Nintendo Wii is region locked

Nintendo Wii and Discs

Bad news I’m afraid regarding imported Nintendo Wii consoles. has revealed that the Wii is completely region locked, and this included GameCube software…

This means that the innovative, original and imaginative Japanese games on the Wii won’t be able to work properly on an American Wii or the soon-to-be-released European PAL Wii.

On the bright side, has tested the GameCube Action Replay on the Wii and you can play imported GameCube games. Without it, you can’t.

As for accessories like the Wiimote and the classic controller (for playing downloaded Nintendo games), this will work no matter what region they are from. However, the Japanese Wii point cards cannot be redeemed on US and European systems.

What about downloaded content from the Wii Channels from outside the territory? Say, you have imported a Japanese Wii (which goes on sale on December 2nd), but imported back to the UK, can you access the online stuff? To be honest, it may not work as Play-Asia mentions in the article: “…it appears that you can only access the specific network that your Wii console has been designed for.”

For more information, please click here.

  • Yeah this was pretty much announced some time ago, however the Freeloader works it seems. Also downloading Virtual console games isn’t a problem. The internet is universal but the Wii’s are region locked so if oyu have a US Wii (like me) you can only access US released content on the Virtual Console, regardless of where you are in the world.

    Naturally emails to Wii’s or email addresses work without a hitch regardless of the Wii’s region and location.

  • this can make me think twice now about buying the wii
    i have the Sony Playstation 3 and i can access both US and Japan’s Playstation Online Store (Site).
    (i live here in japan but i not so familiar to the jap language so i tend to use the US service more often) And import games from US to japan will be my thing so this news is a negative point on me buying a Japanese Nintendo wii

  • I didn’t know you could access the US Playstaion Online Store as well on a Japanese PS3… Have you tried downloading anything from it such as videogame demos? Media like images, videos etc should be accessible regardless of region.

    As for the WiiConnect24 service I have a US Wii (UK resident) and thus far nothing is really out on the service. The Opera browser still isn’t released same with the News and Forecast channels. The only thing that is open is the Virtual Console and the Japanese region has many more games than the US and Europe atm. Virtual Console games are region locked sadly otherwise I would have grabbed Zelda: Links Awakening… Even if its in Japanese lol

  • yes everything is accessible (provided you have created an account on each region) except paid services like ps1 games for psp (points are for each region only, us points for us and japan points for japan) demos trailers can be downloaded and played. no lock at all.
    to easily use this feature just create another profile, change language to japanese to access the japan online store, create account (japanese text reading/understanding required, but i got lucky) oh you need a valid japanese e-mail account (most japanese celfons have this built in.
    i have ridge racer 7 demo (jap) and motorstorm demo (us) and almost all downloads they both offer.
    i have virtually NO use to Virtual Console (Wii) and PS1onPSP (PS3/PSP) because i do my retro gaming on the PC, i have USB-PS2 adaptor, and emulators and save/backed-up all my purchased games on DVD/HD. i would rather buy a new super-awesome-spectacular-latest PS3/Wii/X360 game than pay again on games i haved purchased before.

  • oops you can buy ps1 games for psp from anywhere provided you have visa/mastercard credit. but i dont know if it will play properly on your psp. but in theory it should also work because the psp is not region locked too like the ps3, and the ps1 games are now modifed to play on psp, so maybe its not region locked also.

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  • Been watching “tv” via iplayer on my Wii since I got home, and am posting this from it too.