Yes, The 3DS Is Region-Locked (And Other Downsides To The System)

By Ishaan . January 20, 2011 . 11:41am


We weren’t entirely sure if the Nintendo 3DS was region-locked in the past, with various corners of the Internet making different claims, ranging from the system being completely region-protected to partially so. Now we know.


Kotaku had a chance to talk to Nintendo director of product marketing, Bill Trinen, who confirmed that the device is indeed region-locked. “Different regions have different ratings systems. The region-locking allows us to provide the different parental controls to deal with the ratings in each territory,” Trinen told Kotaku.


On the bright side, the Nintendo 3DS operating system lets you multitask. You can suspend a game and open up the system’s web browser (which can be grabbed off the Nintendo eShop) to browse the Internet, look up a FAQ or what have you.


However, Wired’s Chris Kohler reports that the Nintendo eShop and browser won’t be available at launch…along with the ability to download 3D movies and transfer DSiWare games over to the system. Nintendo’s own documents indicate that these features will be added via a firmware update post-launch, with no date specified.


For other Nintendo 3DS features you may or may not be aware of, check out our post on the subject.

Read more stories about & on Siliconera.

  • malek86

    “Different regions have different ratings systems. The region-locking allows us to provide the different parental controls to deal with the ratings in each territory,”

    That must be why all their previous handhelds were region free. Or why Australia and Germany get to be the same region as Europe, even though they use different rating systems. Of course! It all makes sense now!

    • neo_firenze

      In fairness, previous handhelds didn’t have parental control settings built into the system OS so that’s kind of irrelevant here.

      Your point about Australia/Germany/rest of EU having different rating systems and still the same console region is a good one though, which shoots a big hole in this Nintendo excuse.

      It is still a very disappointing decision at any rate. And the “for the children!” nonsense excuses actually irritate me more than if they had just region locked the thing and said nothing.

      • Ladius

        100% with you on this one, it’s sad, lame and a stab at honest importers who have the terrible fault of having different tastes than Nintendo or their region’s publishers would like them to.

        • Exkaiser

          Actually, it’s to prevent people from buying cheaper, foreign versions of games that have been released in their own country, not to stamp out individuals’ personal tastes.

          It’s actually a pretty major concern in Japan. Everyone scrambles around in their own way to avoid reverse-importing; NA versions are popular imports because games over here are so blisteringly cheap compared to most of the world and English is a relatively common language. Reverse importing is the boogeyman.

          • Ladius

            Thanks, I know that, I was taking about the effect, not about the causes :P Fact is, every other handheld platform till now managed to stay region free, and in the current generation one out of three home consoles tried going that way, breaking the long region-lock trend.

            Moreover, region locking doesn’t only prevent the reverse-import of USAPal games by Japanese importers, but it also kill the import of japanese titles by western gamers, so it’s a lose-lose situation for consumers.

            3DS is going against the handheld region free gaming legacy and reversing a trend that every gamer interested in lineup diversity and freedom to experience gaming contents should be supporting.

          • Exkaiser

            Oh, okay, guess my unjustified-butthurt radar was on the fritz. Sorry about that.

            The gamers who are most hurt by region-lock are the Europeans, since you guys get such a slim release list. As an American importer of Japanese titles, it really isn’t a big deal, but you guys don’t have as much publisher support. The fact that reverse-importing is such a fear creates problems for everyone, but it’s really not just businesses being unfair for no reason which is something a lot of people assume. It’s either a loss for consumers or a loss for publishers.

            I’m sure universal region-free would be the default if only American games weren’t so dirt cheap, but Americans aren’t interested in paying more money for things. It’s a sticky situation.

            If only it was so easy to let gamers have all their fun, but sometimes it costs publishers.

            Though, it’s not like region locking hasn’t been bypassed before. Maybe it won’t be a permanent solution until the end of the console’s life, but I’ve had to wait longer to play games. I mean, I had to wait seven years for Live-a-Live.

            …And then another seven years for a redone localization.

          • The only reason region-lock annoys me is because I import a lot of games. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have an issue with the Region-lock since I understand it from a business POV.

    • The excuse they used to give in the past for region locking was that they have to make sure everything is properly trademarked in each region before the games can go on sale there. That was a much more convincing excuse for their blatant attempts at price gouging than this is.

    • PrinceHeir

      i think the reason now why nintendo decided to region locked games is because they don’t want importers to buy other version cheaper. they want to control the software market, for me i don’t really care about the price, im more into buying games that have no chance in hell making it outside in japan. i mean if im traveling to japan and i saw a game that was recommended by a friend wouldn’t it be convenient to buy it directly to them instead of waiting for a localization(which sometimes the game never does)

      wait the go nintendo, first the battery, lack of launch games, steep price, and now region locked. i’ll probably wait for a year or 2 before buying this(or lite version) hopefully Ar Max can produce a cheat device that not only has codes for games but can read nay region from any games.

      • Extra_Life

        No, they probably don’t want us to buy a cheaper version, but sadly, for Europeans with gaming tastes similar to many of the users of sites like this, there isn’t often going to be a more expensive version of said games in their country. More likely, is that the games that consumers like myself would buy, end up seeing no release in Europe, and the only way to experience these games would be to import. Now, if publishers provided world-wide support and released all games everywhere (not going to happen), importing would be of such importance to me and many others, and region locking wouldn’t be an issue.

        Right now, all the region locking has done has killed my enthusiasm for the 3DS, based on previous generations of handhelds where at least 50% of my games (often more) were imports that weren’t released in the EU.

  • Tom_Phoenix

    While I am still excited about the 3DS, this is a deal breaker for me. Instead of buying a 3DS at launch like I planned to, I will buy a PSP instead and wait for hackers to do their magic.

    Screw you, Nintendo. Your handhelds were region free for over two decades, yet you decide to take a step backwards and region lock the 3DS. I wouldn’t support hackers, but you treat me like crap simply beacuse I enjoy playing games from more than one region.

    • I feel the same way. At first, I was planning on waiting to get more “full-fledged” system, then with all the new features announced I was getting excited and anticipating it a bit more, but now I’ll stick to the original plan and wait till the inevitable second generation. …Maybe. I still can’t wait to own a 3DS, but for now I’ll wait. Er… well, you know what I mean.

    • Jaxx-Leviathan

      Yes, Nintendo is out for your exact balls. Nintendo is the sole reason you’d suddenly support hacking.

      • Ladius

        There is no reason to make this kind of assumptions, Tom’s position is that of many importers. I have dozens upon dozens of original Ds and PSP games, mostly japanese and USA imports. I have never supported hacking on Ds or PSP simply because they provided me with region free gaming, which was exactly what I was interested for.

        With 3DS I will obviously still buy my games (I want to support the publisher and developer, it’s my duty as a consumer), but I won’t buy the console until I have the means to play import games on it, since the genres I’m interested in rarely have a good library in Europe compared to the other regions.

      • Tom_Phoenix

        Well, I purchase my games legally, so…yes, Nintendo’s decision to region lock the system would really be the sole reason I would suddenly support hacking. If the 3DS was region free, I would have no such reason.

        Also, while Nintendo may not be out for my “exact balls”, Nintendo likes to consider itself a customer-centric company. Last time I checked, import gamers are also customers. So how exactly is it justified for Nintendo to inconvenience us by region locking the system? Am I somehow a lesser customer for liking games from more than one region?

      • I don’t blame him/her. Most of the games I play are Japanese and unless I am willing to buy another 3DS I am SOL. People who import games and don’t hack are being indirectly punished.

  • Nintendo adding new features via firmware updates?! Wow they are movin on up!!! I didnt know Bill Trinen was still around, these days Nintendo of America execs are always being cycled out that there just arent anymore familiar faces (I still miss Cammie D.)

    Multitasking, dont they need, battery sapper? I hope it can be disabled, that was the one thing I disliked on the iPod Touch; when it was finally enabled, battery life plunged to astronomical lows. The devices are supposed to be portable, capable of being all in one devices, and long lasting; the last time I checked, astronomically low is not long lasting, lol.

    • “Nintendo adding new features via firmware updates?! Wow they are movin on up!!”

      It’s nitpicking, but it’s not all new for them. They started that with various new channels on Wii and also added the play from SD card feature for Virtual Console and WiiWare games.
      Needless to say they also showed us the flip-side for the coin pretty fast by removing mp3 support and disabling the Gamecube Free Loader disk, a disc designed to run import games.

