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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.