After debuting the Nintendo DSi at its conference in Japan last week, Nintendo has clarified some issues regarding the handheld’s compatibilities across different regions. Apparently the gaming features of the DSi will be region-specific whereas the web browsing feature is not.
Talking to CVG, a Nintendo rep said games released on the DSi will be locked to the region in which it is released. For example, any game you purchase from retail or download in Japan will not work on DSi units that are purchased in North America.
Although DSi games will be made specifically for the DSi, regular DS games will still be playable on any DSi regardless of the region it came from. The web browsing mechanic installed on the DSi can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
The reason for locking the DSi to regions is so that Nintendo can offer services to specific areas and to adhere to certain parental control age limits which differ from continent to continent.