Saying “this console is region-free” to a Xbox/PS3/Wii U owner is like handing them the keys to a 4×4. They can play any game, be anyone, do anything. Well, not exactly, but the feeling of regret and hatred that swells up when that infamous error screen appears is second to none.
Saying this, the Wii U is going to be region-locked so games in Japan, USA and Europe won’t work on “foreign” machines.
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Nintendo is no stranger to region-locking, with its past consoles, especially the cartridge-based ones such as the N64 and original NES had this shitty form of software control. Luckily, bypassing regional lockouts, even on Nintendo’s last DVD-based console, is about as easy as baking a Mario pie.