Will a US region Nintendo Wii work in Europe?
December 3, 2006 3:12 AM   Subscribe

Can I use a US version Nintendo Wii in Ireland?

So I have an opportunity to have somone buy a Wii in the US this week and bring it back here to Ireland for me; I don't really understand the whole region locking thing, so answer me this:

1. Will I be able to use the console in Ireland?
2. Will I be able to use the console but only use US games?
3. If not, is there a workaround so that I can use the console here?
posted by fintanc to Technology (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
1. Probably, if you use a power converter (relatively easy) and hook it up to a TV which accepts NTSC signals (also relatively easy in Europe, as I understand it).

2. Yes. As I understand it, the Wii is region-coded.

3. N/A.
posted by neckro23 at 3:19 AM on December 3, 2006

1. Also, the Wii uses a very small amount of power, like a DVD player, so one of the small inline stepdown power converters (as opposed to the big black 300W box you need for the Xbox 360) will do.

2. And you'll save a lot of money if you buy the games import from a site like play-asia.com
posted by DefendBrooklyn at 6:03 AM on December 3, 2006

Response by poster: Hmm.

So the only thing I should really worry about here is the PAL / NTSC problem; how does this work, do most Tvs handle both?
posted by fintanc at 6:20 AM on December 3, 2006

The NTSC/PAL issue is almost certainly not a problem. Most tvs have accepted both for quite a while now.

Also, PAL and NTSC are colour encoding systems. If you use an RGB scart cable, then the colour is encoded in RGB anyway, so it doesn't matter if NTSC or PAL is selected. This will give you a better picture quality too!

The only other issue is that PAL runs at 50Hz and NTSC at 60Hz, but again this is unlikely to be a problem for modern tvs.
posted by JDT at 6:41 AM on December 3, 2006

Quite often electronic appliances have a universal power transformer and can automatically detect which voltage is going in and can then operate accordingly. I can't find any of the wii's specs concerning this online but is usually found on the back near where the power cable connects from the wall. If it says 110-220 Volts, 50∼60Hz, it should work as long as you have the proper plug adapter.
posted by chillmost at 7:35 AM on December 3, 2006

Hmm, everything I've read says the Wii and its games are NOT region encoded.
posted by mathowie at 8:33 AM on December 3, 2006

Response by poster: Mathowie: Wii will be region locked.

Regions are defined here as "Japan & U.S.A.", "Europe", and "Asia".
posted by fintanc at 8:47 AM on December 3, 2006

FWIW when I sat in line for the launch event here in NYC, I met an Irishman who had flown in solely to get a PS3 and a Wii. He's a gamer and a tech person, so I wouldn't expect him to get units that wouldn't work back in Ireland. /anecdote
posted by cyrusdogstar at 9:12 AM on December 3, 2006

Response by poster: So, from this thread, and elsewhere:

1. There should be no problems with power or NTSC/PAL.

2. I won't be able to run any games I buy over here in Ireland - I can only run games that I import.

posted by fintanc at 9:18 AM on December 3, 2006

posted by adrianhon at 10:18 AM on December 3, 2006

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