      • When was the last time a channel…from Nintendo was added? It seemed like 2007/2008 was the last time they seriously supported adding stuff but then after that, it seemed the updates only came as a response to rampant hacking.

        • malek86

          True that, although it might have been because they noticed that people didn’t really care about using their Wii’s for anything other than games.

          For example, adding new functionality to the 360 and PS3 makes sense, because they are marketed as multi-use devices (especially the PS3), so having more stuff would supposedly make more people interested in purchasing one.

        • Japan receives all the updates and new channels. Where here in the west nothing has been done. That may have more to do with NOA than the leads in Japan.

  • zhemos

    Hey, they gotta protect the children from getting on play-asia to buy that 80 dollar lolicon game, amirite?!?!

    Lol, lamest excuse ever.

    • It’s a more compelling one than you’d expect. Just remember who they’re talking to because it isn’t you.

      • M’iau M’iaut

        But that mom won’t even know that Maho Shinpan and Moetan exist, nor care what the electronic babysitter is playing, long as it keeps the kids quiet.

        I know this ‘new digital world’ is going to decide for me what, when and where I’m allowed to play. And that the actual cost of gaming — unless all I want to play is some five minute freemium title — is actually going to go up while the cost to provide that gaming goes down. But that doesn’t mean that I need to go quietly into someone else’s good night.

        • Testsubject909

          Any mom with any common sense would figure out quite easily just how easy it is to do the following:

          Go on computer > Google > Porn > ??? > Profit!

          I’ve been doing it since the age of freaking 10… Do they seriously think this Region-lock bull is going to ‘protect children’? It’s going to do nothing more then just piss off gamers and provide some form of false sense of security to mothers who’ll just continue to ignore whatever information intake their kids get.

          • PersonaBull

            Yea, 5th grade was my introduction to that particular side of the internet. There was no stopping me at that point. My parents tried to implement certain measures to keep my innocence (lol, parental controls…), but the internet teaches you wonderful things rather quickly. If there’s any degree of motivation, kids can get by these things rather easily. Parental controls really end up as just another puzzle for young minds to get through and a slight sense of security for oblivious parents.

          • Caligula

            mm, you’re giving an awful lot of credit to some adults. My mother has taken years to figure out how Google works, and she still doesn’t fully get it (how you can fail to “get” Google is beyond me). I know she’s not alone in being so hopelessly dumb at using any kind of technology.

    • Well considering kids are into their anime now here and are internet competant, it would be quite compelling to import titles from JPN with anime tie ins. And we shouldnt doubt people, everybody and their grandmas know what an Arfoire card is, and therefore had knowledge of all the games released in every country…

      • i own an r4 and my fiance owns a ds, shes even used the r4 before (that i loaded for her) but still doesnt know what it is. so your argumant is null and void. no-good-tsuna

      • Do YOU even know of every game released in every Country?

        • I mean I know when games for my favorite anime and manga are released and where, and mainly I know the games released for the awesome western studios and big name publishers, and NIS/Atlus, but otherwise, oh but were talking about the DS.

          No, even to this day I am still shocked by games that are apparently on the DS, lol.

      • Darkrise

        HA! You actually think EVERY kid is into anime? Are you sure they’re not into what they think is anime and can’t tell the difference? Are you sure they even know what Avatar the Last Airbender really is categorized as? The only anime they would know is Bleach, Naruto and One Piece. Along the way in highschool, some of them will adapt to an interest in other series but that’s a pretty small majority of kids today. And everyone knows what an r4 is? I’d like to see you go around the metro or anywhere, the subway and ask everyone you see if they know what an r4 is. Also the kids too if they know an anime. Btw, they aren’t exactly internet competent, the majority of them anyway. I’ve got friends who have little brothers and sisters who don’t even know how to use the keyboard properly or even a single computer program. Oh and no they don’t at all know everygame that is released in every country cuz at the moment, they can only think of their own. Even the majority of kids who like anime are minimal these days. They won’t properly know it until highschool or late middleschool.

        • Technically, even Steamboat Willie is called an anime in Japan… but that’s just me being extremely nitpicky and technical. So don’t mind me in a bad way… *Ungracefully-looking graceful bow* *Walks way while ear-piercingly whistling some unknown tune*

          • Darkrise

            I don’t mind. Just telling Tsuna that not everyone knows what an r4 is, not every kid likes anime, not alot of them even know it or can tell the difference and such.

          • Dude, everyone knows about it, why else would Ninty be working so hard to have to get it banned, and illegalized, etc. Every kid knows what anime is, its pretty difficult to find one who doesnt know what show Pokemon is, even disney shows anime…

          • Testsubject909

            To answer Tsunayoshi.

            I’ve met people who don’t own a TV in their household. They mainly live off of books and radio. I’ve met a few people who had no idea about anime, so I’m sure you can find some Japanese who know nothing about Disney, or Disney fans who’ve never seen anime simply because they moved to Pixar long before Anime could’ve arrived on their lap and just incidentally never got around to seeing some of the other animated masterpieces of old such as Princess Mononoke. And instead were focusing on the secret of Nimh or other western items.


    This is a sad day indeed…

  • Zonic505

    So I have to wait for Nintendo to release an update so I can transfer my 12 DSiWare games over before I can sell my DSi?? That sucks.

    & if they make another Ouendan or Jump! Super/Ultimate Stars for the 3DS, I will be so disappointed….

  • Well Nintendo certainly won’t be seeing my money unless someone can hack the region code or i decide to get a Japanese one.

  • Eh. By the time the price drops under $200 where I’d actually be interested, the pirates will have worked this problem out for me.

    • I forget; who is the problem here, the console manufacturers or the console hackers?

      • That is like asking, Who is the problem, the people that make guns, or the people that kill with them?

        • mirumu

          I think that analogy is a bit biased.

          Who is the problem? The mafioso who comes around demanding protection money, or the rival gang that takes him out so you have no protection when the thieves show up later?

          Just because one side of the argument is wrong doesn’t mean the other is right.

          • I think that analogy is a bit too direct… xP, all you need to do is change words haha xD

        • Guns don’t kill people. People with mustaches kill people.

      • The consumers, or in this case, the console hackers are the problem. They have motives that are contrary to that which was allowed to them in the terms of use license employed by the console manufacturers and agree to by them.

        • M’iau M’iaut

          Come now sir, you know damn well enough about this niche to know that a consumer who buys legal imports (at huge premiums) is about as far removed from a hacker or pirate as you can get. If you are playing a legitimate product in a legitimate system you aren’t violating a EULA.

          • thebanditking

            Agreed but its a damn shame that homebrew and hacks always lead to piracy, and in most cases (despite what they say) is the reason they did it in the first place.

          • Actually when someone hacks their system is not because they’re pirating but is usually because the previous update had something that is no longer in use. It’s like if you had Micromedia flash and then the next update is it becomes Adobe Flash. *Yes im aware that this has already come to past* Pirater use what the hack had before and update it so that it can play games illegally. Hacking people think more of piracy as Modding people think as piracy instead of thinking making a closed-source system into a Open-source.

        • mirumu

          End User License Agreements are neither a legal nor a moral construct. I’d go as far as to say it’s dangerous to treat them as such since businesses will happily violate your rights if given half a chance.

          EULAs are only binding as far as the law of the land allows, and that’s exactly as it should be. It’s up to society to decide what restrictions EULAs are allowed to impose.

          • Ladius

            You deserve dozens of “Like” simply because you just stated a simple but incredibly overlooked fact. Most people treats EULA clauses as if they were laws, but it’s law that dictates the value of those agreements since companies thankfully still haven’t got a hold of the lawmaking side.

          • neo_firenze

            Many EULAs are indeed legally enforceable contracts, particularly when the side accepting them has a valid opportunity to review. Any negotiated and signed EULA would almost certainly be deemed a legally enforceable contract in most jurisdictions in the world. Even a EULA agreed to as-is would likely be held to be a valid contract if the party accepting it was sophisticated enough to understand what they were agreeing to and consented anyway (this could be a business reviewing a software contract, or could even be an individual agreeing to a set of click-through terms).

            Now, there’s a legitimate question about whether a EULA (or some provisions in it) could be held invalid when an end user has no opportunity to negotiate and contains terms that the “agreeing” party would not reasonably expect the term(s) at issue. A court might strike that EULA or some provisions invalid as being a contract of adhesion. If terms were so one-sided as to rise to being “unconscionable”, a court may also find those terms invalid.

