One of the coolest new features of the next generation of consoles is that they will be region free. There was a time, long ago, where I’d read gaming magazines that would have a section about Japanese releases. Many of these games never made it stateside such as the Playstation 2 Berserk game, based on the hyper violent anime and manga series. In other cases, it was beloved games we did get, but they were… different in Japan. For example, Castlevania Symphony of the Night had more blood in Japan. For many, the only way to play these awesome video games was through a boot disc that would bypass your console’s region protection or to physically modify the console hardware. Wonderfully, the Playstation 4 and Xbox One will both be region free.
What does this mean?
Well, most important to me, it means I can finally play Gundam games. To others it offers a plethora of JRPGs, shootemups, and unusual action games. Dating sims… bus driving sims. Time will only tell what Japan will offer the next generation. On the flip side, it also means that Japanese players will be able to play US games. And finally, European gamers can get in on the fun at the same time as the rest of the world.
There are still many unanswered questions though. For example, will regional releases still be necessary? How will country specific rating systems work?
Regardless, I am quite excited to see the games that come out for the next gen, and I am especially excited knowing that I will not be restricted to what games I can play because of the country I live in. This gamer in his late 20’s is excited to be able to buy $80 import games.
What do you think will be cool about region free consoles?