Expect region locks on the new Nintendo 3DS

2 min read


Nintendo unveiled a new 3DS last week, much to the delight of Geoff who just can’t stop licking his screen when he sees it. While the new design brings some necessary upgrades, I can’t help but feel that maybe Nintendo are doing yet another revision simply because they know the new handheld will sell. The original 3DS only came out 3 years ago, which feels just like yesterday to be honest. Anyways, just like their previous devices, Nintendo have opted to region lock the new 3DS.

The device will be available in Japan later this year, but only hit our territory sometime next year. What the region lock means is that you can kiss your importing dreams goodbye. I know some people like to get the jump, bringing in goods from overseas to fulfil their gaming needs as early as possible instead of having to wait for the local launch.

It’s not just them though. There are aliens people who can speak multiple languages, and they like to import foreign games because there is no localisation and thus no official release in the West. Importing gives them access to a whole new library of unique games to choose from basically.

Region locking isn’t new to Nintendo. Gamers were really hoping that this new console would break from tradition. Last year sometime, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata gave some reasoning as to why they lock their devices (via Gamespot)

“From some people’s perspective, it might seem like a kind of restriction. However, we hope people can appreciate the fact that we’re selling our products worldwide. There are many different regions around the world, and each region has its own cultural acceptance and legal restrictions, as well as different age ratings. There are always things that we’re required to do in each different region, which may go counter to the idea that players around the world want the freedom to play whatever they want.

I hope that game fans can understand that the industry isn’t doing this solely out of business ego. There are some reasons behind it.”

While I do genuinely love them, I do think Nintendo are missing out a little here. At least easterners have the option of importing Playstation and Xbox games if they want, as those consoles are completely region free. What do you think? Were you hoping to import a new 3DS early?

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Last Updated: September 4, 2014

Matthew Figueira

Defence of the Ancients? More like Defence of the cabbages! Have you seen my head? I look like a Merino Sheep on pole. NO SHANGE only SHAPPIES! :D

  • Spaffy

    Wouldn’t the same then be applicable to consoles etc?

    • hairyknees

      The Wii U is also console locked as far as I know. PS4 and X1 are region free.

  • Brady miaau

    Is region locking not the 1990’s thing?

    Is more expensive to have different product lines, there must be a good financial reason

  • CAE9872

    Very archaic move bu Nintendo – I get the reasons to some (small) degree. But in an age where gamers want to play what they want to play this seems a little stuck in the past.

    No doubt Umar ain’t going to be happy – no more weird JRPGs; unless he imports the entire thing!

    • Hammersteyn

      I agree buuuuuuuu Nintendo

      • CAE9872

        What you on about – there was NO mistake…promise!

        • Hammersteyn


  • Viking Of Science

    all i can hear is Mother 4 Confirmed, Japan only exclusive….

  • Kensei Seraph

    Maybe it’s to encourage people to buy 1 for each region?

    My biggest issue with this is that if I go to the US the 3DS and it’s games are much cheaper there than they are here, but then when I get home I can’t play any games I purchase locally (and the charger needs an adapter).

  • Sir Rants A Lot: On Pandora

    Eish. Not a good move.

  • Wyzak

    Never knew the 3DS was region locked. It hasn’t affected me at all, and I have bought games overseas.

  • Sk3tz0

    Reason they Region lock their games is.. the West aint truely ready for the fucked up games we are playing right now.

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