Hi everyone. For those of you who play a lot of video games, the words "region lock" ought to ring a few bells. For those who don't know, let me give a short explanation. Basically, different parts of the world are divided into different "regions," for example America is one region and Europe is a different one. For many game consoles and handheld gaming devices, a game produced in one region can not be used on a console of a different region, hence the expression "region lock."
This phenomenon could be very annoying for an avid gamer if a game that you really wanted to play wasn't available in your region. Even importing the game wouldn't help, unless you wanted to modify your console to play games of any region. I have done this myself, and while it wasn't too much of a hassle, it still felt so unnecessary to have to mess around with your console to make it do something it should have been able to do in the first place: Play some damn games! Luckily for me, however, the Playstation 3 and the Playstation Portable are not region-locked, which means you can put a game from anywhere in the world into your console, and play it without any problems. No more longing for games you can never have, just import and play! Lovely.
This got me thinking, now that regions aren't an obstacle any more (at least not for the consoles mentioned above), and with all consoles now having easy access to the internet, wouldn't it be possible to remove the annoyance of delayed game releases by simply releasing translation patches for foreign games online? Living in Europe teaches you early on to wait longer than most for a new game release. The biggest reason for this used to be the publishers having to reformat the game to suit the 50hz TV's of the EU region, and of course to translate the game content. But with most people owning a more modern TV that supports the refresh rates used in America and Japan, that reformatting is no longer necessary, so all that is needed is basically a translation. And if that can be released online, then everything would be that much smoother!
This is mostly just wishful thinking on my part, and I doubt it's ever going to happen. It doesn't bother me, though. If I may be smug for a few seconds, I must say that knowing Japanese sure opens up new possibilities when it comes to video games. A lot of really fun and interesting games are never released outside of Japan, and that's a darn shame. The region barrier may be gone, but the language barrier remains.
Until next time, have a good day!