After tactfully cornering Nintendo's VP of Marketing at their NYC event, Joel Johnson from Wired News was able to extract a rather valuable tidbit of information that will likely please gamers all across the world. Perrin Kaplan casually confirmed that all first-party Wii games will be free of draconian region locks, thus allowing them to run on a Wii system purchased from Japan, Europe, America and everything in-between. The same doesn't hold true for third-party games yet, but one can only hope they follow the glorious example and do away with an annoying system that has long since been dropped in handheld platforms.
If you can surmount the language barrier, feel free to gleefully bring Nintendo's next turnbased roommate adventure Pokemon dating card RPG to America, even if they won't.
[Update 1: Gamesindustry.biz reports that Nintendo UK says the Wii is region-locked. This is contrary to Perrin Kaplan's statements, though her exact comments may have been misinterpreted to begin with. It's possible that Kaplan implied first-party games would specifically be region-free -- which is not the same thing as saying the console is region-free. After all, one can play region-free DVDs on a region-locked DVD player. Not that the Wii can play DVDs anymore...]
[Update 2: It was too good to be true.]
First-party Wii games will be region-free [update 2]
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