            But any any rate, it’s fairly irrelevant here. Nintendo is adding technological measures to enforce their desired region-restricted license. In addition to making it impractical for many users to violate the license even if they wanted to, in many countries (the US included), there are laws prohibiting the circumvention of technology designed to protect content. This is part of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act in the US, which is controversial but which IS the law.

          • mirumu

            Yes, that’s pretty much the situation although I’d point out it was also the case with smartphones until the law was actually tested. This resulted in an exception being granted for hacking phones in the DMCA. I’m not saying the same will happen with games consoles, but until it’s properly tested in court it’s anyone’s guess. Also, as hard as it may be, we can change the law.

            Also, the law still does vary country to country. Where I live in New Zealand region locks are considered to be anti-competitive. Here it’s legal for companies to use them on products, but it’s also legal for consumers to break the restrictions. That’s only for legally imported content mind you, piracy here is just as illegal as ever.

        • neo_firenze

          This has nothing to do with whether hackers are doing something wrong. And in fact, Nintendo making the 3DS region-locked is almost an invitation for hackers to try to mod the system and have a convenient excuse (which may only be a pretense for people who really only care about piracy).

          If anything, a region free console makes it EASIER for the manufacturer to shut down modders and hackers, because it eliminates a reason seen by many (including some courts/judges) as a legitimate reason to modify – the ability to use legitimate software, whether purchased from a different region or not.

          I don’t play pirated software on my consoles. That’s why I have no need to mod my PS3, DS, or PSP. But I did soft-mod my Wii to play legitimate copies of Japanese and European games on my US system. And I have had modded Saturn, Dreamcast, PS1, and PS2 systems for the same reason.

    • thebanditking

      No thanks, hackers are self serving JO’s who operate off a false sense of entitlement and hide behind the veil of statements like “do I actually own this” and “its a consumers right to modify hardware” all to increase their epeen and steal.

      • Testsubject909

        Depends which hacker. Perhaps, probably, the majority. But it’s nevertheless a generalization you’re using here.

        Be careful with that sort of mentality.

      • Hetare Kaiser

        I’d like you to think about this for a bit:
        Finding security vulnerabilities in a proprietary system with (for the general public) undocumented inner workings and exploiting them in order to run unsigned code isn’t something some script kiddie can just decide to do and then do it. It takes time, effort and actual skill (and some luck) to do. Would someone really do that just to gain esteem from some teenagers on the internet and to be able to play games he got via PirateBay? Certainly, being skilled doesn’t make one morally just, but anyone smart enough to be able to pull this off is able to make the loss/gain assessment here.

        If anything, if piracy IS the goal of a hacker, it would mean he would have something to gain from it beyond just getting to play games for free. For instance, he works for a company that sells devices allowing one to run “backups” on their consoles (modchips, R4 etc.). Yet, what usually happens when someone announces having “hacked” a console is that the steps to reproduce it get distributed freely on the internet. Why would someone who can make money from it destroy his chances at a monopoly with his own hands?

  • Locklear93

    …apologies for the least on topic post I’ve ever made anywhere, but does anyone know where the image used for this story came from? Not the one of LovePlus on a 3DS above, the one of the girl crying fountains of tears used on the front page.

    • Looks like Girl’s High/Joshi Kousei.

      • Locklear93


  • mirumu

    Claiming the region lock is done to protect children is a new angle. The argument I’ve always heard from companies is that it provides the ability to price products differently across the world without any of their regional partners getting undermined by cheap imports.

    If it’s really about protecting children then why are certain things acceptable in some regions and not others? Shouldn’t they want to protect all children? Or is it perhaps they don’t want children being open to ideas from other cultures? Or is it really more about the parents than the children? Seems to me the prices on games and age restrictions on credit cards would have stopped children from importing anwyay so this excuse from Nintendo really seems to be a red herring.

    I find this all rather offensive personally.

    • vadde939

      You’re not the only one who finds it offensive. All this ‘region lock is to protect children’ is just nonsensical PR crap. Seems to me like the only real reason for it is price gouging. No way in hell am I paying insane Aussie prices for an inferior selection of games so it looks like I’ll be importing a US 3DS for certain.

      • Tokyo Guy

        There you go. It’s the same thing here with CDs, actually. Import CDs cost around $17 or so whereas Japanese versions cost around $35. I’m sure the record companies would love to region protect CDs.

    • Testsubject909

      TL;DR: What the hell. I don’t understand this Nintendo. Why!?

      Long version:
      Could be that it’s just the view they possess within Japan, which they then apply to the rest of the world.

      Portables are typically considered to be a Kid’s or Young Teen’s toy, in Japan. Don’t really care about the numbers (that is, how many adults play the DS), it’s how it’s being viewed as within it’s society. As such, applying this same view upon the rest of the world, the same worries most surely arises.

      We’ll most likely have a lot of people talking about the general xenophobia that Japan suffers from and how it possibly touches upon this region lock. I’m sure many people in 2ch are also quite happy about these news. Most of them pretty much idiotic twats while the few who’re actually pretty smart tend to do the smart thing. Shut up and lurk rather then get dirty with those who’re far too self-righteous to see their on hypocrisy on certain matters or lack a better vision of the grand scheme of things.

      But honestly… I’m just as baffled as to why the hell they’re doing this…

      Is Japan just not happy about getting money for imports? Or did Japan figure out that they could make an extra pretty penny by forcing gamers to buy a Japanese 3DS?

      I’m sure there’s tons of other theories out there. Who knows why they did this, but it’s definitely a generally bad move for their overall reputation. As we’ve seen, it also encourages more gamers into piracy. It cuts off some more possibility of ear to mouth/vice versa (Shonen Jump Ultimate for example. Wonderful game, don’t even need to know much Japanese. It’s the Super Smash Brothers Brawl of Anime…) which is basically some free publicity and marketing that boosts up sales even further…

      I’m just… confused, why bother doing this? Child protection is a joke anyways because at the age where a kid needs to be protected, a parent should have more then enough resources to know what the hell their kids are doing. Better yet, as an argument, the type of kids who do need parental protection tends to not have a few hundred dollar bills in their pockets to buy a 3DS and games…

      And consider how some of those games they’re launching are made to appeal to an older audience.

      What the hell…

      • Tokyo Guy

        >Is Japan just not happy about getting money for imports? Or did Japan figure

        You have to understand that Nintendo doesn’t see this money, the distributors do. So to that end, Nintendo stands to loose money, as importing will ensure lower sales in the foreign country, especially when you have something that is in the same language (i.e. a North American game in English being imported to the UK).

        • Testsubject909

          I forgot about that detail. Thanks for reminding me.

          And now I’m a bit more sad…

  • FlamingSausage
  • Lots of entitlement going round here.

    • Ladius

      Entitlment to play the games I import with my money on an handled system, when each and every one of them before 3DS has been region free?

      I will never understand the “I’m a customer who is happy being kicked and punched by companies, shame on those who think they can speak up” attitude (I’m not saying this is your position, your statement is too brief to make assumptions): money and opinions are both important, and while Nintendo is probably completely uninterested in the importers niche’s bitterness we still have the right to be dissatisfied.

      • M’iau M’iaut

        True words Ladius, but it’s not as if the companies haven’t claimed legal importing as a grey area (or worse) since the PS1/Saturn days when the practice first came to note with local specialty shops and mail-order imports. A time that I can remember folks being shocked that the handhelds weren’t locked and all you needed to do was just plug the cart in.

        I’d suspect this means Ninty already knows that whatever Sony is announcing will also have some sort of region/cell network lock. I can’t imagine them taking this step if Sony would be able to just smack them silly with it on some comparison next week. And that they waited until after the launch announcement to confirm the lock tells me they knew it would be an issue with part of their early adopter crowd.

        • Ladius

          I don’t agree on the last point, mainly because the importer niche is very small and not relevant at all for big market policies, if Nintendo wants to take the region lock path they can do it regardless of what Sony plans to do with PSP2.

          Here on Siliconera we can be vocal about our disappointment because many of us are importers, but if you take the gaming scene as a whole I doubt more than a 5% (and I’m being generous) is directly affected by this. I think that every gamer should advocate region free gaming as a principle, but sadly that is an idealistic concept and that isn’t going to happen.

        • I doubt Sony’s PSP2 will be region-locked. Or if it will, it’ll just be the store thing again where you have to have separate accounts. (I mean, the PSP and PS3 were both region-free.)

      • Maybe if so many people weren’t so smug about how easy it is for them to pirate, this wouldn’t be as much of a problem as you all say it is. Imports give much more profit to the stores that sell them than the developers. If you really want to support companies that neither know nor care about you, buy from them directly.

