Rumor: 3DS Won't Support Imports

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Rumor: 3DS Won't Support Imports

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An email believed to have come from Nintendo says you won't be able to play games from other countries on your 3DS.

Nintendo has announced that the 3DS will be available in Japan on February 26th, 2011, with a forthcoming release in other countries. For those of you who were considering jumping the gun and importing the handheld from the island nation and then buying games as they come out in your country, I have some bad news for you. An email alleged to have been sent by Nintendo support staff claims that both the 3DS and its game cartridges will have region codes on them, and if the codes do not match, the game will be unplayable. Nintendo handhelds used to have such region-locking but the company abandoned the practice for the DS and DS Lite only to bring it back for the DSi, DSi XL and now, apparently the 3DS.

"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," the email reportedly read. "You can't play if the region codes are different."

And just in case you need the situation spelled out for you, the email makes it clear as vodka: "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."

Keep in mind that the source of this email is unconfirmed and Nintendo has yet to officially state whether the 3DS will have such restrictions. Tiny Cartridge speculates that, if it proves true, the region-locking would satisfy publishers' needs to target specific audiences. One company might ink a deal to publish a game in a region like North America, while another company might handle publishing duties in, say, Australia, and locking software to regions will make this possible.

While the publishing deals that are region specific is certainly a big reason for such a plan for the 3DS, my bet is the rampant piracy of DS titles played a big role in Nintendo's decision to lock the 3DS. Region-locking won't end piracy, by any stretch, as I'm sure the codes can be hacked, but it sure doesn't hurt to make pirates jump through more code hoops.

Source: Tiny Cartridge

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Fine with me. I don't import games.

Except maybe Hotel Dusk 2...Need to do that soon.

Wasn't this confirmed several MONTHS ago? Because people have been saying it when discussing the 3DS all over the internet for quite some time now. Don't have any source on it being old news, but still, anyone else know if I'm right in saying that?

Ugh, why is the power button placed there? Honestly, where they put that, and the analog stick, I don't think I will be getting it.

Onyx Oblivion:
Fine with me. I don't import games.

Except maybe Hotel Dusk 2...Need to do that soon.

I believe the game you are thinking of is Last Window: Secret of Cape West. :P

But the region freeness was one of the reasons I wanted to get a 3DS :'(

Darn money and it's corrupting ways!

Well, I don't usually buy my games from India, so I think I'm good.....

Greg Tito:
Nintendo handhelds used to have such region-locking but the company abandoned the practice for the DS and DS Lite

Lies. The Game Boy line was region free.

I am upset. Certain games are too hard to come by if you don't act. I had to import TWEWY to get it. Same with Dragon Ball: Origins. While I enjoyed TWEWY more, I am still glad I got both and would be upset if I couldn't get them.

Calumon: But, Dragon Ball was awesome! D:

Umm, why!?

I assume that it has something to do with licensing. But this only decreases sales.

if this is true then that kinda sucks I hate waiting for certain games like the pokemon and kirby games to come out here in the uk(seriously there was a year Gap between the US and UK release date of KSSU) so I usually import them but its no deal breaker.

"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," the email reportedly read. "You can't play if the region codes are different."

Really? my DSi and DSi XL can play imports just fine well at least imports from America.

Chrono212:
But the region freeness was one of the reasons I wanted to get a 3DS :'(

Darn money and it's corrupting ways!

Same, i have a large stack of import ds games (american and japanese)
I mean many games do not even get released outside japan (even when they announce they will be).

edit : what is region bound on the dsi is the store. I do not mind if that is region bound as long as the games aren't.

Cuy'vul Dar:
Wasn't this confirmed several MONTHS ago? Because people have been saying it when discussing the 3DS all over the internet for quite some time now. Don't have any source on it being old news, but still, anyone else know if I'm right in saying that?

Nintendo people or people who want to pretend they are in the know?

OT: Rampant piracy in the face of them releasing games that cost about 5 cents to make but sell for €40. The bastards make money hand over fist, there is no doubt they will do anything to squeeze as much as they can out of the consumer. It wasn't that long ago they said it was going to cost X but since it seems to be popular we're charging a lot more... really it's your own fault for giving us good press.

This affects me in no way, have never imported games, and never will, if it will make publishers happy and keep games coming out I guess im all for it.

JediMB:

Greg Tito:
Nintendo handhelds used to have such region-locking but the company abandoned the practice for the DS and DS Lite

Lies. The Game Boy line was region free.

What he said. I remember getting my hands on the US Pokemon release months before it was available in the UK. While I'm against region locking, I can understand Nintendo doing what it can to avoid piracy. Won't stop it though.

What? Now people have one more reason to try to pirate the 3DS! Many people may want to hack their console just so they can disable the region lock. The "Gecko OS" for the Wii is an example.

