30. Nov, 2006 17:32 (HKT)

Japanese Wii™ launch pre-roundup: First supply of consoles, games & accessories shipping - region encoding summary, images, videos & more

Around two week after the US launch, Japanese gamers are much looking forward to Saturday, December 2nd - the official Nintendo Wii™ street date in Japan. Distributors and wholesalers have started to receive supply during this week. Our first shipment of Japanese accessories has arrived yesterday; the first consoles and games have followed today. Time for us to play around with the Japanese system a little bit, test region compatibility issues and more.

This news post is intended to give a general overview of this week's software & accessory lineup as well as some other useful information for anyone intending to purchase a Japanese Wii™ system.

Japanese Hardware & Software Launch Lineup


Nintendo Wii (for Japanese games only) (White)JPN N/A
Wii Remote Control (White)JPN N/A
Wii Nunchuk Controller (White)JPN US$ 18.99
Wii Classic ControllerJPN N/A
Wii AC AdapterJPN US$ 33.99
Wii AV CableJPN N/A
Wii S-Video CableJPN US$ 49.99
Wii Component AV Cable [ W/O package ]JPN N/A
Wii SD Memory Card 512MBJPN N/A
Wii Points Prepaid Card (1000 Wii Points / for Japanese network only)JPN N/A
Wii Points Prepaid Card (3000 Wii Points / for Japanese network only)JPN N/A
Wii Points Prepaid Card (5000 Wii Points / for Japanese network only) + Wii Classic ControllerJPN N/A

Note: As forecasted by our suppliers, we are expecting shortage on Wii Remote Controls, Wii Component AV and Wii S-Video Cables. We estimate to have a better overview about what is in stock and what is on backorder by end of this week as some suppliers have not yet given full quantity reconfirmations as of now. As possible substitution for the Wii Remote Control, we recommend the Hajimete no Wii: Your First Step To Wii pack (which includes a free remote).

Please also note that the Wii D-Terminal AV Cable has been postponed to a yet to be confirmed date. Also the Wii LAN Adapter is not a release date accessory and is currently expected to be released within December.

Japanese Wii Points can only be redeemed on a Japanese network using a Japanese Wii™ console (see further below for more details).

Also in stock is limited supply of US version consoles & accessories:

Nintendo Wii (incl. Wii Sports)US N/A
Wii Remote Control (White)US US$ 56.99
Wii Nunchuk Controller (White)US N/A

The Nintendo Wii™ is region encoded. Japanese software only runs on Japanese consoles, while US software only plays back on US systems (read further below for more details).


Caduceus Z: 2-tsu no Chou Shittou / Trauma Center: Second OpinionJPN US$ 45.99
Crayon Shin-Chan: Saikyou Kazoku Kasukabe King WiiJPN US$ 73.99
ElebitsJPN US$ 64.99
Ennichi no TatsujinJPN US$ 49.90
Hajimete no Wii: Your First Step To Wii (w/ Remote)JPN N/A
KororinpaJPN US$ 47.90
Necro-NesiaJPN US$ 51.99
Odoru Made in WarioJPN US$ 46.99
Red SteelJPN US$ 19.99
SD Gundam: Scad HammersJPN US$ 39.99
Super Monkey Ball: Banana BlitzJPN US$ 71.99
Super Swing Golf PangyaJPN US$ 59.90
Tamagotchi no Pika Pika Daito-ryo-!JPN US$ 17.99
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight PrincessJPN US$ 69.99
Wii SportsJPN US$ 63.99
Wing IslandJPN US$ 16.99

Note: Most software releases have already arrived and are in stock. More supply is expected to arrive within the next 1-2 days. As it currently appears, there's no shortage on any software release. Please be reminded that some interesting titles are not among the launch lineup, such as Pokemon Battle Revolution and Bleach: Wii Shiraha Kirameku Rinbukyoku, which are both scheduled for a December 14th release.

  • Video Download: Odoru Made in Wario (3:46min)
  • Further Nintendo Wii™ preorders.
  • US Version Nintendo Wii™ software lineup.

    The Nintendo Wii™ is region encoded. Japanese software only runs on Japanese consoles, while US software only plays back on US systems (read further below for more details).

