Wii U Forum

Topic: So ... Region locking

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SCAR392

21. Posted:

Well, it looks like Operation Rainfall had a good outcome, because X is legit.
Anyways, I don't really know much about stocks, currency exchange, etc. money business.
I just figured if you invested in a weak economy, you would get benefits from basically any amount of growth after that investment. I know it isn't always that simple, all the time.
Plus, it would take quite a bit of money, and something actually worth investing into to get good results, obviously.

Edited on by SCAR392

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Miss_Dark

22. Posted:

Can someone explain the concept region locking / region free? I know they localize games, I might be doing that next year in class but atm I don't know anything about it tbh :P

"Il y a un adage qui dit qu'on fait du mal à ceux qu'on aime, mais il oublie de dire qu'on aime ceux qui nous font du mal."

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MAB

23. Posted:

@skywake You don't mess around do you mate... Well, carry on then ;)
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MAB

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Phatosaurus

24. Posted:

MadAussieBloke wrote:

I like the region locking... It makes games play better ;)

Region locking increases the frame rate by 30fps. Every console should be region locked.

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MAB

25. Posted:

Phatosaurus wrote:

MadAussieBloke wrote:

I like the region locking... It makes games play better ;)

Region locking increases the frame rate by 30fps. Every console should be region locked.

↑This ;)

MAB

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Geonjaha

26. Posted:

MadAussieBloke wrote:

We need more games that I can't understand what is going on or what in the hell they're saying ;)

Maybe you don't understand this, but some people who live outside a certain country can still speak the language. It doesn't even have to apply for Europe-America. ;)

I make Pixel Art on occasion.

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DualWielding

27. Posted:

Miss_Dark wrote:

Can someone explain the concept region locking / region free? I know they localize games, I might be doing that next year in class but atm I don't know anything about it tbh :P

As I said, there is one reason only why region lock exists, and it is to protect local retailers from countries other than the U.S. there are a number of reasons why a game in an Aussie store for example is more expensive than in a U.S. one.

When you import games into a country your cost depends on a number of things but mainly volume and import duties, the cost per unit of bringing a game into Australia is higher per unit than that it is in the U.S. that is because Australia population is smaller so the shipments will be lower volumes. However, the costs of the company that brings the game into the country (the distributor) are the same as it would be in the U.S. he needs trucks to move the games across the country, needs a lawyer and customs broker ect. Even if you have a country that has high population but in which volume of sales is not as high as in the U.S., lets say India, the problem is the same.

Then you have import duties, in some countries there are higher than in others.

Then you have the actual stores, stores need to pay more to distributors so their costs are higher. Also an EBGAMES (Australian equivalent of gamestop) has about the same operating costs than a U.S. gamestop but its volume of sales may be lower due to lower population so its costs per unit are higher. If you have a country where salaries are higher such as in Europe their cost of operating is much higher.

then you have sale taxes which in some countries are much higher than others.....

Now when you buy a game from the U.S. and ship it to Australia from Ebay it is much cheaper for a number of reasons. The people selling to you got game from U.S. distributor which is cheaper than Australian distributor, if its a store shipping worldwide from a warehouse in the U.S., their operating costs are lower because of higher volume of sales. This warehouse also normally operate from one State in the U.S. (I think is Kansas) which has a no sale tax on internet sales law thing, so no sell taxes. Then normally you don't pay import duties. Theoretically you should but no country can really afford to have custom open a check every single package that gets into a country so a small box with a game rarely gets opened so they don't charge you import duties.

Now the reason why region lock exists is because if Australian retailers (lets say ebgames) see that their volume of sales goes even lower because of more people importing they could get mad at Nintendo and punish them with less shelf space and promotion for their console. Nintendo theoretically needs to have good relations with these retailers because they promote the console and offers budle and stuffs to help them get their hardware on consumer hands....

However as I said before, the danger of retailers retaliating against Nintendo is off the table now than the other two consoles are region free. Retailers would just have to deal with it or get out of the video game business. If imports become popular enough they may even have to close altoguether, .(think bookstores that are almost dead in Australia because it was so much cheaper for people to just import their books). Now I'm not saying its not sad that some people may lose their jobs, but region free is better for Nintendo, better for developers and better for consumers in countries other than the U.S.

Now a tangential issue is that eshop cost must be the same everywhere but eshop are also region locked and charge you RRP of your region. If you do out with region lock, you can have a unified eshop which charges the same to everyone with only currency conversion being a factor which would make things even better for consumers.

