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Nintendo: 3DS May Have Region-locked Software

"Nintendo 3DS hardware is available in three versions: Japanese, American and European/Australian," Nintendo told VG247 in a statement. "Nintendo has developed different versions of Nintendo 3DS hardware to take into account different languages, age rating requirements and parental control functionality as well as to ensure compliance with local laws in each region," the company continued, before adding, "Nintendo 3DS also offers network services specifically tailored for each region."

So that’s the hardware, but what about the games? If I get my hands on a Japanese title, can I play it in my North American 3DS? Maybe, maybe not.

"Additionally we want to ensure the best possible gaming experience for our users and there is the possibility that Nintendo 3DS software sold in one region will not function properly when running on Nintendo 3DS hardware sold in another."

The 3DS is launching in Japan at the end of February and will hit U.S. and European shelves on March 27, and 25, respectively.

  • adamboy64
    Yes, Region locking will just further encourage hacking/homebrew (and hence, unfortunately - piracy).

    A bit disappointing as there's a few 3DS games that are unlikely to leave Japan that I won't be able to play.
    Reply
  • ikefu
    I would assume that this must be either some attempt at region locking piracy or because they realize that some regions are going to be paying a lot more (*cough* 20% European VAT *cough*) and they don't want them importing system in mass from the US to skip around it.

    FYI, if you ever hear the word VAT from a politician here in the US make sure you immediately call them out for being retarded. Last thing we want is the government jacking the price of everything by 20% and trying to hide it by adding it to the manufacturer and not at the cash register.
    Reply
  • icepick314
    "Additionally we want to ensure the best possible gaming experience for our users and there is the possibility that Nintendo 3DS software sold in one region will not function properly when running on Nintendo 3DS hardware sold in another."

    tell me how locking out games for the users is "the best possible gaming experience"?
    Reply
  • alidan
    icepick314"Additionally we want to ensure the best possible gaming experience for our users and there is the possibility that Nintendo 3DS software sold in one region will not function properly when running on Nintendo 3DS hardware sold in another."tell me how locking out games for the users is "the best possible gaming experience"?
    they have to by a ds from that region, which gives them more money. or they are encurageing us to pirate, because i believe real time saves are possible with the newest hack ds cards, which does give a better experience.
    Reply
  • Tmanishere
    Nintendo has developed different versions of Nintendo 3DS hardware to take into account different languages, age rating requirements and parental control functionality as well as to ensure compliance with local laws in each region

    Okay, I might need someone to elaborate on this. Couldn't this be fixed with a simple firmware upgrade for each region?
    Reply
  • house70
    Region-locking is only another form of DRM restriction. Frak that, that's why my DVD player is region-free.
    Reply
  • rhino13
    Errr... when they said that the 3DS was going to have region codes what did you think they meant?
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    just another stimulus for hackers.
    Reply
  • eddieroolz
    Region-locking already prevented me from playing all sorts of Japanese games on my PS2 years ago, and I won't support a company that enforces it.

    Although from what I hear 3DS preorders were so massive in number that Amazon Japan crashed temporarily.
    Reply
  • doped
    special hardware and region locking is a step back :( just as we saw with piss-poor PAL conversions through the last couple of decades. Internet opened up for that information, and ppl stuck with pal ports feel really cheated(I at least do!). PLZ don't go back to that. Yes i can see how it would hinder piracy for 5mins longer or something, until they crack the corresponding system in each region, but it's just a PAIN IN THE ASS for legitimate users. plz don't FORCE me to pirate!
    Reply