News Article

Sorry, Contrary to Rumours the New Nintendo 3DS Will be Region Locked

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Hardly surprising

In recent days a rumour, with no substantial source beyond hearsay, has been doing the rounds that the New Nintendo 3DS systems would be region free. We declined to report the rumour due to the lack of compelling proof, but nevertheless checked up in order to clarify the situation; as some may be contemplating pre-ordering a Japanese model in the hope it'll be region-free, it's worth confirming that the new systems will be region locked.

Nintendo UK has informed us as such, and it's no surprise; if it weren't for the rumours it wouldn't have necessarily been a particularly valid question. Due to Nintendo's adherence to the principle of region locking with the 3DS and Wii U, it would have been an unexpected turnaround for this hardware revision to be region free. Whether Nintendo re-considers the policy in future generations is something else entirely, but it was always a long-shot in this case.

So there you have it. The New 3DS will be region locked, just like its older sibling — don't pre-order a Japanese model unless you want to be limited to only playing Japanese games.

From the web

User Comments (164)



SuperWiiU said:

Nobody expected Nintendo to grow up, but at least the backwards compatibility with DS is still there unlike many other new models.



XCWarrior said:

Darn, I was really hoping to magically be able to read Japanese words thanks to my new 3DS.... someday that technology will be available! #sarcasm



AdanVC said:

Pre-order of New 3DS from Japan cancelled... Nintendo gon' Nintendo.



Azooooz said:

I don't know if I'm right, but region lock can be officially unlocked through software update, right?



spiffeh said:

Not suprising, but it really doesn't bother me. I'm still getting an NA version day one.



Mus1cLov3r said:

@XCWarrior You don't have to be able to read Kanji to play games from Japan..... Unless it's a game of choices, you don't actually have to read what they say. Figure out the menus through trial and error.



Webby-sama said:

I have no issue with region locking. All of my importing can stay focused on quality anime blurays and character figs.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@Azooooz: Since region-locking is an inherently software-based thing nowadays, it theoretically COULD, yes. I wouldn't hold my breath, though.

@XCWarrior: It's not just about Japanese games, y'know. I have more PAL DS games than Japanese anyway, simply because publishers (third-party AND Nintendo themselves) couldn't be bothered to release their products in America. Then you have the PAL gamers who had to import the likes of Retro Game get the point. Sure, you COULD import Japanese titles and muddle through (I did so on Tingle's Balloon Fight since it's not text-heavy anyway), but this is really more about accessibility for games already in English for a lot of us.



Azooooz said:

@ThomasBW84 Sorry, I meant system update. Nintendo does a good job at making system update, so I don't see why Nintendo can't make one to unlock the system's region lock.



2Sang said:

Meh. Not too big of a deal at this point for the 3ds, it's got enough games for every genre in every region that nobody's grasping for any game they can get like....other consoles...cough*wii u from 2012-2013*cough



ZenTurtle said:

Seriously, they should make it region free, but ordering a Japanese system is borderline ridiculous, not to mention expensive...



SilverSeraph said:

Such a horrible and backwards policy. And in the end it costs them, and the few 3rd parties that bother with them, money.



Gerbwmu said:

Doesn't really affect me.....but I know there are many on here who would like to import games or because of work/school/etc would like region free so hopefully Nintendo will figure out something that works for them and us



Ryu_Niiyama said:

@ZenTurtle It depends on how much you import. I was looking to upgrade to a JPN LL so the new system is a good time to jump in. My issue is off loading the old system. Since its not a collector's edition I don't really need it...

Also I've found the mark up isn't really that bad...unless you were just talking about the cost of buying a redundant system due to the lock. I agree but I have enough games to justify the purchase. It just means that I won't be buying a XBO or a PS4 anytime soon. I have a pc so I'm not worried.



Azooooz said:

Region-lock, for me, is not a big deal. Nowadays, we get some Japanese games officially translated and imported by publishers. If a game can't make it to the west, then we can't do anything about it.



