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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Nintendo Switch Ends Region Locking; President Trump Begins It

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Going from region-locked games to region-locked people.

One topic not covered in KoopaTV's 1,000+ article history — and just because I don't care about it — is the subject of region-locking. Did you watch the Nintendo Switch Presentation from three weeks ago? They had a line about region-locking no longer being a Nintendo policy starting with the Nintendo Switch, which apparently pleased some people out there.

Nintendo has been region-locking their consoles for a while now, basically meaning that Americans can't play Japanese games imported from Japan on their American systems. Why anyone would want to do this to begin with is beyond me, because I'm not into playing games in foreign languages. I guess the only people who could possibly benefit from the removal of region-locking are Europeans? I dunno, you can tell me what benefits this actually has for the Nintendo Switch.

While Nintendo is liberalising the export of games, the United States of America's new president, President Donald John Trump, is restricting the export of terrorists. More specifically, he signed Executive Order 13769, or Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States. This puts a temporary (few month) ban on nationals of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen entering the United States — until the Trump administration can figure out how to best set-up their vetting processes.

So far, so good. After all, who wants people from Iran coming in? They're monsters who ban Pokémon GO and want to nuke America. Well, the problem is that the Executive Order seems to not have been written properly, and there is a lot of confusion about it.

Apparently, no one really knew how to implement the order. See, when presidents sign these things, they're supposed to give guidance to the people who actually carry it out. It seems that the guidance did not occur, leaving people at airports and other officials not really knowing what to do. At first, they even barred green-carders from coming in.

President Donald John Trump defended the rush-to-action with this statement:

President Donald Trump a lot of bad dudes save the president tweet immigration executive order ban game meme
Quote source: The president's Twitter.
Everything else: Bad Dudes vs. DragonNinja.
(They're dudes if they're from the Middle East, and hombres if they're from Mexico.)

Personally, I understand why President Donald John Trump is doing what he's doing. He knows EXACTLY what he's doing. He's basically fulfilling a campaign promise every day, causing liberals to hyperventilate and go on constant protests. This means that people forget what happened the day before and stop talking about it. With enough high blood pressure, the president's detractors may even begin having heart attacks that won't be covered because the Republicans are doing away with the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)!

President Donald John Trump also made a bunch of promises that he specifically wanted in his First 100 Days, though he basically put all of his promises of his campaign in this 100-day period, not realising that he actually has 1,461 days to do things. You can see his progress using this Track Trump site. I don't think anyone would mind if he took his time to do things and do them correctly: Blitzkrieg action is great for confounding the media and terrifying liberals, but it's not good if you're actually trying to govern a country.

To tie this back to gaming, Super Smash Bros. For Wii U professional Mr. R is a dual-citizen of Iran and the Netherlands. The way the Super Smash Bros. competitive scene works is that the majority of money-paying tournaments and prestige is found in the United States of America, so Europeans and Japanese people frequently travel to America (on visas) to play those tournaments. Their Power Rankings and financial sponsorships are based off their performance. Unfortunately for Mr. R, the ban affects him (possibly? Again, no one really knows), and he's worried he won't be able to attend EVO 2017 (and tournaments leading up to it, which will directly impact his financials and skills). He contacted his embassy in the Netherlands (he doesn't actually go to Iran, I guess? I mean, why would anyone?) and they gave him this response:

HOWEVER, new information just came out from the government saying that if he uses his Netherlands passport, he'll be able to enter as a dual-citizen! (Because the Netherlands is a-okay in President Donald John Trump's book.)

Mr. R #FreeRamin Japan Executive Order ban Iran dual citizens Donald Trump Super Smash Bros. Wii U anime plot tweets
Mr. R is confused by the Executive Order, and has decided to “go to Japan for a few months to train there [...] for anime plot purposes.”

Mr. R is instead making plans to go to Japan, because he has a professional life as an eSports competitor to work out, and it appears that President Donald John Trump and his administration are making things up as they go along. While the president is region-locking America from the world, Europe (Netherlands) and Japan are still region-free.

Here's hoping Nintendo is not making things up as they go along, too.

The ban could possibly be over by the time EVO 2017 begins, or it could be extended and even expanded to more countries. Who knows how many more headlines the President Donald John Trump administration will make between this story and when this article is published? KoopaTV won't keep you up to date on EVERYTHING, so try to figure that out for yourself. Meanwhile, if you can explain the appeal of a region-free Nintendo Switch, please try to do so in the comments.


  1. I imported the sequel to Hotel Dusk, Last Window, from the U.K. a long time ago because the DS was region free.

    1. ...So it looks like in that case, Last Window was only brought to Europe and Japan 'cause its developer went bankrupt right after it released.

      That seems to be one of the very few instances of Americans benefiting from region-free policies from Europe, 'cause I'm under the impression North America+Japan only is much more common than Europe+Japan only.

  2. The region-free aspect of the Switch only opens up more options for the consumers. I cannot think of anything negative associated with it.

    1. Companies may decide to just forgo localisation entirely on the assumption you could just import it from somewhere. I dunno.

      There's obvious benefits to games being localised!


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