Fans have been asking Nintendo to do away with region-locking for years, but so far Nintendo has stood by the policy. Nintendo games can only be played on a console that was purchased in the same region, making it impossible to play imported games.
However, this might not be the case with future products. CEO Satoru Iwata just wrapped up a Q&A session with investors in Japan, and parts of it have been translated by reliable sources. According to Iwata, Nintendo is investigating the possibility of dropping region-locking with NX.
“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.”
— Satoru Iwata
It sounds like Nintendo is trying to make NX a region-free console, but there are some obstacles in the way. Hopefully the team is able to overcome these problems.