I don't care. I only buy games that were localized in the United States.I have never ever ever bought a game elsewhere.

Well the price was already a good put off for me so the fact they're removing region free games completly unsells it...tough luck nintendo i would have bought one if it were half the price and had region free games like the ds, but you had to get greedy so you've lost a customer(then again im pretty sure nintendo europe would have unsold it for me even if it had the things i wanted with their "we hate you" attitude).

eh, I don't usually buy imports, except maybe with the yu-gi-oh world championship ones, from america. I don't get why I never see any british releases of the damn things.

This is why I kept my DS Lite. I hardly ever import games, but on the off-chance I do I'll have something to play it on.

Nintendo doesn't want me to play wacky Japanese games that involves touching little girls anymore D:

icyneesan:
Nintendo doesn't want me to play wacky Japanese games that involves touching little girls anymore D:

I know how you feel. I shall also miss the wackyness, along with the obscure JRPGs. Then again, Inazuma Eleven is getting a EU release, so I guess there's some hope for the future.

Just so you know. All your imported DS games won't become unplayable if inserted into a 3DS.
Also whats the big deal? Unless your frequently import games I highly doubt this will become an issue for most people.

One more thing, why does it seem that the second people heard about it being region locked there was what seemed like an outrage?

just one more reason to wait for another model, if I am to import an entire system I wait for the better one.

shipping will be a bitch for my 3ds games if this turns out to be true (which I suspected since DSi)

on another note, you can play imported games on DSi, only ds games with dsi functions are region locked

but it sure doesn't hurt to make pirates jump through more code hoops.

Really? It hurts ME. What if I wanna play, say, super robot wars? Emulator it is then....

Kind of funny actually. Now I'll only buy one if it can be hacked to play games from other regions. I did the same thing with the Wii. Nintendo are still stuck in the 1990s; no one likes or needs region locking anymore.

Plus it helps with any game updates and DLC (if the 3DS will finally join that party). PS3 is region free, but you have to get any DLC from the PS Store of the region that game came from. I've heard so many stories of people importing a US game to EU, and then buying DLC from their normal account which is the EU Store, and then saying "DLC DOES NOT WORK HALP!" only to become pissed when they learn they need a US account to get US DLC for their US copy of the game.

Region locking may be a bit restrictive, but it can also keep things simple as well.

It's disappointing, but hardly surprising.

What I want to know though, is how specific the regions are if this is implemented.

For home consoles we've had the PAL/NTCS divide just about forever.

For handhelds, it could be a bit more arbitrary.

Depending on just how restrictive the regions are, this could be anything from a slight nuisance, to a serious headache.

So as a Canadian I can't drive down to America on holiday, buy a game while I'm there, and play it on my 3DS? Well....damn

I seem to recall this being already known... that 3DS games would be region locked I mean. Note, this doesn't affect standard DS games at all, as they don't have any region based code, so no matter what type of DS system you play DS games on, they will play.

Adzma:
Kind of funny actually. Now I'll only buy one if it can be hacked to play games from other regions. I did the same thing with the Wii. Nintendo are still stuck in the 1990s; no one likes or needs region locking anymore.

Just so you know, the PSP is region locked for all non-game UMDs, the PS3 is semi region-locked, and the Xbox 360 is entirely region locked. So, the DS actually broke the mold in that it was entirely region free. Admittedly, since the 3DS is locked (only for 3DS games, not DS games) Nintendo has decided to rejoin Microsoft and Sony on this issue.

This sucks, I was planning to import The Layton, Phoenix Wright crossover because their saying that wont be localized. I really might change my mind about getting one. :( So many quirky Japanese games that I love.

Raeil:
Just so you know, the PSP is region locked for all non-game UMDs, the PS3 is semi region-locked, and the Xbox 360 is entirely region locked. So, the DS actually broke the mold in that it was entirely region free. Admittedly, since the 3DS is locked (only for 3DS games, not DS games) Nintendo has decided to rejoin Microsoft and Sony on this issue.

That may be true, however the PS3 does not region lock its games, only Blu-Ray and Microsoft don't enforce region locking on the 360, it's entirely up to the publisher and most of them don't do it.

And so, my interest in the 3DS has died with the hopes of getting better with Japanese through imports.

There are better ways to avoid piracy. Other game companies seem to do just fine with their methods. But region locking, disabling homebrew content (wii related), etc. All of this has annoyed me since the Wii came out and the products started getting the region lock. I'd love to be able to import certain games that are unobtainable here in the states. But, unfortunately, it doesn't do me any good with this kind of news.

(and I haven't been following the 3DS too much, so this is news to me)

Well, that's disappointing. I've never imported games but I'm sure this will hit people who didn't catch this bit of news hard.

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