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Image: Bob Riha Jr. / Nintendo of America

Sony and Microsoft have effectively abandoned the practice of region locking their hardware, leaving Nintendo as the odd-one-out with its Wii U and 3DS - both of which will only play software from their host region.

In the past Nintendo has argued in favour of region locking, but more recently has cooled its stance on the topic. At the recent investor Q&A, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata gave perhaps the strongest signal yet that region locking will be absent on the company's next hardware platform - although current systems will remain unchanged:

Removing region-locking from current game machines presents various issues, so we don't consider that to be very realistic. However, regarding NX, given the customer feedback and proposals from the market, while nothing has been decided yet, we're currently investigating internally what problems there would be in realizing it. You can think of that as the current situation. I understand your desire, so I'd like to look at it optimistically going forward.

While this falls short of an official confirmation that region locking is on the way out, it's certainly a positive sign. Do you think by dropping region locking the NX's commercial chances will be enhanced? Or do you think it makes little difference, in the long run? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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