Requiring a constant Internet connection to play an offline game, and paying to unlock on disk content is disrespectful to gamers. These are dirty tactics by publishersâ€”but what about the console manufactures? Well, thereâ€™s one thing that Nintendo and Microsoft do that shows a severe lack of respect to everyone that buys their consoles. That leaves Sony, hereâ€™s one thing theyâ€™ve done with the PS3, PSP, and PS Vita that shows they respect their customers.
That one thing is making consoles region free. This is an important, but often overlooked feature. Region locking sucks because itâ€™s like you donâ€™t fully own the console. If you have a legit copy of a game then it should work, no matter what country itâ€™s from.
There are tons of games that never get localized; it makes no sense to punish gamers by denying them the opportunity to import. Take Xenoblade Chroniclesfor example, it just launched in Europe, but Nintendo has no plans to release it in the states. If this was a PS3 game you could just import and be done with it, but since the Wii is locked down things arenâ€™t so simple. You can still play Xenoblade Chronicles on your non-PAL Wii, as long as youâ€™re willing to void your warranty.
In defense of Microsoft & the Xbox 360, the games donâ€™t have to be locked. The publisher makes that callâ€”but Microsoft shouldnâ€™t even give them the option. I understand the reasons behind locking down a console, but import sales arenâ€™t going to hurt local ones, because the average gamer wonâ€™t go through the trouble of importing.
Hopefully Sony keeps the PS4 region free and Nintendo and Microsoft follow with their new consoles. The trend should have died last generation, having a truly world-wide console is better than having a locked down one. Even if you never plan on importing any games you should want this.