3DS will likely be region locked

The DS and DS Lite are not region locked, but the DSi and DSi XL are, and it appears that the 3DS will also be restricted by geopolitical boundaries. A user support e-mail from Nintendo, which was translated by a poster on NeoGAF, states clearly that 3DS units will use region codes.

We attempted to sway Nintendo by blasting U2's One outside its North American headquarters in Redmond, Washington, and thought we nearly had them with: "One love, one blood, one life, you got to do what you should. / One life with each other - sisters, brothers."

Reggie Fils-Aime, who stepped onto the roof to confront us, may have shed a tear, but from our vantage point in the parking lot it was impossible to tell if the glint on the side of his face was raw, Bono-induced emotion or just bead of sweat. Either way, it quickly became clear that our assault had been unsuccessful. Nintendo counter-blasted a two-hour loop of the line "We're one, but we're not the same." Reggie then asked, speaking through a bullhorn, if Nintendo had "disappointed or left a bad taste in our mouths" and if it will be "easier on us now that we got someone to blame." We fled the parking lot playing With or Without You.

Import and homebrew fans are obviously upset by the news (hey, we tried to help... in our imaginary scenario), but it shouldn't shock anyone that Nintendo is sticking to hardware-regulated regional exclusion. It'll be hacked in a week, anyway.

Note that Nintendo hasn't officially announced region locking, so it's still technically possible that the e-mail is a forgery. Just very unlikely.

Jan 11, 2011

[Source: NeoGAF]



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  • laurenhiya21 - January 13, 2011 8:56 a.m.

    i don't see a point of doing this at all it will just make a bunch of people hack into it and play overseas games but then again, i don't know too much on the inner workings of a ds, so i don't know if making it un-region locked does anything else to the ds or not... *shrugg*
  • LTS - January 12, 2011 1:54 p.m.

    This makes me love my Ps3 that much more.
  • Shinn - January 12, 2011 8:56 a.m.

    I only own a ds lite because I picked one up when I was last in Japan. I also got a few games including the Japan exclusive Gundam 00 game. Another incident of a company alienating it's audience and pushing more people towards piracy.
  • BlakeC90 - January 12, 2011 4:17 a.m.

    Yeah, the DSi isn't really region locked... and the way the author wrote it he DEFINITELY implied that he was talking about cartridges. Of course, download 'region locking' makes sense, cuz it would be annoying having to sift through all the different language games (although it'd be nice to get some of the japanese dsiware games that have come out). Anyways, don't worry, i'd bet money that imports will work on the 3ds
  • The_Tingler - January 12, 2011 3:07 a.m.

    I hope it's only DSiWare too. This especially sucks for European DS users like myself, as US Nintendo games often come out earlier and cheaper than the PAL versions. I've got many US imported DS games and now I'm terrified I won't be able to play them. As for what Nintendo stands to lose by this, the reason all handhelds are region-free is simple: they're travel devices, and if someone brings their handheld to another country on holiday, it's very likely they'll want to buy new games for it. Simple. Unfortunately with the short battery life and region-locked games, the 3DS is most definitely NOT a travel system - at least not a long-range one.
  • zonic505 - January 12, 2011 1:38 a.m.

    Technically, the DSi was only region locked when it came to DSiWare (which I'm sure will be the same for 3DSware games & the Virtual Console), which MIGHT be what they're talking about, & when a game took advantage of the DSi camera. An US DSi played JPN just fine (I've imported 3 JPN DS games). Hopefully, they're just referring to the downloadable games & not the physical ones...
  • dphoenix192 - January 12, 2011 1:05 a.m.

    I had already thought they had confirmed this earlier, saying something on the lines of "delivering content tailored for your region"(significantly paraphrased and possibility taken out of context).
  • NappyAfro - January 12, 2011 12:12 a.m.

    God I hope not. I'm one who actually DOES import games and movies to play. I really don't understand region locking, especially for downloadable content. If I wanna spend money on something, you'd think the people providing it would be more than happy to take it, regardless of currency.
  • EnigmaSpirit - January 12, 2011 12:02 a.m.

    It doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It is a mobile device, and people will take it on planes across seas, and alot of people want to import Japan exclusives. I don't see the point of it, and really, it will be hacked almost the day it comes out. Why cripple a system for the sake of buying 5 minutes against piracy?
  • Robusken - January 11, 2011 11:43 p.m.

    Sorta assumed this would happen, then again I've never ordered a game from Japan so it dosn't concern me much. Tyler you need your own news show.
  • lovinmyps3 - January 11, 2011 11:33 p.m.

    Bono should have been there in person.
  • TheHouseofQuark - January 11, 2011 11:30 p.m.

  • Kitsuta - January 11, 2011 11:26 p.m.

    Best version of this story ever.
  • 93bleach - January 11, 2011 11:22 p.m.

    Um...I thought it was assumed that they would be using region locking considering they have done it with the last two iterations of the DS. So its hard to understand why this is news to anyone...Im glad that they at least pointed that out here...I really don't care one way or the's their system...they can make it how they want...if I want to play a japanese game cart i'll just have to buy a japanese 3ds...
  • QWERTYCommander - January 11, 2011 11:09 p.m.

  • QWERTYCommander - January 11, 2011 11:08 p.m.

  • QWERTYCommander - January 11, 2011 11:08 p.m.

    Not that I import games, but why does Nintendo have to do this? There's really no point besides causing frustration.
  • GamesRadarTylerWilde - January 11, 2011 11:03 p.m.

    @bobbybroccoli It's not about multiplayer, it's about playing games imported from and exclusively published in Japan or elsewhere.
  • MitchyJay - January 11, 2011 11:02 p.m.

    Mr. Wilde, you can make the most sleep inducing stories absolutely hilarious.
  • bobbybroccoli - January 11, 2011 11:01 p.m.

    Why does this matter again? I'm only going to be playing with people in the same room anyways.

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