I’ve been waiting for the gift feature to go live to I could try an experiment. I wanted to see if it was possible to send a Japanese virtual console game to a US Wii. If this was successful, it could be a nifty trick for gamers to get their hands on digital imports. My hypothesis was it wouldn’t work and Nintendo would region lock the virtual console games. But why not try it, right?
I logged on my Japanese Wii to send Gradius II, a Japanese virtual console game, over to my US Wii. After a few seconds of waiting a message came up explaining that the user I was sending the gift to (i.e. me) could not receive it because they are in a different region. Maybe this didn’t work because there isn’t a US equivalent for Gradius II. To be sure, I turned on my US Wii and tried to send a game that was available in the Japanese Virtual Console shop. I picked the Legend of Zelda and the gift didn’t go through either.
The news is predictable, but it’s still disappointing. Nintendo preemptively plugged up a potentially awesome loophole.