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Nintendo Japan’s tech support says the 3DS will be region-locked

Sections: 3DS, Developers, Game-Companies, Gaming News, Handhelds, Publishers

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3DS colorsThe party might be over people. Even though the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance and DS were all region-free systems, it looks like the 3DS is not. A Korean gamer sent a letter to Nintendo Japan’s tech support to ask if the 3DS would be region-free, and received an email back stating that the system’s games would have region codes. The response was subsequently translated and posted to Ruliweb, and then translated again and posted on NeoGAF

Here's what this means for you. If you buy a 3DS in say, the US, you can only play 3DS games from the US. If you decide there's a 3DS game only released in Japan or Europe and you want it, because it's never going to be released in North America, you can't have it. Well, you could have it and buy it, but you wouldn’t be able to play it in the system you own. You’d have to import a Japanese or European 3DS to play it.

Nintendo has not issued an official statement confirming the region-free or region-locked 3DS status, aside from the Nintendo Japan tech support letter already issued. Odds are, it’s real. Both the DSi and DSi XL were region-locked, after all. Each could only play DSi-enhanced games from the same region. There haven’t that many DSi-enhanced games released though, so it wasn’t that big a deal. For many people, it just meant not importing Pokemon Black and White and waiting for its release in their region. At least gamers should take some comfort in knowing that it’s very likely that DS games from all regions will work in the 3DS, since the DSi and DSi XL play DS games from all regions.

Well, there goes my desire to buy a 3DS. Seriously, what a stupid move. Region-locking a system doesn’t make sense anymore. It just keeps gamers from buying and enjoying games that may never be brought to the region they live in. Imagine what this does to European, Australian and Korean gamers. Those regions don’t receive as many game releases and sometimes, by the time they do get a game, it’s years after the Japanese and North American release.

Read [Ruliweb (Korean)] Via [NeoGAF] Also Read [Kotaku] Also Read [CVG]

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