English speaking Asian gamers are getting screwed apparently.

#1 Posted by applet0n (654 posts) -

Despite some of the stuff I've read about Catherine critically, I am still dying to give it a try based on word of mouth and people like Patrick are saying about it. Besides it looks like one the most actually mature games around, and seems to deal with incredibly interesting themes (some of which I find pertain particularly close to my own life). 
 
Yet, as a Brit living in Hong Kong (in China, formerly a British colony), I've been unable to find a proper version that is both compatible with my Xbox 360 and in English. For almost all modern games that come out with mainstream appeal where I live, there are two NTSC-J releases (for Asian Xbox's): one for Japan, and one for other Asian territories (Korea, China etc). Now, I understand that Catherine is a niche title, and I respect that, but I really was hoping that I'd be able to pick up a copy to see it for myself. Yet the fact that the American version is region-locked (NTSC-U/C) is just a disappointment. Why on earth would Atlus USA (or whoever was behind the decision) do that? (Especially considering the PS3 version is region-free.) Was it because they were hoping for a European publisher to step in and offer a deal? If so, I pray that the PAL version be region-free. 
 
I do hope I'm not sounding too entitled. I love Atlus' games dearly and only wish to support them. But I do hope that there is a way for their fans who aren't in America or Japan, to pay for their game and give it a try. Is anyone else in the same boat, or am I alone on this? Also, does anyone know of a solution that might help me with this?

#2 Posted by Redbullet685 (6045 posts) -
@applet0n said:
  Also, does anyone know of a solution that might help me with this?
PS3. You know that, though.  I'm no help to you, sorry.
#3 Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG (4308 posts) -

you being racist son?  ok i typed that before i read your whole post.  anyways, this really sucks for you...  i mean considering the PS3 version is region free, i think you are entitled to complain but theres probably a dumb reason why they region-locked it

#4 Edited by wolf_blitzer85 (5260 posts) -

It's not Atlus that is region locking it on the 360. The hardware itself is what's keeping you from playing it. Play it on PS3 or get a 360 for the region you want. Remember if you get a UK 360, you'll probably need a converter (I might be wrong) because those run in PAL (59Hz) whereas an American 360 would probably work on it's own since the TV and console both share the NTSC (60Hz) signal.

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#5 Edited by BestUsernameEver (4825 posts) -

ps3 version is not region locked. -Seeming that you live in China and speak English, you should have thought about which system made sense for you.-

#6 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@wolf_blitzer85 said:

It's not Atlus that is region locking it on the 360. The hardware itself is what's keeping you from playing it. Play it on PS3 or get a 360 for the region you want. Remember if you get a UK 360, you'll probably need a converter (I might be wrong) because those run in PAL (59Hz) whereas an American 360 would probably work on it's own since the TV and console both share the NTSC (60Hz) signal.

Since the days of 720p HDTV Pal has been 60hz. And PAL used to be 50hz not 59.

#7 Posted by DystopiaX (5314 posts) -

It's your 360, not Atlus's decision. Also because the ps3 doesn't have region locking at all, which is why it doesn't have it. It's no one's intent to lock you out of a game. You just chose the wrong console for your situation.

#8 Edited by applet0n (654 posts) -
@wolf_blitzer85: That isn't actually true. Publishers make the decision on whether or not to region-lock 360 games. Plenty have been region-free. 
 
@the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG: My dear old Mum is Asian, how dare you :P 
But yeah, I'm pretty confused by the decision really, if nothing else. 
 
@DystopiaX: Not true, refer to my post above.
#9 Edited by Vinny_Says (5712 posts) -

I thought they ran stories about how Atlus was forced to release in NA due to demand, and now that they did... They can't please everyone...sorry.
 
 
Also what do you mean by English speaking Asians? You're a Brit living in Asia, you ain't Asian. Asians who speak English also speak their native language 90% of the time, especially if they're living in Asia, the NTSC-J version is fine for them. I doubt your situation applies to them, thus your post title is wrong.

#10 Edited by Doctorchimp (4076 posts) -

If you are going to be importing games from America you should have gotten a PS3. Yes plenty have been region-free on the 360...but you shouldn't base your decisions around that, take the sure thing next time instead of hoping that other people will make rational decisions.

#11 Edited by wolf_blitzer85 (5260 posts) -

@SeriouslyNow: Alright then thanks for the correction!

@applet0n: Lol okay I guess I completely missed the boat on that one. Well I hope you figure out a way to play the game. It's certainly one of my favorites. You could always learn Chinese!

Fuck 0 for 2. I'll just walk away.....

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#12 Edited by applet0n (654 posts) -
@wolf_blitzer85: Haha, thanks. Yeah, I hope a workaround comes along or something, I really want to try the game out. 
 
@blacklabeldomm: Well, the game isn't out in Chinese or Korean, only Japanese. So, anyone in Asia that isn't Japanese won't be able to play the game. 
That's all I meant.
#13 Posted by Doctorchimp (4076 posts) -
@wolf_blitzer85 said:

@SeriouslyNow: Alright then thanks for the correction!

@applet0n: Lol okay I guess I completely missed the boat on that one. Well I hope you figure out a way to play the game. It's certainly one of my favorites. You could always learn Chinese!