Stuffgamer1 said:

@Azooooz: I figured that was what you meant. Sony has proven that region locking CAN be done on a game-by-game basis, as the PS3 is mostly region-free, but some titles (okay, just one as of now) do lock. Every disc is region coded (hence the region one logo on the side of the American boxes), but the system normally ignores that. Nintendo COULD do the same thing, or even let it be an optional thing like Sony did. But they won't, because Nintendo. sigh



DualWielding said:

Ninyendo is to stupid to understand a concept as simple as people sometimes having to move to another country/continent



ShanaUnite said:

Oh well it is a good thing that making good games somehow excuses you for making poor decisions when it comes to these matters.



outburst said:

What was Nintendo thinking btw? I don't have a 3DS yet but I was considering one with the release of Smash 4 3DS. Now I will wait for the New3DS which will come next year. Or maybe I'll just wait for their next gen handheld since I am not attached to the 3dS yet like how I've passed on the Wii and waited for the WiiU.



FritzFrapp said:

@Mus1cLov3r @XCWarrior

Of course, it's not just westerners buying Japanese games that are affected. Europeans, Australians and New Zealanders can't buy a game in America or Canada and play it in English or French on their PAL machines.

In the UK and fancy that nice Atlus game with CD included for early adopters? Tough, you're out of luck.

For other gamers around the world, particularly the Middle East, it gets really crazy, with one country getting US games and the one next door being PAL (or even PAL home consoles games and US NTSC handheld games in the SAME country!).

It's bad enough for home consoles, but for handhelds – something that many people take with them on travels and work abroad – it's especially anti-consumerist.



FabioSMASH said:

A region-free 3DS is pretty useless unless you can read Japanese.
And, yes, obvious observation is obvious.



shinokami said:

I would care but Nintendo is doing a good job on localizing games that 10 years ago would be Japan exclusive. With Yokai Watch and Project Diva on the way I truly have no complains.



bouncer0304 said:

Not a surprise really. What i'm more interested in is the PC back up feature. I really hope that this'll apply to original 3ds/xl owners as well. That is damaging sales as i've seen many times on forums people saying they won't buy until it's a unified system. And i don't blame them really! I also want a virtual console which spans both Wii U and 3ds in terms of games on offer. I bet you anything that GBA games will only be available for the new 3ds models. If they do that though, Nintendo had better prepare for the storm ahead. The current 3ds models can handle them fine (i've played them myself and they run well) so there's no excuse.
Pereonally i won't be upgrading. From what i've seen there's nothing really that wows me. Xenoblade, while amazing to have it on a handheld, doesn't look as good as the Wii version sorry. I still need to play that on my Wii U as well



darkgamer001 said:

"A region-free 3DS is pretty useless unless you can read Japanese.
And, yes, obvious observation is obvious."
Because obviously all NA games are localized in Europe and vice-versa, right?



mike_intv said:

Actually, what we all can do now is trade our old 3DS units across regions. That will make more sense (and value) than trading them in at GameSeller.



Spoony_Tech said:

Aren't people more worried Nintendo will introduce a new handheld next year?

Sure I want it but do I need it?! If it made my current games look and play better then maybe.



Legromancer said:

people defending region lock is really a sight to behold. Do you hate having more options?



JadedGamer said:

@spoony_tech ,But it will make your games play better with its super stable 3d and standard circle nub! I want it so bad but ijust bought my 3ds this past december.So Im on the fence...I guess the steady stream of Wiiu software in 2015 will become the determining factor



LoveSugoi said:

The 3DS has been very good with localization, except for a couple of particularly niche titles I pretty much have every game I would have bothered to import coming to West. The Vita has been the same way actually, there will probably be only less than a handful of games I'll have to import for preorder bonuses/special editions or because they're just too niche to ever make it over here. So the region locking isn't a big deal to me but I understand that's not the case for everyone particularly European gamers so I'm disappointed (though not surprised) with this decision.