        I find it very amusing how so many of these pirates are coming out of the woodwork just because they can’t do something that they feel they deserve to do. Do you really think Nintendo region-locked their systems out of spite to importers? Has it ever occurred to anyone here that there are larger legal and/or financial implications to limiting sales by geographical region?

        • mirumu

          It really doesn’t sound like you know what it’s like being a gamer in one of the less favored regions. Of the 15 or so DS games I own only 3 were released on the local market. We aren’t even given the chance to buy them directly if we wanted to.

          • It really doesn’t sound like you know what it’s like to have to make these decisions in the business. Blame your local government if you feel like you aren’t getting things that were not made for you that you think you should have anyway.

          • mirumu

            The games companies think they should be able to sell whatever and have my money anyway. Why is that sense of entitlement fine for them but not for me? In most developed countries the government isn’t preventing them from releasing anything.

            I don’t have to agree with region locking to understand why companies do it. Their responsibility is to make as much money for their shareholders as they can. That’s fine, I don’t begrudge them that and we know where they stand. I work in a large company myself and do my best to contribute to the bottom line. You can talk about making decisions in a business, but when the industry itself can’t even come to a consensus on region locking then it isn’t exactly the good business no-brainer you seem to be implying. Businesses do things all the time that aren’t in their own best interest and some go bankrupt every day. They are not infallible. Nintendo is run by humans just like every other.

  • Ladius

    Region lock actually killed most of my hype regarding 3DS, sadly.

    I’m european and my Ds library is practically 90% comprised of titles released only in Japan or in the USA, or titles which arrived in Europe centuries after their USA releases. The fact that there are actually some titles localized only for Europe (recently Last Window, Inazuma and Solarobo) simply means that I could lose some great games even if I choose to import an american 3DS, aside from the obvious loss of japanese titles for both the USA and Pal 3DS users.

    That a legitimate consumer who spend his money supporting the titles he likes is forced to buy three different systems or to wait for some hack (which will probably help pirates) is extremely sad.

    • Aoshi00

      Same here man.. the only reason why I would want to pay $250 for this on day 1? Professor Layton (and the eventual Love Plus). Now there is no reason for me to get a US 3DS because I can’t play Professor Layton, maybe it would get localized in a year, Devil’s Flute is not even localized yet.

      So yea, screw them for locking a handheld for the first time, the protect the children excuse make me sick, and this is coming from someone who has no problem importing a console to play Jpn games. It’s the ones who spend big money buying importing games legitimately who get punished the most.

      I hope the PSP2 is region free, just like the PSP and how they finally made the PS3 region free.

      • Extra_Life

        The PSP2 is now my last hope for the future of portable gaming, unless a revised 3DS sees the removal of the region lock (unlikely), or publishers all of a sudden decide to release all games in every location (even more unlikely).

        • The last hope? You make the future of portable gaming sound dire. Is it because Im American that I do not understand the loss of being able to play stuff from other regions? I just dont see it as a reason to not get the system.

          • FlamingSausage

            Yes, you certainly just don’t understand us European gamers.

  • PurpleDoom

    Well, this sucks. Guess I’ll just have to pass on Tales of the Abyss 3D or any other games that stay in Japan. Or I could buy another 3DS for a ludicrous amount of money. Preferably not.

    • Agreed, it really sucks when a large majority of the games you play are Japanese or from another country.

    • Exkaiser

      I don’t think you’d be missing out on much by skipping TotA 3D anyways.

      • PurpleDoom

        Yeah, that’s true. So far they haven’t announced any extra content, right? And at least Devil Survivor is coming over, I missed the first one, so the general minor-ness of the update doesn’t particularly bother me.

        • AdamBoy64

          The only extra content they might add is fixing of the loading times… They were a joke in the original TotA… other than that, no, not much.

          I think I’d prefer it in english with slow loading times rather than Japanese with proper loading times, though.

      • I think it would be nice to get to play TotA at all, really! I love the Tales games, but we never got it at all over here and the idea of a region free 3DS had given me a small grain of hope. Oh well.

        • Exkaiser

          I’d recommend picking up a swap-magic for the PS2 and playing the NA version.

          I doubt they’ll localize the 3DS port anyways.

  • Jirin

    So not only are they forcing us to spend money on a system with poor battery life whose only virtue is a gimmick with nothing to do with the gameplay that you have to hold a specific distance from your eyes just to see, just so we can play games in the series developers are making exclusive to the system, we can only play the games Nintendo says we can play.

    Horray micromanagement, I guess?

    • Confused-chan

      Ehh? @[email protected];

      But C-chan thought the precise reason 3D was a good thing was BECAUSE it adds something to games like better depth perception…

      It also has most things other systems do…does that mean they’re even more worthless???? Don’t understanding anything from baka angry commenter @[email protected]

      • Ladius

        Just wanted to say that I absolutely love you and your avatar :D Aside from that Jirin’s comment was probably moved by anger, but that doesn’t mean that the sadness regarding regional locks is unjustified.

        • RupanIII

          This. Big sarcastic shitstorm over semantics does not negate lameness of region lock.

      • Exkaiser

        Best poster on Siliconera.

        • Agreed

          • Testsubject909

            Eh, it was alright the first time I saw it.

            It can get a bit on the “Joke feels old” side every now and again.

            Plus, there are still ways to properly argue whatever he/she stated too. And though the depth perception certainly will be useful, there’s no guarantee that we’ll be getting the proper use of such depth perceptions right off the bat either.

            The inclusion of new gimmicks means the adaptation to said new gimmicks. We’ve had many shovelware that only made use of the touch screen because it was there as opposed to properly incorporating it. And as we’ve seen a slight flood of crappy 3D movie that simply used 3D as a crutch, we’re sure to see the same thing for 3DS games.

            So yes, one could validly argue that the inclusion of 3D for gaming is a bad thing, as it means we’ll most likely be dipping down again while those focusing on purely 2D games on the 3DS or non stereoscopic 3D will not have the looming need to make use of the depth perception and focus entirely on the game that stands before them.

            Not to say there won’t be any good stereoscopic 3D games. Just saying I wouldn’t put my money on it just yet…

    • SolidusSnake

      Damn! I can’t believe Nintendo forced you to spend money on this thing Jirin! Damn bastards with their yakuza connections… they must’ve literally put a gun to your head and watched closely while you pre-ordered with money from your checking account. Micromanagement, indeed…

      • Oh shut the hell up. “OMG, how dare you criticize a company that I like. ” I hate the region-lock too, but no one is saying Nintendo sucks we are just criticizing something we dislike.

        • SolidusSnake

          Haha, pull that stick out of your ass before you comment. I never even said I like Nintendo, and I sure as hell don’t care whether YOU like them or not. I have every intention of continuing to make fun of people who make absurd statements like “X is FORCING ME TO SPEND MONEY ON THIS PRODUCT OMGGGGG.”

          • “Damn! I can’t believe Nintendo forced you to spend money on this thing Jirin! Damn bastards with their yakuza connections…”

            You pull your stick out first and I will let you take mine out. Funny how almost all fanboys use that excuse though.

          • SolidusSnake

            “You pull your stick out first and I will let you take mine out.”

            Oh wow, that sounds really kinky. Thanks for the offer, but I’m not even planning to buy the 3DS unless and until it accumulates a library of decent games, so calling me a “fanboy” is fairly absurd. In case you still haven’t got it, my original post was sarcasm for Jirin suggesting that someone was FORCING HIM TO SPEND MONEY on a luxury product like a handheld gaming system.

          • Caligula

            I don’t see how SolidusSnake is acting like a fanboy at all. He’s not saying he likes or dislikes Nintendo; as he said, he’s making fun of the way Jirin claims he’s being “forced” to buy something. You, on the other hand, sound far more like one with your angry and unfounded accusations.

          • SolidusSnake, Criticizing a feature that hurts your ability to play games =/= Complaining that they are forcing you to buy their product. Do you not understand intentional hyperbole?

          • lunier

            Learn to read, you’ve completely missed the point

          • Code

            Oh snap it’s a double ass stick pulling stand-off!

      • Jirin

        Ugh, do you even pay attention to the entire post before you respond to it, or do you just find one sentence and take it out of context in the most hostile way possible? Okay, forced is a wrong word. They’ve given me an ultimatum. I can either buy a new system, or I can stop being able to play the kind of games I want to play.