PSN: Fertheseeker

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Miss_Dark

28. Posted:

ferthepoet wrote:

Miss_Dark wrote:

Can someone explain the concept region locking / region free? I know they localize games, I might be doing that next year in class but atm I don't know anything about it tbh :P

As I said, there is one reason only why region lock exists, and it is to protect local retailers from countries other than the U.S. there are a number of reasons why a game in an Aussie store for example is more expensive than in a U.S. one.

When you import games into a country your cost depends on a number of things but mainly volume and import duties, the cost per unit of bringing a game into Australia is higher per unit than that it is in the U.S. that is because Australia population is smaller so the shipments will be lower volumes. However, the costs of the company that brings the game into the country (the distributor) are the same as it would be in the U.S. he needs trucks to move the games across the country, needs a lawyer and customs broker ect. Even if you have a country that has high population but in which volume of sales is not as high as in the U.S., lets say India, the problem is the same.

Then you have import duties, in some countries there are higher than in others.

Then you have the actual stores, stores need to pay more to distributors so their costs are higher. Also an EBGAMES (Australian equivalent of gamestop) has about the same operating costs than a U.S. gamestop but its volume of sales may be lower due to lower population so its costs per unit are higher. If you have a country where salaries are higher such as in Europe their cost of operating is much higher.

then you have sale taxes which in some countries are much higher than others.....

Now when you buy a game from the U.S. and ship it to Australia from Ebay it is much cheaper for a number of reasons. The people selling to you got game from U.S. distributor which is cheaper than Australian distributor, if its a store shipping worldwide from a warehouse in the U.S., their operating costs are lower because of higher volume of sales. This warehouse also normally operate from one State in the U.S. (I think is Kansas) which has a no sale tax on internet sales law thing, so no sell taxes. Then normally you don't pay import duties. Theoretically you should but no country can really afford to have custom open a check every single package that gets into a country so a small box with a game rarely gets opened so they don't charge you import duties.

Now the reason why region lock exists is because if Australian retailers (lets say ebgames) see that their volume of sales goes even lower because of more people importing they could get mad at Nintendo and punish them with less shelf space and promotion for their console. Nintendo theoretically needs to have good relations with these retailers because they promote the console and offers budle and stuffs to help them get their hardware on consumer hands....

However as I said before, the danger of retailers retaliating against Nintendo is off the table now than the other two consoles are region free. Retailers would just have to deal with it or get out of the video game business. If imports become popular enough they may even have to close altoguether, .(think bookstores that are almost dead in Australia because it was so much cheaper for people to just import their books). Now I'm not saying its not sad that some people may lose their jobs, but region free is better for Nintendo, better for developers and better for consumers in countries other than the U.S.

Now a tangential issue is that eshop cost must be the same everywhere but eshop are also region locked and charge you RRP of your region. If you do out with region lock, you can have a unified eshop which charges the same to everyone with only currency conversion being a factor which would make things even better for consumers.

Thanks a lot for explaining all that! :)

"Il y a un adage qui dit qu'on fait du mal à ceux qu'on aime, mais il oublie de dire qu'on aime ceux qui nous font du mal."

Wii U name: Miss_Dark feel free to add me (but let me know who you are @ NL)
DS code: 1177 8262 3599 Please add me! ^^ (and let me know your code so I can add you too!)

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skywake

29. Posted:

ferthepoet wrote:

[...] Now the reason why region lock exists is because if Australian retailers (lets say ebgames) see that their volume of sales goes even lower because of more people importing they could get mad at Nintendo and punish them with less shelf space and promotion for their console. Nintendo theoretically needs to have good relations with these retailers because they promote the console and offers budle and stuffs to help them get their hardware on consumer hands [...]

Yeah, I'm going to throw a bit of a broader net here and move away from games and region locking. If a business can't survive without artificial restrictions used to protect it from competition AND there is no broader public benefit for its existence you should just let it die. If removing region locking meant that JBs had cheaper imported games on its shelf and EBs died where's the problem? If cheap digital copies meant that physical copies became a niche market then we get cheap digital copies. Hooray!

Also I don't buy the distribution argument. The US RRP is $60US and the AU RRP is $80AU. So is that $20AU the overhead for producing a disk for sale in a country like Australia?... then why can I buy other new release media for less than $20AU? Are they selling the new Empire of the Sun at a loss? The overhead even if you include higher wages HAS to be less than that $20 gap

Edited on by skywake

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CanisWolfred

30. Posted:

I'm guessing it might have more to do with the fact that Australia has a higher distribution-costs vs. population. The United States has over 300 milion people while Australia only has around 24 million, while Australia is still a faily big country, at a little under 3 million square miles (vs. 3.7 Million Square Miles in the United States). I'd imagine having fewer people to sell to, but still having to sell across a large area would make things more pricey. There might also be taxes and other hidden costs I don't know about - apparently the Australian rating system is expensive, for instance.