    Region encoding - Freeloader/Action Replay compatibility

    To make it short, Nintendo Wii™ consoles and software are region encoded. We have tested a large variety of games from different publishers on our systems and are confident to confirm that a full region lockout exists. This applies to Nintendo Wii™ as well as Gamecube™ software alike.

    Partially good news though for users that wish to play back import Gamecube™ games on their Wii™ system. Datel's Action Replay has been tested and allows playback of Japanese Gamecube™ games on a US Wii™ system. Though we have read reports about older Freeloader versions to be running as well, the current version (1.06B) has been tested by us and is not working. An updated version of the Freeloader is likely to appear but we will post an update as soon as it happens.

    Update (Dec 2nd): And it happened faster than we expected. We received a new shipment of Datel's Freeloader, which is confirmed to be compatible with the Nintendo Wii™ as well. All Freeloaders shipping from December 4th will be the new version, now also allowing import Gamecube™ game playback on the Wii™.

    Update (Dec 4th): Freeloader and Action Replay are only confirmed to work on US VERSION Wii™ systems. Both items failed to boot on the Japanese Version Wii™ console.

    Compatibility/Language Overview
    Japanese Wii™US Wii™
    Wii™ SoftwareNTSC/J only (Japan/Asia)NTSC/U/C only (USA/Canada)
    GameCube™ SoftwareNTSC/J only (Japan/Asia)NTSC/U/C only (USA/Canada)
    Use Freeloader for imports
    Language OptionJapanese onlyEnglish, French, Spanish

  • Video Download: Action Replay works on Wii™ (0:53min)
  • Video Download: Japanese Wii™ doesn't like US games (0:12min)
  • Video Download: US Wii™ doesn't like Japanese games (0:12min)

    Accessories compatibility

    As likely for video game consoles, there's no region protection on accessories among different release versions. We have tested US version controllers on our Japanese system (and vice versa) and have not encountered any problems so far. Please be reminded however that you have to press the connect button on the system and the controller when assigning a new Wii™ Remote to your system (see images below for details).

    For the first time since release of the Super Famicom™, the Nintendo Wii™ uses a different Multi AV cable standard. In other words, your Gamecube™, Nintendo64™ or even SNES/SFC cables won't work anymore.

    Also note that the Japanese Wii™ point cards are only suitable for the Japanese Wii™ network (check out next topic for more details).

    Virtual Console - Wii™ Points compatibility

    As a disclaimer, the Japanese Wii™ network is not yet accessible, so we haven't fully been able to test all functions on the Japanese Wii™ system yet. However from the information we have been able to gather so far, it appears that you can only access the specific network that your Wii™ console has been designed for.

    We have also tested Japanese version Wii™ Point Cards and can confirm that Japanese cards cannot be redeemed on a US Wii™ network.

    Update (Dec 2nd): We can verify that the Japanese Wii™ automatically only connects to the Japanese Wii™ network. If you wish to download Japanese version virtual console games, then the Japanese Wii™ will be the only way to go.

  • Video Download: No Japanese Wii™ codes on US network (0:08min)


    Unlike the PlayStation3™ - which is region free for PS3™ games, supports multilingual onscreen text and allows you to connect to any regional PlayStation™ network (providing you have a valid residential address in the selected territory), the Nintendo Wii™ is fully region encoded in terms of Wii™/Gamecube™/Virtual Console playback and does not support multilingual onscreen text.

    In other words, if you are considering purchasing a Japanese Wii™ system as substitution for a domestic system, Play-Asia.com recommends you to reconsider carefully as you will not be able to play domestic software releases. However if you are looking for a way to play unique Japanese Wii™ games (such as this week's released Odoru Made in Wario and Ennichi no Tatsujin or the upcoming Bleach: Wii Shiraha Kirameku Rinbukyoku) and want to take advantage of the Japanese Wii™ virtual console lineup, then a Japanese system will be the only way to go at the moment.

    Appendix - Image Gallery & Video Downloads

    Please use the right mouse button and click "save as" to store the videos to your hard drive.

  • Odoru Made in Wario (3:46min)
  • Action Replay works on Wii™ (0:53min)
  • Japanese Wii™ doesn't like US games (0:12min)
  • US Wii™ doesn't like Japanese games either (0:12min)
  • No Japanese Wii™ codes on US network (0:08min)

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