        And it isn’t even a substantial improvement over the previous system. They’ve just added the gimmick of tricking your brain into seeing depth, and to see this depth you have to hold your head at a specific distance from the screen, and the system needs to be recharged once every three hours. So much for long plane rides I guess?

        As for the micromanagement, I was referring to region lockouts. Region codes are a way of a company micromanaging your access to games.

        • Exkaiser

          Actually, it is a substantial improvement over the previous system. The hardware is much stronger, allowing for more complex games with better graphics and so on. The storage size of the games has also been improved, allowing games to be larger. The OS has been improved allowing the system to perform more functions. The battery life estimate of “three to five hours” is with 3D, wireless, and maximum backlight all on constantly and with power saver functions turned off. It’s also an estimate by Nintendo, which is notorious for giving low estimations of battery life. Moreover, Nintendo already estimated that with all other elements the same, but the 3D turned off, the battery life would be about eight hours.

          You might as well say that the SNES has nothing going for it over the NES.

          As for the “micromanaging” bit, that’s a load of bull. What games a gamer have access to under regional lock are entirely up to the discretion of every game publisher in their region. Nintendo does not sit upon its throne and decide which games will be allowed into each region.

          As for the ultimatum part, that’s also incorrect. You can continue playing the kind of games you want to play on the systems you already own. Nintendo releasing the 3DS does not take away your ability to enjoy games you already own. What a strange and novel concept, not having to constantly buy new toys.

          • Jirin

            Maybe I overreacted a bit, and you have good points, but region lockouts as a concept are pretty sleazy. Telling players ‘People who live here can play these games at this time, people who live here can play these games at this time’ is micromanaging the way consumers use their product, whether it’s about DVDs, video games, or anything.

            Also, the concept of constantly forcing players to buy expensive systems for new games is just as bad as the way childrens’ shows keep changing the gadgets and robots to get the kids to buy a whole new set of toys.

          • Exkaiser

            Come on, man, it’s been seven years since the DS came out. I think it’s perfectly fair for Nintendo to release some really new hardware. It’s not like giant robot anime where the new robot shows up six months into the show and then the final upgrade comes right before Christmas (My namesake did this). And then they have another new show every year for the next seven years, all following the same scheme.

            And then four video games!

            New games are constantly pushing the technology, why should they be held back by the hardware? Seven years later, the DS has been pushed to its limits. It’s really not fair to the games as software to let the hardware stagnate.

        • Caligula

          You might as well hate every system that comes out for not being able to play the sort of games you want to play. That’s how new systems work. They stop making games for the old system and make them for the new one instead. Why would they do it any differently for the 3DS?

  • Ladius

    -(double post)

  • Guest

    Forget it no sale

  • BadenBadenPrinny

    Time to play the waiting game, not for Piracy, but for more features. Though region locking is pretty rage worthy. My wallet is getting violated enough as it is this year :( AH3 was only the beginning

  • But what about the battery life!?

    I’ve heard it’s 3-5 hours… I assume that’s on max brightness with 3D on.

    • There’s no reason that a company would post an estimated battery life based on max brightness, max volume, all features enabled unless they actually want to make their product look bad. Why would anyone want to do that when they’re trying to sell something?

      • Exkaiser

        Nintendo always gives a low estimate of battery life. It’ll be more than 3-5 hours.

  • Arcm

    Looks like I’ll definitely wait for a price drop now. Damn nintendo

  • Basically, they are rushing to release the console

    • malek86

      I thought that too. I can’t see any other reason why the other features wouldn’t be available at launch.

      One of the guys at Kotaku theorized that they are trying to release it right before the fiscal year ends so they can make their bottom line look better. Sounds like an accurate assumption to me.

      • I thought they were since they had already included the number of 3DS units they anticipated to sell this year in their previous financial report of the last year

    • thebanditking

      They did the exact same thing with DS, thats why it launched in that uncomfortable slap together proto-type design only to release the actual DS a year later as the Lite.

  • Huh. Can it still play import DS games? (Not 3DS) I have some important DS games, and I was hoping a 3DS could replace my current DS which is kinda falling apart..

    • malek86

      I’d guess so. After all, the DSi can play DS games from any region without trouble, despite being region locked for its own enhanced titles.

      • thebanditking

        Maybe not though, the carts do know what region they belong to I believe. it was that the Hardware did not lock you out. I might be wrong on that, but if I’m not (especially since 3DS uses almost the exact same carts) then what ever region coding the DS carts have they might also be locked out my the 3DS.

        • vadde939

          Well the DSi has region lock for DSi-enhanced carts but not for ordinary DS ones which seems to indicate that if DS carts do have a region identifier it is unrelated to region locks. DSi-enhanced carts will be region locked on the 3DS for sure though.

  • Exkaiser

    Eh, don’t even care. Region locking didn’t stop me on the SNES or the PS2.

    • thebanditking


      • Caligula

        What does that have to do with playing imports on other systems?

      • Exkaiser

        How does that prevent me from playing imported games?

        And I like the way the 3DS looks. I was just fine with my DS fat, too. The only reason I upgraded was because the R button broke.

        I’m sure the Gameboy should have launched looking like the Pocket.

        • thebanditking

          replied to the wrong comment, lol I am way too tired today….

  • Aiddon

    oh well, it’s not really a deal-breaker for me but I’ll be pissed if they announce a Jump Ultimate Stars sequel.

    • Arcm

      I would be raging like no other if that came to pass, I loved Jump Ultimate Stars

    • I bet they will. It’ll probably be called something like Jump Ultimate 3D Stars, and come out 2 years before any Smash Bros. 3DS game appears. :P

  • I’ll still buy one near launch, but I’ll be damned if the newer version that comes out eventually has a better non-square grip.

    • thebanditking

      It will, the DS launched with an eerily similar design, they both (DS Phat and 3DS) look like just a bunch of spare parts slapped together. I always felt the DS should have launched looking like the DS lite, and I am sure Nintendo will release a 3DS hardware revision within 13 months.

  • Guest

    Buy flashcart,import game, download game and play. Still pretty simple process if you really wanna play these games. I love the no sales comments, have fun not playing any games because you can’t import a select few.

    • You act as though there are no other systems as alternatives.

      • Guest

        All the other systems are already out there obviously. 3DS is gonna bring a whole new library of games you can’t get anywhere else and if people decide not to buy one because “baaaaaaw its region locked!!11” they’re gonna miss out. That said I bet most people will buy one eventually, people just love to complain.

  • As an Aussie, I’ll have to buy the USA version or wait to its hacked. Thanks Nintendo.

    • vadde939

      As a fellow Aussie I’ll be doing the same as you. Nintendo Australia can piss off.

    • Too true, mate. Too true…

    • AdamBoy64

      I’m the same too. An Aussie also, no way I’m buying it locally.

      • Testsubject909

        hang in there…

        • AdamBoy64

          Yeah, you too.

          • Testsubject909

            I’m Canadian, so I won’t have to worry about import. Just about paying a rough 10-20% more then the US, just because they’ve brought their games over the border, distributing to their own branch companies up north, despite the fact that the Canadian dollar is roughly equal to the American dollar, and has been somewhat stable in this position for the last few years now…

  • Chippel

    Really? Really. Can we just merge NA&UK regions so that EU game market isn’t completely f*ed? I mean, this annoys me enough as an American import gamer, but…

    • thebanditking

      Thats the first thing I thought of when I read about this actually, what is the UK/Euro market going to do now if a title is not released there. Sucks really, as I remember Nintendo taking quite a different stance a while back. Another thing I am going to chalk up as the differences between red logo and gray logo Nintendo (lol)

      • vadde939

        Yeah I miss red logo Nintendo. Ever since 2008 or so it seems like they’re almost a different company now.

        • thebanditking

          Well thats a +1 to my conspiracy theory believers list (lol). Joking aside I have noticed the exact same thing, not sure why though.

  • Caligula

    No big. I’m still buying it anyway.

  • …. give up with this limited edition discussion, Tsuna… Please. Didn’t you had enough reasons already telling you how lucky you are?

    • Oh youre right I did say that I would do like Sara B says and just Bottle It Up. Ill be a bitter American about this issue for the limited edition business but still, if I was a non American I wouldnt import from the US

      • Testsubject909

        For Australians who don’t know how to speak Japanese.

        I’d say they’re all in their own rights to import from the US.

        Anything is better then Nothing. So what if you don’t get the exclusives the Japanese have… It’s not as if it wouldn’t be the first time. Have you taken a look at the past ten to twenty years of entertainment? For the greater part, we’ve only been receiving breadcrumbs compared to what Japan basks in.

