Nintendo of America’s vice president of marketing, Perrin Kaplan, has officially confirmed that first party games for the Wii will be region free. Kaplan spoke with Wired News to make this revelation. So what? Up until now, traditional games for consoles have only been playable in their native locales. This meant that games, which only came out in Japan, could only be played on a Japanese version of a console.

Kaplan touched on third party games by saying that the decision to lock a game would be up to the developer’s discretion. This is huge news for import fans. Now you’ll be able to play the craziest Japanese game without any fuss, like you can do with the DS. There was speculation on this happening, but many brought up the difficulty of dealing with the PAL/NTSC formats. Looks like Nintendo figured that all out.

Kaplan also answered a few questions that I had raised in the first part of my 3 part series on the online console battle. She confirmed that downloaded Virtual Console games would be tied to a users account and downloaded. However, if you were to use your Wii as a pizza stone in an 800-degree oven, you could still go buy a brand new console and get access to your games. Kaplan also said there are no plans for an external hard drive, but there is room for consideration in the future. For now, Wii will utilize flash memory. I’m sure I won’t be the only person to try and hook up an external hard drive via USB to my Wii.

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