JadedGamer said:

And yes I do fear another portable console being released.But it will no doubt be compatible with new 3ds software..



Legromancer said:

guys, the last minute delay of SMT IV is more then enough to be agianst region lock. It is anti.consumer, nothing more. And besides, Nintendo is the only one doing this with their handelds/consoles. Nobody else. Let that sink in.



BinaryFragger said:

How about Europeans importing games from North America (which was possible with the DS)? Many games, especially from Atlus, were never released there.

I don't know why people automatically think of Japan when the topic of game importing comes up.



Hy8ogen said:

Honestly I don't mind region lock if ALL the games are available to us in different regions. Sadly that is not the case. I have been wanted to play SD gundam g generation 3d and digimon digitize for a long time now. Because of region lock I can't play these games.

So unless Nintendo solve this issue, region lock is just BS.



tux_peng said:

It doesn't really affect me, but I don't like region lock either. If nintendo does do anything, it might just be like the region lock change from DVD's to Blueray's



Legromancer said:

@ BinaryFragger
yeah, defending this lets people looks stupid. ,,I don't care and neither should you'' was never a great argument. But hey, at least the hardware sales from Nintendo are at a new all-times low, right?



DarkKirby said:

Nintendo always insisting on trying to have their customers by the Pokeballs instead of giving them choices.

Nobody (of the main console companies) region locks anymore except Nintendo.



Blaze said:

Looks like us Europeans will still have to deal with Atlus screwing us over all the time after all, yay~

lol at all the americans telling us to go buy two 3DS's; because everyone knows that's a great, easily-affordable alternative to Nintendo just removing the region lock.



unrandomsam said:

Could be the retailers that spoilt it for us. (Like when they started caring about used and then we stopped getting a decent quantity of budget releases - Gamecube was more than reasonable).

A significant number of DS games in the closest game shop to me are imports sold new. (Stuff like Mario 64 DS etc).



ChessboardMan said:

Wait, isn't that a photo of the "new" Special edition 3DS, that isn't one of those NEW 3DSs? Or did they announce they were making a New new DS with that design too?



Iggly said:

Would be nice if region lock was removed, but what I'd like more is to have every region's eshop combined into one large eshop so you can buy digital copies of games that aren't in your region if you don't mind language differences. Though retail is better so I can see why people wouldn't agree with this idea of mine.



ikki5 said:

sounds about right. Also, to those that say they don't care about region locking, think about it this way, If there was region locking, you are not affected, If there was no region locking, you are still not affected. Now, to those who do care, if there was region locking, they are restricted, if there was no region locking, they were not restricted. S0 really, saying that you don't care about region locking so therefore there is no need to be a change is hurting those where it does matter when no matter what the outcome, it doesn't affect you so why would you need to feel the need for others to be restricted?



Kirk said:

Good old region locking...because that's what everyone wants.

Hey, I guess this really is "Nintendo Life" this point ;-P



LztheQuack said:

@ikki5 It's easy. I don't care because I'm not affected. It sounds selfish, but I don't really see the need to post angrily about it.



SanderEvers said:

Actually region locking is a good thing, publishers more often release games in multiple regions because of it.



Findonovan95 said:

Doesn't effect me, but that doesn't mean I agree with it. Between this and controlling who I add as a friend on Miiverse I'm getting really fed up. Something needs to change.