        And even that being considered. You’d sooner find me on the top of a building, pondering about jumping, then see me in Japan.

        Because I’m Chinese. Politically and in society, I’m not very welcome. I’m also a foreigner, a gaijin, that doesn’t help me. My japanese is very bad too, so I’d be even further lost. I’m a fan of gaming and anime, not as gung-ho as many others, but enough that I’d be branded a mild otaku immediately causing the ‘normal’ populace to be heavily alienated by me.

        And I think I’ve given enough reasons here…

    • Caligula

      Ignore him. He’s a troll.

  • gatotsu911

    In short: There really is no reason to buy a 3DS at launch. You might as well save up and wait.

    • neo_firenze

      That’s not what this means at all. There are still reasons to buy the 3DS… the games that you can play. I’m still going to be able to play Pilotwings, Kid Icarus, Dead or Alive, etc. I still want to play them.

      Even if the system was region free, I wouldn’t be importing anything right from the first batch of releases outside of my region. So why does saving up and waiting change anything?

      Is it unfortunate that we lose access to other regions’ games? Yes. But that doesn’t mean there is no reason to buy the system. If that was the case, there would be no reason to buy a Wii or a US 360 either.

      • kylehyde

        This is the first sensate comment I read.

        I don’t import too much (I actually made it twice in my life) and even that is a little letdownthe region lock for me I still have reason for buying a 3DS.

      • gatotsu911

        Of the games you mentioned, only Dead or Alive (maybe Pilotwings too, I don’t remember) will be available at launch, and that game is a rehash of the previous 4 titles – worth playing, perhaps (I know I want it) but not exactly an instant system-seller. Don’t get me wrong, I will inevitably buy the system at some point, but as of now all signs – price point, battery life, software lineup, and operating system – point to abstaining from buying the system at launch.

    • It certainly looks that way. I guess the best thing to do would be to wait a year and then see what happens.

      • How can you pass it up, wouldnt your friends get it day 1, one wouldnt want to feel left out for a year missing the system!!!!

        • But, if you wait, then the existing games may undergo a price drop. Plus, the library of available titles will be much larger after a year. By that time, the PSP2 should be out as well, which would make it easier to compare/contrast which would be the better buy.

          • I can state that with 95% confidence that the PSP2 is already the better buy, its only natural. Price drop for the 3DS titles, that is, as Sasuke Uchiha said, “dont take it personally,” simply hilarious. Nintendo dropping the price of their first party titles in a year, lotsa Wii titles are still 49.99 years after launch, I cant imagine that they would not do the same thing with the 3DS. Maybe the ugly looking 3DS titles would (if they can even be found in stores, I think SMT: Devil Survivor Overclocked wouldnt be able to be found in a store a year from its release)

        • No, actually, none of my friends are planning to get this day one. And when they find out about the region lock, most of them say they’re just going to wait for the 3DS Lite, since everybody knows there will be one.

        • gatotsu911

          Yeah, or maybe if you don’t have the emotional maturity of a 10-year-old, you won’t give a crap whether your friends got a new toy before you did.

  • thebanditking

    I’m not going to pretend this is some massive deal breaker for me, because its not. What is killing the 3DS for me (besides its chop-shop design) is the size of the screens. sorry for the inaccurate screens

    ignore the attached file

    • Suicunesol

      You’re mistaken. The top 3DS screen is slightly larger than a PSP screen.

      • The hell?! I don’t think my eyes could deceive me that much on all the 3DS videos ive seen!

        • thebanditking

          Again sorry please except my apology I did not check the files after uploading. see above for corrections

      • Ren

        Really? What are the dimensions and resolution comparison of the two?(I’m lazy to search)

        • malek86

          The upper 3DS screen is 3.5″, while the PSP is 4.3″.

          • Good, and the order has been restored

          • thebanditking

            Since I can’t get the pics right now, my above numbers are straight from IGN’s article, which unless they are incorrect make the screen smaller overall then a PSPGo which is smaller then a PSP.


            Your absolutely right the pics I put up on Flickr were way too small, thats what I get for not checking the the files after up loading. To further clarify the 3DS screen is a little smaller then a PSPGo’s screen.

          • Suicunesol

            You’re right about the dimensions, my mistake–the PSP screen is a little larger than the 3DS top screen. But the examples you provided on flickr are way too small (computer screens don’t render inches and millimeters properly). If you’re going to make example pics with an imaging program, it’s best to measure by pixels instead of inches or millimeters.


            I’m pretty sure, because this screenshot of LoZ on the 3DS is much larger than the pic you provided on flickr.

      • thebanditking

        N/M flicker or my photo editor shrunk the screens prior to upload

        Either way the actual dimensions for are 3DS 3.02 wide 1.81 high 400X240 resolution (800X240 in 3D mode)

    • I think the parts you choose to “not show” in the 3DS size example will infuence in my opinion…

  • kylehyde

    I admit that the region locking potentially could suck for me specially considering that most of the titles that I prefer are japanese, however I don’t know japanese so my only options for titles that doesn’t come to America were the importation for the european versions if those were avaliable. However during this whole generation I only have imported one title, but there are many people who are acostumed to import.

    About the other features, well, at least they are being honest about that they are not going to be there at launch, I just hope that those feature become avaliable not too long after the launch, meanwhile they don’t do the same that sony did with the ps3 about removing features.

  • vadde939

    If I buy Australian I’ll have to put up with prices almost double what Americans pay for both the console and games. I’ll also have to put up with not being able to play the many games that are released in the US and not in Aus. Who cares about lame special editions? Being able to play the damn game at all is what matters to me.

    • Ren

      And that is what I hope he’ll finnaly understand one day. Sadly, knowing how much time it took him to understand good graphics =/= good game, and no voice acting =/= bad/worthless game and seeing he still have some relapses, I don’t think that’ll happen soon.

      I feel like Trist is Siliconera’s puppy on the process of being housebroken. It can be equally cute and annoying and it’s always amuzing, altough not always in a good way, and it takes a lot of frustating time to make it understand what will get him praised or chastised. I wonder what kind of dog he would be. For some reason, a Golden Retriever(playfulness and exitement) and Siberian Husky(incovenient and destructive) mix is what comes into mind. Hmm, I want to play Nintendogs now… I wonder where my brother stole my Lab and Friends cartridge to?

      • Code

        rar, I don’t know at nearly 3,000 posts, I think he’s totally trolling us all >wO>” but generally I just let Tuna go about his business >w<'

  • HarryHodd

    Children always mess things up for us adults.

  • Last I checked, it wasn’t the seven year olds importing games. No, this isn’t about ratings, not at all. They could easily include ESRB, CERO, PEGI, etc., on every 3DS, I’m sure. This has to be about keeping people in Europe from buying cheaper US games, or something of the sort.

    • Darkrise

      Obviously. You don’t see a kid going on the computer and using a credit card to buy a $50+ ds import. They just want us to strictly buy from their own respective countries to make money.

  • Double posted by mistake.

  • Caligula, I never said I liked or disliked nintendo. Are you even reading what you post?

  • The whole “rating system” excuse might just be the biggest video game related load of crap I’ve heard this year. And yes I’m making that claim only 20 days into the new year.

    They are probably doing this to prevent system importations. I can imagine PAL buyers would definitely try doing that given their price is what… almost the equivalent of 100$ more than ours?

  • JustAnotherTraveler

    And just like that, I am not getting a 3DS at least not at launch. I will wait until the 3DS Lite, which will be vastly superior and come out within eight months. Of course, I am assuming that by then, people will have released some kind of Freeloader. Otherwise, I don’t know if I will ever bother. A good percentage of the games I play are imported. In this day and age, there shouldn’t be region protection between the US and Japan. It’s silly. One of my favorite things about handhelds has always been that they are region free. Thanks a lot Nintendo. It seems like they have some actual problems with importers, but who knows why. I remember the Wii fiasco where they purposefully released updates to remove Datel’s Freeloader and get rid of the hacked version of it too. I’m sure they have their reasons, but it doesn’t make being a gamer any easier. I always give Nintendo a chance though, but it’s hard for me to justify it this time. I might, for once, just not get a major console/handheld.

  • lunier, I’d ask you to actually read comments before posting next time.

  • daizyujin

    Well add one more knock on the check list of things that make me reconsider my purchase.

