they would be more lenient like Sony and Microsoft?

As most of you are aware, the PS3 and Xbox 360 are not bound by region locking by default, but games can still be locked down to a particular region if a specific developer requests it. The question is though, will Sony and Microsoft continue with this trend for next-gen consoles, or will they follow Nintendo and block all routes to importing software?

Gamers will obviously hope that this doesn’t become the case, as there is no better feeling than finding that hidden Japanese gem and playing it on your console from any location. We doubt Nintendo’s Wii U sales will suffer from a result of the region lock as many expected it, but the same may not be the case with the PS4 and Xbox 720.

How does the Wii U being region locked affect you? Is it bad enough that you are now planning to cancel your pre-order, or are you more worried about the fact that the PS4 and Xbox 720 may be region locked as well?

Written by Alan Ng

Alan has been working for Product-Reviews since 2009 and became the Editor-in-chief in 2014. He has a passion for technology, the latest mobile phones and gadgets, and the gaming industry. Alan is a graduate of Canterbury Christ Church University and completed a B.A in Commercial Music in 2008. While expressing a keen interest in all areas that PR cover, you'll usually find Alan in the gaming section, where he'll be keeping enthusiasts up to date on all the latest news and reviews for consoles and PC.

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jgallagherosirisDavid Thanymrjohnsteinhauershawn Recent comment authors
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As I only buy games from local game stores on any system. On through their online stone. So this means not a dame thing to me. Besides games in those regions are in those languages. So that means even less to me

David Thany
David Thany

Don’t care if it’s region locked as I’ve never imported a game. I own every console (PS3, Wii, 360) and there’s never a shortage of games to play in my region, I actually have a long list of games I still need to catch up on on each system. I don’t have a Wii U pre-ordered yet as I waited too long and they all sold out. But I’m hoping to pick one up as soon as I can. As for PS4, I’m seriously considering not getting another Sony system unless they show me it won’t be over priced and… Read more »


Wait the 360 is not Region locked? I know PS3 is not, but when Iooked up online 360 is region lock, also so what if its region lock, hell it cost alot of money just to get a game imported and why would you want a game imported if they sell the exact same game else where, and I know there might be fun Japan games but im not going to shell out over 80$ for a import game that I might or might not like, and prob cant read, I have a hard time paying 60$ for just a… Read more »


It’s one thing to region lock “Standard definition” Virtual Console and original Wii games cause of PAL 50HZ vs NTSC 60HZ conflicts but Wii U HD games ad 3DS don’t have a 60HZ and 50HZ and resolution difference justify the region lock.

Ninja Dan Bear
Ninja Dan Bear

The Xbox 360 is region locked bar a few titles. Seems like another bit of propoganda. Wii U pre-ordered. Looking forward to it.


It’s true, the article tells prospective buyers to look for details of the ps4 and 720, but that wii u is already doomed so will sony and microsoft come to the rescue.

Storm Walsh
Storm Walsh

@ Anonymous : Did you even read the article before embarking on your fanboi rant? The article is stating a FACT about the WiiiiiU, and then goes on to poise a question about region locking for the next PS/Xbox. If anything, this postulation is floating a cloud of negativity over 2 consoles which we haven’t even seen yet. Calm down.


Why is this site ALWAYS linking bad news about the Wii U into positive news for PS4 and 720? We don’t know a thing about those systems yet. I’ve never heard so much negativity for a system before release in my life. You hypocrites bash Nintendo for making gimmicks but now MS is doing the same thing its fine? Hypocrites much. Go embrace Kinect just because Microsoft tell you to. The worst thing about this region locking is Wii U will get a lot of great games in Japan which won’t be localized (possibly Monolith’s game) but I’d rather have… Read more »

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