IKAY said:

Not surprised, but at least a kind of confirmation for other regions. (didn't expected it to stay jp exclusive)



Mus1cLov3r said:

@Frapp True.... But for some reason, anytime I think of region-lock, I just think about how we can't get Japanese games... Selfish, I know. :/



rjejr said:

@Spoony_Tech - they might introduce it late next year but it wont be out until holiday 2016, that will be 4 years after the Wii U launch and the next system will be some type of portabe hybrid. Still not sure how that will work exactly, 2 separate systems or a portable Wii U Gamepad, but it/they will launch simultaneously holiday 2016. So go ahead a buy a new 3DS

@ChessboardMan - Yeah, thats what I wanted to know. Nintendo needs to make the New 3DS diferent enough so we can easily tell. I dont think anybody could confuse the DS and DS Lite. Even the DS Lite and DSi had differemt slots.

edit - upon further review Im going to give myself a big "duh" as the nrw ZR and ZL buttons are clearly visible at the top. To wait or not too wait, thst is the question.



Ralek85 said:

Nintendo is by far the most restrictive of the 'Big Three', region-lock being just one aspect. Ironically, it is not Nintendo, that catches flak for this, but M$. I guess the potential for restrictions is always more harrowing, than their very existence.



DarkLink95 said:

I really don't mind but this sucks for those people that want to import games from Japan or wanted to get a Japanese one next month.



kereke12 said:

Once again Nintendo fails again but..........Its actually a good thing because it affects business, lol to the people who say "It doesn't matter to me if the console doesn't have region (Un)-lock" — Lol those were the people who said last week that they wanted it unlocked...Typical..



JaxonH said:

@AdanVC pre ordering based off a hearsay rumor was never a wise decision in the first place. I knew that rumor was bogus the minute I heard it.

People make up rumors like this knowing it's not true, so that people get let down when they find out. It's a clever method of turning the focus away from the exciting new revisions to a negative aspect



TySoN_F said:

I didn't even hear of this rumor, so I guess I'm not too disappointed. But still, I had nothing short of praise for the Nintendo DS because of how accessible importing was. They're a couple games I'd love to have from other regions and I wish I didn't have to shell out for a new console just to experience those games. (Then again, I'm tempted to buy the Vita based on 3 and only 3 games alone haha).

At the end of the day all we want to do is play more video games lol. I don't see why it's so necessary to give us a huge hurdle.



nilcam said:

Nintendo will have a very hard time convincing me to upgrade.

As it stands, the DS Lite will likely be the last great handheld. Neither the 3DS nor the Vita have acceptable battery life; the 3DS is region locked; the Vita doesn't have a user changeable battery. Both systems take too long to boot up for a handheld.



JaxonH said:

@kereke12 Didn't hear me saying that. Yeah I said I want it, but region lock had nothing to do with it. Said I want it and I still do



XCWarrior said:

@unrandomsam Google Glass is cool in theory, but I've used it, and it has a LONG way to go.

@BinaryFragger With digital releases now, things that only come to EU or only NA is going to be few and far between.

I understand there is some value to not having region locking, but clearly there's gotta be a reason they don't do it.



ShadyKnights said:

While I personally don't care about region locking and respect those that do as my best friend really gets flustered about it, who was expecting this and why? I get that those who do want it really want it, but people you shouldn't delude yourself like that.

I mean I do think it'd be awesome if all consoles were region free and all that jazz, but I don't buy them for that, nor do I hold Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo to each others standards. I hold them up to their own individual standards and that's it, because I like them for what they themselves do. I don't get the argument that "Sony/Microsoft does it so Nintendo should too!" when the whole point of having a different console (to me) is to see what they do differently. The pros and cons ad flavor and make me appreciate what I do get on each of them. Just my few cents on the subject.



okamiki said:

Starting to think this new model will be a flop, unless they screw us more with a lot of exclusive software but even with that I wont buy It.

Still have a lot of games to buy so new hardware for me It will be only 3ds successor and after I'm really done with It.

So I hope my ice white holds on till then.



AVahne said:

Was there ever any doubt? This is Nintendo we're talking about. Now then, the Homebrew Channel dev will continue to have my support.