    Resistive Screen – Check
    No 802.11n – Check
    No actual online identity – Check
    $10 hike on game prices – Check
    $50 hike on system price – Check

    Considering the lackluster launch titles I just feel that compulsion to buy slowly fading away. It was there as I have one on preorder. I guess the best thing to do is just wait to see what both Apple and Sony show off this year, and act accordingly. I doubt there are going to be too many games I want before we get some concrete information on the competition.

  • Darkrise

    Boooo! Stupid Nintendo is stupid.da

  • And then they wonder why people create and purchase flashcarts.

  • Suicunesol

    I really don’t know what to say. This decision isn’t enough to make me hate Nintendo as I hardly ever import anything, but it’s still disappointing. (And I wanted to try Love Plus too! >_<)

  • Even though this is a issue. It’s mainly would be just a real issue with PAL gamers. Since the seem to get everything so late compare to everyone else. Out of all the games released this generation on the DS. I only imported 4 games. With 2 of them coming to the US. This generation has been bad for importing because of the 2 differences in the portables. All the games that would be import worthy are on the PSP. The power of the 3DS will change that, but still. In the end all we are going to miss are anime games. Most that are major licenses will get brought over Naruto, Bleach, and Dragonball Z. So what are we really going to miss some rare underground hit? With the current state of gaming in Japan. Where Super Mario Allstars out sold present day games. 3rd party developers need to make as much money as possible. They are no longer able to not release worldwide games or even be exclusive. You have to make as much many as possible. You do that by selling to the biggest audience possible.

  • Code

    rar, Tuna you can’t expect to say these things can come off looking anything but a jerk, Australia has one of the rawest deals I know when it comes to gaming. I’ve got a number of friends/family in Australia, and they pay nearly double prices, have to wait sometimes over a year from NA release, have a terrible selection of localized games, often have terrible times with censors and ratings. To put this in prospective, it’s like the equivalent to complaining about a paper cut when the person beside you just had there whole arm torn off by a shark opo;

    rar, I’m put out by the regional locking, but yeah like it’s been said before on this topic, the real people who are going to be hurt by this move are people who aren’t in NA or Japan.

    • Ren

      Have I ever said I love how you put rar on the start of your every pharagraph? I usually hate text verbal tics, but for some reason I adore yours.

      • Code

        haha I adore it too >w<' rar, I think it does everything I want it to do and so very much more!

  • and this is why i’m waiting for the psp2. i’m 22 years old, if a game has blood, guts, boob, profanity, boobs in it, then by god let me play in on my usa console!
    i’m a gamer that play games for the fun of it, i could care less if there is some disturbing snit in my games. and i do mean snit.

    • who here hasn’t lost a chance to play a good [email protected] game just become some idiot who probably doesn’t even play video games said its to violent, or that the content is “harsh”

      we as gamers have the right to decide if we like a game, not some desk jockey.

      three games off the top of my head that might never see a release in the usa because of the “rating” system.

      Blaze Union: Story to Reach the Future(one of the games that had “content issues”)

      La Pucelle: Ragnarok(psp remake that wasn’t ripped apart because it had things like cigarettes.)

      pong (i fear at are current course even this game will be rated T for teen most likely for VIOLENCE)

      name a game that you have had taken away form you.

      • Code

        I think your failing to understand the why some games are and aren’t localized, it’s fairly uncommon for it to be, solely because of content or something that requires censorship sinking it’s chances for localization. Rather a lot of factors go into the decision to localize games and Atlus/NIS and many other company’s are only going to tackle the projects they feel are going to do particularly well in other regions. Often the problem is the game is seen as only “clicking” with a really niche crowd in other regions.

        In general PSP has been a finicky system when it comes to games getting localized because of it’s got volatile market outside of Japan, I mean I look at something like Rockman Dash Collection and am absolutely puzzled why it never came over, there’s nothing that even needs to be censored.

        Also I think your missing the overall reason why people are annoyed in this topic. It’s not because of censorship and content preventing games we want from getting localized by companies, rather it’s getting locked out of other regions games by the system itself that we would typically seek through importing.

        • i was hoping i sounded like i implied that. sorry.
          i agree, megaman legends should have been shipped over here too. i mean it could be pure profit if it was released on the psn store. there wasn’t even any extra content. and translating wouldn’t have been an issue since we already had it here before.(for multiple consoles. well at least the first one ;)

          i like to import the games that i feel i will never see in the states. (one of them being mm dash collection, another being tales versus, and yet another one being La Pucelle: Ragnarok.)

          another issue is licensing issues, it can halt a game in its tracks before it can even be considered for release in the usa/eu areas.

          as much as the 3ds cost(if rumors are correct $250) i think it should be an option in the software to remove that protection. like a 1 dollar charge and it gets lifted but you have to be 18 or older (yata yata)

          i just hope the psp2 is not following suit.

  • Zero_Destiny

    X( It’s region-locked because of Parental Controls!!! Argh, because we ALL know ten year old kids import SUPER violent games from foreign countries with their credit cards. This is just a lame excuse. To me it seems just lazy from Nintendo. You could of easily made each regions’ ratings work on the system or just have system set up so that if a foreign game is put into it you can lock it out. You know have it be like US 3DS doesn’t recognize X game from Europe please enter parental password to play. This is just lazy. :( LAME

  • What? Region-locked? Nonesense! Now this is the Nintendo I know!

  • Shockingly, I don’t mind the whole region-locking thing. Yeah, it kinda sucks that Nintendo’s tune is changing about it, but hey, it’s also Nintendo’s choice in the matter– I won’t be annoyed really unless if, say, an Ouendan 3D comes out, and even then, it’s just one game out of many more I’ll get instead.

    However, I do mind the fact that people basically casually support the idea of the console being hacked before it’s even out, all because of the region-locking. Yes, the argument is that if they had no region-locking in the first place, they’d buy the games legit/won’t have any need to hack it, but to be honest, the people who will hack it anyway won’t be doing it because of the region-locking– in fact, the fact that the region-locking is now being targeted will just be the public excuse for doing so.

    • Like I said. Entitlement. Most of what Japan makes was never made for Western audiences in mind, so they have no obligation to make it available to them.

  • Guest

    In this day and age region locking is an obtuse, intrusive and dated practice. There is no reason whatsoever to keep enforcing stuff like this, people will work their way around this. Consumers deserve better, we are not wild animals that need to be in a cage. We deserve proper products for our times and needs. If we don’t demant that we will never get it, plain and simple.

  • puchinri

    I don’t import much myself (and my Japanese is shamefully rusty anyway), so I can’t say I care. But it is a shame. But like some others, I am curious if it can play imported DS games.

    Although, out of curiosity, how many people that import actually understand the game they’re playing or have to use a guide/translation~?

    • Ephidel

      To my knowledge DS games have no region information, so should be fine.
      DSi games not so much, as they’re already region locked so logic dictates they’re not going to work on other region 3DS-es either.

      To answer the Curiosity Question:
      When I import Japanese games, I go for rhythm and action games where the language isn’t a barrier ;)

      That said, I think a lot of people who import are importing games in English (Or French, or Spanish, or whatever other language combos US games sometimes get) that just don’t make it to their regions:
      In the EU it can take ages for a game that’s already released in the US to come out here and a lot of them never do. Aus sometimes gets hit with additional delays on top of the EU ones for some reason, and they have additional problems with their game ratings board having no AO rating.

      Some of my favourite DS games (999, Etrian Odyssey II&III, KitN, SMT: Devil Survivor & Strange Journey) have never made it here (Europe). When those games are available in English in the US, it kind of smarts that we can’t play them.

      As an example, in terms of DS games released by Atlus alone, of the (roughly) 36 games they’ve released or distributed in the US, only 16 of them are available in Europe. I mean, I might have missed a couple by mistake, and it’s a biased example because not all companies have quite that large a discrepancy, but Atlus just works so well as an example of games that don’t hit both zones. (That said, I’m definitely not interested in all of them – 101-in-1 Megamixes and Tokyo Beat Down aren’t really my thing :p)

  • thaKingRocka


  • I’m hoping a company like Datel comes up with a 3DS freeloader/region-free device. Maybe something like the Action Replay DS, where you plug the 3DS cart into the peripheral then play it. Sure, it’d stick out and look horrible, but it’d let me import games! :D

    • Aoshi00

      That’s how I played the Wii imports at first, w/ the freeloader disc swap, at least until the updates blocked it… then I just caved in and got a blk Jpn Wii, damn Nintendo.. and now they’re doing it again to screw us importers.. and the only reason I want a 3DS at this point is to play Professor Layton, it would be at least a year before it gets localized if they need to do Devil’s Flute first..

