There is spot of bad news going around for fans of the upcoming Nintendo 3DS. Apparently that console will feature a region lock associated with the cartridges and the console itself, similar to the system used in DVD players. This means that if the console’s region and the game region do not match, you won’t be able to play the game.
A limited form of region locking is already in use in the DSi and DSi XL console, though it’s mainly for DSiWare and DSi-enhanced titles only. The locking is probably an attempt to protect companies that have signed region-specific release deals with Nintendo. A correspondence between a customer and Nintendo support staff apparently stated:
“There are no Region codes in DS and DS Lite, but DSi, DSi [XL], and 3DS have region codes. The region codes are installed in each game and the 3DS itself. … You can’t play if the region codes are different.
For example, if you play a Korean 3DS game with a Japanese 3DS system (or vice versa), you won’t be able to play at all.”
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