There was a time—let’s call it “three weeks ago”—when all seemed right with the world. Nintendo had revealed date and pricing on its Wii console and details were flying fast and furious. Among them came
the news that the Wii would not suffer from region-encoding. That news was soon
debunked by Nintendo, however, to the disappointment of Japanese-game-importing consumers everywhere.
Today brings an additional blow to the international freedom of gamers everywhere. Not only will Wii games be region-encoded, but it seems
games downloaded from Nintendo via the Wii’s Virtual Console will
be locked to specific regions
. Likewise, GameCube games played via the Wii will also respect region-encoding.
The Internet was supposed to usher an age of global connectivity and interchange, but so far it seems like it’s becoming more divisive instead, turning the world’s regions into electronic ghettoes.