Now that Microsoft has bowed to consumer demand and removed its restrictive DRM on Xbox One, the Wii U has become the most conservatively positioned console of the next generation with regards to its region locking. Now certain groups are railing against what is seen as an archaic restriction. But according to Satoru Iwata, Nintendo has its reasons for protecting that particular status quo.
"From some people’s perspective, it might seem like a kind of restriction," said Iwata, speaking to IGN. "However, we hope people can appreciate the fact that we’re selling our products worldwide. There are many different regions around the world, and each region has its own cultural acceptance and legal restrictions, as well as different age ratings. There are always things that we’re required to do in each different region, which may go counter to the idea that players around the world want the freedom to play whatever they want."
Nintendo has typically been conservative in every aspect of its business, particularly with brand positioning. It's also well known for stubbornly pursuing its own dogged path in the face of all opposition. So I'd wager we won't see a change of heart any time soon.
I hope I'm wrong, especially with regards to the handheld space. One of the major reason I, and many others, own a handheld is for travel. I frequently take my 3DS overseas and not being able to buy games whilst I am overseas seems needlessly restrictive and bad for business.