Nintendo Justifies 3DS Region Locking

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If you’ve been a regular reader, you’ll know that I’m terribly, terribly excited for Nintendo’s 3DS. As keen as I am, the confirmation that the device will employ region locking has dampened my enthusiasm somewhat. The lack of regional restrictions on handheld gaming systems has been a boon for travellers, accustomed to purchasing new and interesting games on their travels.

This isn’t the first Nintendo handheld to limit where customers can buy their handheld games from; The DSi (and XL) placed similar restrictions on DSi exclusive games, of which there were thankfully few. The reason for the unfortunate locking appears to have something to do with the online nature of the devices.

"There are a number of different factors that come into it," Nintendo UK boss David Yarnton explained. "Part of it is, when you’re looking at the software and the different areas, what additional features are included that may not necessarily be available in other territories.

"For example, we might have one territory where there’s downloadable content that’s not necessarily either suitable or we don’t have the means to do it in another territory. So therefore it may not be compatible.”

"The other thing is, if we look at it at on a regional basis, we have to be very conscious of – the customer may not really care about this, but different territories have different ratings. We’re very conscious of making sure we tow the line as far as government goes there. In Europe we’ve got PEGI. In Australia there’s a different rating. America’s got a different rating. Japan’s a different rating.”

So yes, this does unfortunately (as Miklós pointed out earlier) dash the hopes of those of you who’d planned to pick up a 3DS in the US for cheap  unless you plan on importing all your games.

Source : Eurogamer

Last Updated: January 20, 2011

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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