AVahne said:

BS, look at the Wii. Also, region-free didn't decrease the chances of games coming westward for DS or PSP nor any handheld before them.
Region-lock does nothing but give Nintendo the opportunity to force importers to buy more of the same console. It's all about maximizing profit. Of they'll just hide behind the wall of cultural differences, which is just a bit valid.
Besides, look at Vita. Region-free but we're getting quite a lot of Japanese games. And for the ones that don't eventually get released, you could just import without having to buy another copy of the same system.



mullen said:

Whatever, I never believed the rumor from the first time I heard it. Even that was true, unless you can access different eShops from any 3DS, that's still useless for me (eShop version is cheaper (without shipping fee) and has some exclusive titles).
I just hope Nintendo can drop the region-lock for local wireless play. I was told even the latest Kirby Fighter Z has region-lock when local play with different versions... I think only few games from Nintendo like Animal Crossing and Pokémon doesn't have region lock for local play.
I hope Super Smash Bros 3DS can be one of them. I plan to play the JP version first then buy the US version, and I hope I can then simply give one of my 3DS to my friend and battle.



Einherjar said:

Well, there are plenty of reasons for it, there are plenty of reasons against it.
At the end of the day, we have to live with it.



AVahne said:

Supposedly, Nintendo CLAIMS that region-locking is optional on 3DS. Considering how the same is true for Sony's PS3 (and I guess PSP), yet most games on Sony's last gen consoles were region-free, there are two conclusions that could be made:
A) Nintendo is lying (no surprise)
B) Nintendo is either paying devs or FORCING devs to shove region-locking into their games, even if they have no intention of ever localizing the games. (Also, no surprise)



AVahne said:

How exactly do you access another region's eShop? I see people claiming such a thing is possible, but I can never seem to do it.

EDIT: Looked it up a bit, seems it used to be possible to switch between eShops ONLY in the PAL regions. I see some people claiming to switch to the Japanese side, but I do believe such people are just idjits lying to try to make the 3DS look better.



ikki5 said:

@WaLzgi lol, anger... that wasn't anger, not even close, the the need to post for it is because people are being selfish by not wanting or argue against something that makes no change to them at all. Which to me, is just mind boggling. Why complain about something that does not affect you, why be against or state against something in which it will not have any affect on you? It just doesn't make set with peoples mind sets like yours.



Einherjar said:

@Wouwter There are a bunch of legal reasons to do it, though i have to say that im not 100% up to date on my infos regarding it.
For the consumer himself, there are no reasons, that for sure. For the consumer, such an action only brings negative aspects with it.
But think of it that way: A company produces a game and releases it in the US region. Everyone in the EU region goes ahead and buys this version. A bit later. the localized version gets released and not bought, because people already own the other one.
Then there is always the hassle of online integration, console region, access point region, game region yadda yadda.

With sonys network being a clusterf**k already, i think they had no point in dealing with region locking. Microsoft let developers chose if they wanted to include it or not. Some games had it, others didnt.
Its basically just purchase region controll etc.

Like i said, for us, its a negative point, but it can bring benefits for developers. The problem is, that gamers most often just look at a problem from their own perspective.

Or to put it bluntly: If a developer cuts off potential import purchases, there have to be reasons for doing so other than, going by popular opinion, f**king with the consumer.



mullen said:

@AVahne No, I meant it's impossible. Maybe some people said they can switch from US to Canada or Mexico, but it's impossible to switch from US to JP.



mullen said:

@AVahne About the optional region-lock, as far as I know, there are 2 games can be considered as "optional". One is the famous Louvre guide, another is not as famous: Zelda OOT Chinese version, which can be played on both Traditional Chinese region and Simplified Chinese region (that's 2 regions, and only this one title is playable on both systems). You may notice that both games are published by Nintendo, so if that's optional, that's only optional for Nintendo.
Btw, I also saw a post years ago from a publisher that said they want the game to be available for all regions but Nintendo doesn't allow it.



