Pokémon Black & White Are Region-Locked On Nintendo DSi

By Ishaan . September 17, 2010 . 10:30am


If you’re planning to import Pokémon Black / White and use a Nintendo DSi or DSi XL, you might want to take note of an e-mail we received from Play-Asia last night:


“We got the first units of Pokemon Black / White in and confirmed, that the games are indeed region-locked on Nintendo DSi and Nintendo DSi XL consoles.


Please understand that we are not able to accept returns due to region lock issues. We are sending you this email to keep you informed and to ask you to make a decision based on this information.


First off, if you have a Nintendo DS or DS Lite Console from any region then there is no problem.


However, if you have a Non-Japanese DSi / DSi XL console then the title doesn’t not work at all on your console. The console simply will say: ‘no game cartridge’.”


So, in summary, if you own an American or European DSi, hold off on buying the new games until a localized version is available for your device’s region. Pokémon Black / White are scheduled for a Spring 2011 release outside of Japan. In case you missed it, the games include a video chat option on the DSi.

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  • Any reason why the games are region-locked?

    • Probably they are DSi enhanced like some DS games. I bought a copy of Sonic Class Collection while I was over at UK and couldn’t play it on my DSi.

      • thebanditking

        Yikes I did not know they were doing this with other titles already, this stinks. Buying EU copies of hard to find games is often what I do when a title (like Mario&Luigi partners in time) is impossible to find in good shape for under $70.

      • malek86

        What does a bunch of Megadrive ports need the DSi enhancements for?

      • Jellybit

        That doesn’t really explain WHY it’s region locked. That only explains how it is. Region locking is just nonsense.

        • The DSi specific features in one region can’t work with the DSi specific features in another region. So if two people from two separate regions have the same cartridge and are trying to connect to each other using the DSi’s video chat and stuff, the cartridge may be the same, but the actual DSi hardware is not, so stuff goes haywire and things break

          • Jellybit

            Believe me, the DSi specific features are NOT the reason for region lockouts. They can easily make them compatible if they wish, and not all DSI-exclusive features (like having more instrument voices available in KORG DS10+) are connectivity based. And even if for some reason they can’t make the connectivity features work across two cartridges with identical connectivity code, do what other games do (even for DS if there’s an incompatibility). Just not connect to copies from another region. That’s no excuse for not letting it run at all. That issue can be solved with a simple and clear connection error message and doesn’t require refusing you the ability to play your own game on your own system in any capacity.

  • YoFace

    I figured they’d just lock out the DSi-ish features locked, but locking out the entire game? That sure is strange.

  • malek86

    This is exactly why I’m fearing for the 3DS.

    • Ereek


    • thebanditking

      No the main reason I fear 3DS (the price is way scarier, lol) but I worry that after this R4 mess Nintendo is going to start cracking down on how open their portables are. Which really stinks because their portables are the best thing about them.

    • Tom_Phoenix

      Yes, this is a very worrying sign in regards to the 3DS. I certainly hope that won’t be the case, beacuse region-locking is a surefire way to increase piracy.

      • Jellybit

        I strongly agree. Also, it helps to legitimize hacks/mods legally/morally. I don’t see how this can help them on that front. Are imports really that big of an issue? I’ve noticed that a lot of people who import usually end up buying more games.

      • I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not…

        • Tom_Phoenix

          Em….no, I am not being sarcastic. Region-locking IS a surefire way to increase piracy. If you implement region-locking, you preety much force import gamers to resort to illegal activites in order to be able to play the games they enjoy. As a result, this ends up benefitting those who want to play pirated copies of games, since many of the methods used to play region-locked games are also used to play pirated copies.

          Basically, region-locking ends up promoting pirate activities. As such, it is ludicrous to try and curtail piracy using it. It’s essentially self-defeating.

    • No need to fear. IMO, It’s a foregone conclusion that the thing’s gonna be region locked. >:(

  • skyblaze

    seems like this is

    *puts on sunglasses*

    a serious Isshu

  • superdry

    It’s really confusing for people who don’t know that a DSi enhanced game (I don’t think any of the DSi enhanced games say it is? I don’t have one in front me) are region-locked on a DSi, but region free on an older DS.

    Oh, silly Nintendo.

  • Guest


    Good luck Nintendo..

  • neetloaf

    And thus I now regret selling off my old DS Lite once I got a DSi. Oh well, I guess that’s just all the more reason to just wait for the North American release, no matter how painful that’s going to be…

  • Jaxx-Leviathan

    Meh, fine by me, I weren’t about to play it in japanese anyway. I can wait ’til it hits Scandinavian shores.

  • hmm why T_T we’ll have to Wait 1 Year For it To Be Localized thats not Fair am really eager to try the new Video Chat Option X3 .

  • I understand why from a tech perspective, what with the video chat and all, but that’s really disappointing. I guess I’ll have to hold out for the US release.

  • Exand

    Ouch, region-locking in this day and age? :(

    And even more confusing that the older DS and DS Lites aren’t region locked.

    • So, if you have an older DS, it’s not region restricted?
      I have a DS Lite and was planning on importing Pokemon Black.

  • An info on how it will be in tha 3DS?

    • Why would it be different in a 3DS? If they are region locking games this late and still actively doing it, we can tell that the 3DS will 100% be region locked…

  • if the 3DS is region blocked, i will… i will… be mad and sad AT THE SAME TIME, yes! i said it

  • Good explanation, except for one thing—region locking isn’t an attempt to curtail piracy.

    – It allows publishers to jack up prices for certain regions. (AUS LOL)
    – It takes pressure off publishers by eliminating competition from other regions. (Who cares if the NTSC-U/C release was a year ago if it can’t be easily played in PAL regions?)
    – In cases where the copyright laws and rightsholders for an IP differ depending upon where in the world the material is sold, region locking allows the publisher to pay the right person.
    – It helps enforce censorship laws in certain countries.

    …yada yada. Bottom line is, it’s an anti-consumer measure, not an anti-piracy measure.

  • fffff

  • I’m really happy I bought a DSi in Japan… instead of a DS Lite. (I considered the latter since the price difference was about 4000 yen at the time.)


  • vadde939

    Sigh…. The future of Nintendo portables is looking bleak if they honestly think something as blatantly anti-consumer as region lock is a good idea.

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