      • I wanted region-free pretty much for Tales of the Abyss 3DS. (We all know how Namco Bandai is about Tales.)

        • Well Tales of the Abyss came out in the US, I imagine they wouldnt miss bringing it out to the US…

          • That’s what I thought about Tales of Vesperia PS3. XD

          • Let’s also not forget about Tales of Symphonia PS2…

  • Tokyo Guy

    Hmm…I think people need to consider that importers are an extremely trivial percentage of Nintendo’s customer base. The fact that you are angry unfortunately means nothing to them whatsoever. By their considerations, some 1-2% of their potential customers are upset, whereas their view of the remainder “benefits” from decreased piracy and stronger sales. And then that excuse about “parental settings”.

    As I posted yesterday, the 3DS has seemingly pre-sold out within hours of reservations beginning here in Japan (or at least here in Tokyo). I have no doubt it will sell out in all other countries as well.

    I will agree with the comments made about hackers and whatnot. They always claim to be doing things for “intelligent” purposes, but when you look at the after effect, it’s always the same: stealing. I think many of them just want to be famous within their circles for having accomplished something difficult; that is to say many might not care about piracy at all, but just want to hack the product for a challenge.

    And as I also said yesterday, I believe this decision by Nintendo will simply lead to more piracy. Once flash carts and such are made for the 3DS, all those who can’t play foreign region games can potentially begin to play them by stealing. And the worst part of the matter is that Nintendo is almost inciting this kind of mentality because of it’s “we hate importers” stance with the 3DS.

    As a final note, I feel equally angry and can sympathize with everyone here. I frequently import games from North America and thus I too, will now have a problem.

  • Didn’t they say something about the wii getting dvd playback post launch as well? Just saying…

  • idofgrahf

    I don’t see what the big deal is, didn’t the court just ruled that it is legal to jailbreak and unlock Iphones? Bottom line, you bought the device, its yours, I don’t see why you are not allowed to tamper with it, sure it will void the warranty but most people who do it aren’t concerned about it. Its not like the average joe is going to reverse engineer it and make a look alike to see for profit.

  • Kai2591

    Here’s hoping Sony stays region-free….FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER AND EVER

    • Aoshi00

      W/ the PSP and PS3 being region free, I certainly hope PSP2 would continue to be in contrast to the 3DS.. even though I anticipated the worst that the 3DS would be region locked (seeing some DSi games were), this news is still disappointing and their excuse made it even worse.. if they just flat out said they don’t want people to import fine.. The only game I want to play now is Prof Layton.. Maybe I would just pick one up from Jpn later (if I go thru w/ my planned trip to Jpn sometime later this year).

      • Kai2591

        Yeah hope so….ooo~ its nice to be able to go to Japan…Good luck with that.

      • I cant imagine the PSP2 would be region locked, since I doubt they will be changing the PSN store as well, I hope we’d still be able to sign into the different stores as well. Its fun being able to download demos in the JPN language and play them.

  • NetscapePizza

    Hey Nintendo, I bought all my DS games of which 12 are UK, 10 are Japanese and 4 are American. If the DS was region locked then I wouldn’t have been able to play half my favourite games for the system (Including Retro Game Challenge).

    By doing this you have just forced me to hold off my 3DS purchase until the system is cracked, if I buy it at all that is.

    • This raises a question. On the PS3, only PS3 games are region free. PS1 and PS2 games are still region locked. So with the 3DS being region locked, does this mean original DS games will have to match the system’s region too?

      • Wasnt the DSi and DSi XL region free for DS games, but not for ones that embraced DSi functions? Wouldnt this work in the same way?

  • Great. Seems like I’ll stick with my DSi, and maybe buy a PSP go or a 3000 (Whichever I feel like really) to replace my old PSP 1000.

    I don’t play a whole lot of imported games (I told a friend of mine who went to travel around Asia to buy a few games and that was it. Another friend of mine buys a crazy lot of imported stuff, so I just borrow them), but if it wasn’t for the region-free stuff, I wouldn’t be playing my copy of Tales of Vesperia PS3.

    • Really with the huge abundance of games coming out for the 3DS, this is the reason to not get it?! I just dont understand, lol.

  • “Nintendo eShop and browser won’t be available at launch…along with the ability to download 3D movies and transfer DSiWare games over to the system.”

    Not really fussed by this. I have the internet at home and work, too busy playing 3DS games to want to play any GB or GBC games at the moment and got no 3D films I really want to download (I’ll be watching Tangled in the cinema) and got no DSiWare games to transfer in the first place.

    To me the problems for the 3DS are:
    – Region locked
    – Low battery life
    – No GBA titles available to download
    – Having to still wait a couple of months.

    As for the £220-230 price range for us Brits…Yeah I winced for like a split-second and then got over it. Not only will I be buying this on day 1 but I’ll actually be attend a midnight launch for once. So Day before 1 I guess?

    • I dont understand why people want to buy the system to play GBA games, I can not see how that inability is that critical. And if the games are included in the Nintendo eShop, well perhaps your first three paragraphs are contrary to one another…

      • GB – Game Boy, GBC – Game Boy Color, GBA = Game Boy Advance.

        You underestimate the power of backwards compatability :D GBA has such a good wealth of games that still play well to this day (unlike many GB and GBC games in my opinion) and Eventually I’m going to be interested in playing some retro games. Hopefully eventually Nintendo will include them :D

        • You think they will really support the store? They are barely even consistent with the virtual console, so the wealth of the games in the GBA catalogue will probably be unavailable.

          • How would someone like you who would keep everything that’s “retro” and “olde” away from you with a yardstick if it was physically possible know that? There’s plenty of classics on the Virtual Console.


            I’ll pre-empt you here just in case you think 375 for NA, 368 for EU, and 349 for AU/NZ are small numbers and say that many of the titles available are classics that a lot of people enjoy, including *drum roll* Sonic games.

          • Dude, this is crazy, how do you always anticipate exactly what I would say next; this time has put me into quite a pickle, lol. I guess me being unaware of those numbers probably shows just how, uhm, out of touch I am with retro and olde games. I have Sonic 2 from the VC and Paper Mario and thats it.

            I guess if they got 350+ up there for America perhaps they will support it well, I should really follow the Nintendo download or whatever they call it more…

    • Although the price is £30-£50 more expensive than the US, we pretty much an’t help that due to the financial diffiiculty (can I call it that?) the UK is currently in. Shopto is currently taking the preorder @ £199.98 so yeah…might as well just preorder the console before it goes back to it’s original price which could be more than what it’s current is at because the price now are I believe initial and Nintendo may decide to rise it’s RRP. Also for “homebrew reason” might as well get the first batch release because there could be a chance that it could be enable us to play game from other region.

      To me the main problem for me is:
      – Region locked
      – Low battery
      – Low quality of DSIWare games (if you kept track of the DSIWare release chart and listen to the giantbomb cast DSIWare section, it really does sound like crap)
      – The time difference in localizing a game in both region (US and EU).
      – Friend Code (why can’t Nintendo just let us use our own username? I really do not like turning on my DS just to give my friends my friend code)
      – Probably more when someone get their grubble hands on the console before release.

  • I love the pictures used in the article – I think they’re a fairly accurate representation of my feelings/expression on having that confirmed.

    I’m now looking at all the US version DS games I have that were never released over here, and there are so many. I think the only solution is for me to start being given electric shocks every time I think of playing, say Etrian Odyssey 3, to prepare me.

  • Well, this has pushed me away from a 3DS, at least until the next version of it. I guess I will either pick up a PSP later in the year or, better yet, wait and see if the PSP2 offers anything better.

  • Eri

    T-T Indeed

  • In the end, Nintendo doesn’t really care if you import games or not because you’re in a minority of people. How many games are actually imported each year? It can’t be very many.

  • Yeah, I’m really not gonna buy this (at least not at $250). I suspect there are going to be many more headaches in the future and it’s probably more intelligent to just wait for the next one in the 3DS line than get the first and deal with bugs.

  • As an importer my reaction is this:

  • Joanna

    This is certainly disappointing since it’s always nice to have the option to get a game that isn’t released in your region. I don’t import, but I am planning to do so soon for a few Europe-only DS games. So yeah, I agree with everyone that is disappointed with this news. That said, I am still planning to pick one up at a later date like I intended before (waiting for the Lite revision because I don’t like the current look) and wait till a handful of games I am interest in have been confirmed for North American release.

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