Fuck 0 for 2. I'll just walk away.....

No you're not.
 
If he was going to buy a PAL 360 he still needs a converter for the electricity. It just had nothing to do with hertz. So congrats.
#14 Posted by lavaman77 (567 posts) -
@Redbullet685 said:
@applet0n said:
  Also, does anyone know of a solution that might help me with this?
PS3. You know that, though.  I'm no help to you, sorry.
#15 Posted by Danteveli (1187 posts) -
: @Doctorchimp said:
@wolf_blitzer85 said:

@SeriouslyNow: Alright then thanks for the correction!

@applet0n: Lol okay I guess I completely missed the boat on that one. Well I hope you figure out a way to play the game. It's certainly one of my favorites. You could always learn Chinese!

Fuck 0 for 2. I'll just walk away.....

No you're not.  If he was going to buy a PAL 360 he still needs a converter for the electricity. It just had nothing to do with hertz. So congrats. 
No he does not. Only if he buys from UK. Most of EU has the same base as China and you don't need the converter unless you live in total village far from civilization.
#16 Posted by VanillaPlant (146 posts) -

@DystopiaX said:

It's your 360, not Atlus's decision. Also because the ps3 doesn't have region locking at all, which is why it doesn't have it. It's no one's intent to lock you out of a game. You just chose the wrong console for your situation.

Actually it is Atlus. There have been 360 games in the past which have NOT been region locked, such as Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Force, which came out in Japan last winter.

#17 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

all that console region locking bullshit is just sad.. when the hell are they gonna go universal like PCs ? 
 
I hope you manage to buy the game you want to play

#18 Posted by jkuc316 (981 posts) -

When you said English Speaking Asian Gamers, I thought you were Asian. Too bad...
 
Oh yeah, can't you change the region through Xbox Live? My 360-playing friends have mentioned something about that...

#19 Posted by MattyFTM (14393 posts) -

Region locking is generally done because of publishing deals. If it was region free, a lot of people might import it. If people import it, that reduces the potential market for a western release, because many of the people who wanted to play it already have, they probably won't buy it when it is released in their country. This reduces the potential profit from releasing it in other regions, and western publishers might not see the value in releasing the game.

It is less of an issue with Japanese releases of story driven games because the majority of people can't understand the language, but there is logic behind region locking. It does make sense in a lot of cases.

Moderator
#20 Edited by applet0n (654 posts) -
@MattyFTM: It does make sense in a lot of cases, that's true. But when you look at it from purely a consumer's point of view - our own understanding of the industry aside - it sucks that I can't pay money for the thing that I would like to experience. 
 
But hey, I trust Atlus to do the sensible thing. Hopefully the European version will be playable for chaps like me. 

@jkuc316: Haha, I'm a half and half, but I consider myself to be more on my Dad's side.  
Sadly that only works for XBL stuff (hence why the Bombsquad has accounts for other countries, so they can download Japanese only demos), it has no effect on the designated "region" of your hardware.
#21 Posted by MattyFTM (14393 posts) -

@applet0n said:

But hey, I trust Atlus to do the sensible thing. Hopefully the European version will be playable for chaps like me.

Probably won't be up to Atlus, but whoever is publishing it in the PAL regions. Atlus don't have a European publishing arm, so some relatively small publisher who's name escapes me is publishing it.

Moderator
#22 Posted by onan (1286 posts) -

@MattyFTM said:

Region locking is generally done because of publishing deals. If it was region free, a lot of people might import it. If people import it, that reduces the potential market for a western release, because many of the people who wanted to play it already have, they probably won't buy it when it is released in their country. This reduces the potential profit from releasing it in other regions, and western publishers might not see the value in releasing the game.

It is less of an issue with Japanese releases of story driven games because the majority of people can't understand the language, but there is logic behind region locking. It does make sense in a lot of cases.

This is true in a lot of cases, but lately I think economics has had a very large hand in it, especially with region locking NA releases. Between English having become an international language for business and the affluent worldwide, the drop in value of the US dollar, and especially the low price Americans pay for games in comparison to say, Japan (where games are regularly released for $80-100 USD (e.g., Gears of War 3 is retailing for 7140 yen, or about $93USD, and Batman: Arkham City will be 7980, or almost $104), it makes sense to region lock games from a business perspective and get the profits from each region at prices the customers there are willing to bear.

@applet0n Honestly, if you want to get the most out of this generation you really should import a US 360. Then you won't be locked out of anything. It's a small price to pay. It's not that Atlus is intending to screw you, but they're doing what's best for their bottom dollar. Realistically, if they had released a region-free Asia version, people would import that as they always do and save a ton from sites like Play-Asia, and that would very realistically eat into their customer base in the States where they expect to make the most money off of their English localization release. Sending discs to be pressed requires a lot of money, and the fewer versions they need to press, the less they waste (that's not even looking into what it would cost to put an Asian version into certification, MS probably has all versions tested independently). You just have to look around you to see just how big of a seller that version would be... the target demographic for the version you want is pretty much just you, and people looking to get a deal. This is a niche product in a niche market, you get what you get. It's a shame, but that's the reality.

On the bright side, with Games on Demand, if you get a US xbox, you won't even have to worry about importing fees, you can just download most full retail releases at cost.

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