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DualWielding

31. Posted:

The thing is PS3 , has not suffered outside of the U.S. because of retailers backlash, it has actually outsold the 360 outside the U.S. while its only in the U.S. that 360 sold more, so the argument for region locking seems weak. The Vita seems to be getting not much shelf space here but I think that has more to do with it not selling well due to lack of games/expensive propietary memory cards than with retailers backlash from lack of region locking/digital games being cheaper than retail. The DS doesn't seem to have suffered from retailer backlash due to lack of region locking (although retailers may have complained and that is the reason why it was implemented in the DSi).

Bottom line, Region locking really affect the attractiveness of Wii U and 3DS outside the U.S., especially against the PS4 the small price advantage the Wii U has is nothing against what people can save by importing their games from the U.S.

PSN: Fertheseeker

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MAB

32. Posted:

@skywake you are already losing if you get a Empire of the Sun album... Yes even if you receive it as a gift ;)

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MAB

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skywake

33. Posted:

@CanisWolfred
Both excuses are fixed costs and don't scale for larger games. They definitely impact low cost, low volume indie games but with AAA titles it's pocket change. As I said, you can physically walk into a shop and buy a new release movie for less than that margin. That disk has to conquer the same distribution and wage price barriers and also has to get past the OFLC. CDs have the same thing again (although without the OFLC) and are again about the same price as movies in store.

Yet we pay this huge premium on games. The only reason I can think of for this is that they can get away with it because they are a higher value product. If Apps on iTunes cost twice as much and movies cost about twice as much... then games can get away with costing twice as much. Remove region locking and you make it harder for them to get away with it.

@MadAussieBloke
Was the only new release I could think of at the time and I was listening to it on Spotify. If I was asked last week I would have said the new QOTSA album instead which is significantly more awesome now I've listened to both.

Edited on by skywake

NNID: skywake

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CowLaunch

34. Posted:

A handheld console should never be region locked, it is stupid, and there's no excuse for it.

I should be able to go anywhere with my 3DS, and buy a game regardless of where I'm currently living. If a developer can't cope with a console being region free, don't release a portable console.

CowLaunch

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MAB

35. Posted:

@skywake Queens of the Stone Age... Good man, you have redeemed yourself... Kind of ;)

MAB

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skywake

36. Posted:

MadAussieBloke wrote:

@skywake Queens of the Stone Age... Good man, you have redeemed yourself... Kind of ;)

I don't need to, my taste in music is awesome. Also while I'm on the topic everyone should listen to the new Sigur Ros album. Fantastic stuff, takes me back to when they were making good stuff. Then they throw this track in there....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EG2N7euPXuc

Song of the year so far for me

.......... anyways, enough about that. Please ignore this post and let the thread go back on topic. :)

NNID: skywake

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Harrison_Peter

37. Posted:

It's annoying if you're bilingual and the other region gets games yours doesn't or a year earlier. :(

"We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers." - Carl Sagan

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Sean_Aaron

38. Posted:

I don't care if the eShop is segregated - that's pretty much the norm, even in iTunes - but region-locking disc software in Wii Mode I don't get at all...

I was able to score a Japanese copy of Excite Bots and I can read the English rendered in katakana so I'm not missing out on my enjoyment, but an American copy would have been cheaper and easier to work with.

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banacheck

39. Posted:

Pricing. It is difficult to maintain a single pricing structure that can be applied worldwide due to currency conversion, taxes, international trade laws (e.g., European Union free movement of goods). Considerations such as local/national discretionary income, the prevalence and ease of obtaining pirated media, competing products/services and loss-leading promotion (to establish a foothold in a territory) can also affect pricing. Region-locking a console means that there is no need for pricing parity across the world; different territories can have different prices for games without people simply shopping "wherever is cheaper".

Sensitive regions. Some games could be regarded as offensive for religious or political reasons, and regional lockout may be required to prevent these games from being distributed in sensitive countries.

Carrys-on on the next post.

Edited on by banacheck

banacheck

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banacheck

40. Posted:

Staggered launches. If a console is region-locked, then staggered launches of the games would be easier, as console producers could easily control the huge bow-wave of people wanting a game the moment it is released.

These are the reasons for a regional lockout.

Sorry for the double post, i'm not on my PC so i can only type so many words in one post.

Edited on by banacheck

banacheck