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Nintendo region lock petition gains momentum

Fans calls for Nintendo to make Wii U and 3DS region-free

A fan petition asking Nintendo to make the Wii U, 3DS and Wii region-free has gathered over 12,000 signatures.

The petition, which can be found on Change.org, points out that following Microsoft's recent decision to remove Xbox One DRM and make the console region-free, Nintendo will be the only company with region-locked systems this coming generation.

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"Nintendo is now left as the only major console manufacturer that maintains a region-locking policy," the petition reads. "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 also acknowledges Nintendo's attempt to alleviate the irritation of region-locking with more timely worldwide software launches.

"Nintendo has been amazing in its attempts to shorten the gap in release dates between different territories (e.g. the worldwide launch of Pokémon X and Y this October) and we are truly grateful for that," it reads

"But we don't want region-free consoles just so we can purchase and play some games earlier than usual. We want region-free consoles so that we may exercise our consumer rights to choose what games we play and to thus expand our horizons."

It concludes by requesting that Nintendo releases a system update for the Wii U, Wii and 3DS which removes each system's region-locking.

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Nintendo's handhelds have traditionally been region-free, but the Nintendo DSi was the first to incorporate region locking, with DSi-compatible software only playable in the territory it was released.

Nintendo has previously claimed that the 3DS is region-locked "to provide the different parental controls to deal with the ratings in each territory".

The PlayStation 2 was the last Sony system to incorporate region-locking. The PlayStation 3, PSP and Vita have all been region-free (though each have their own region-specific digital stores) and the PlayStation 4 has already been confirmed to follow suit.

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