Wouwter said:

@Einherjar Which is why they should release their games at the same time, or close to each other (no point in importing a game if it'll arrive after it's out in your country).
I don't understand your other points, online integration etc.
It's just silly that Nintendo decides for everyone that region-locking is the way to go, it's not even developers choosing region-lock. Anyway, if their next handheld is region-locked I don't think I'll be buying it.



AVahne said:

Oh Okay, I think I'm still a bit dizzy after playing Neptunia for 5 hours straight with no water breaks. Anyway, don't think it's possible to switch to between USA, Canada, and Mexico.
And your reply about the optional thing reinforces some of my beliefs.
Sigh...really wish Nintendo would get rid of region-locking. Can't wait for the hackers to bring out of the Homebrew channel for both Old 3DSes and New 3DSes.



mullen said:

@AVahne Actually I don't know if it's possible to switch between US/Canada/Mexico now, thanks to the NNID country-lock. I think it's possible before NNID was introduced because one of my friend did that.



TwilightAngel said:

Damn i really wanted to play Xenoblade chronicles on the go.Well at least this saved me some money sort of.



Einherjar said:

@Wouwter Localisation is one of the most costly and time consuming aspects of creating a game. Thus, releasing every region at the same time is a real feat in an of itself. Just look how long it takes for Shovel Knight to arrive in the west.

For smaller companys, its almost impossible to do so. And in cases like Rune Factory 4, the localization was the impossible part for the dev. They simply didnt have the money to do so.
Getting the rights to publish a game here in germany for instance is lake teaching a pig to fly. And trust me, that would probably be less stressfull.

To the network thingy: Different regions connect to different servers. Even non multiplayer games might do it for update reasons etc.
So, you basically need every system to be able to connect to every server possible or have every regional server store data from games, not available on that region. Even that can create legal difficultys, as other regions have other laws for server usage.
For instance, thats one of the reasons why most console devs outright ban accounts / consoles accessing servers / stores from other regions.
Normally you would say "why do they care, money is money right ?" bt the legal issues that come with it are the real problem.

Even some import stores had to shut down because of that. In some countrys, its illegal to import unrated media. Importing overgoes these testings of "what your laws think is good for you" and therefore, create legal issues. Outright blocking imported content is one way of dealing with the afterglow of such problems.

Its the same deal why peanut packs come labeled with the obvious warning, that they contain traces of peanuts. Its to prevent lawsuits.

And to be perfectly honest, sure, im also mad for missing out on games like RF4, but there are only a handfull games that hevent been released over here. Not buying a console because of an amount of games you can count on one hand would be unreasonable.



nathatruc said:

Region lock: baten kaitos origins doesn't exist in europe, thanks to the freeloader I played it on my french GC. Another exemple: disaster day of crisis not available for us wii and it's one of my favorite game on wii. (2 great games by monolith and nintendo didn't do his job right). And like other SMT IV still not available in europe and will only be on eshop like ace attorney.
And they're not even translated so there's no excuse for the delays.



VIIIAxel said:

Eh, I don't care. With Yokai Watch coming to the West, there aren't any Japan exclusives I care about anymore. Besides, I'd hate to stumble through menus I can't read. I'll still pick this up day one if I can.
Also, I don't think there are any PAL exclusives I'm interested in, so I'm all good.



nathatruc said:

Played radiant historia in europe but it was never released here. Thank to the DS not region locked on my 3ds.



nathatruc said:

I'm going to tokyo in december could have bought one there, but now I'll just have to wait. Bought my ds lite from china years ago. I think region lock is stupid for an handheld what if I move to the us ? I would be unable to use it there.



AVahne said:

Huh, oh well. Not like it matters if you could switch to another country that basically has the same region coding (North America). If you could switch between completely different regions like NA to JP to EU, etc. like you can with the Vita (albeit with separate memory cards).......



AVahne said:

Thank the devs for not making the game "DSi-enhanced" for any reason. If it was, you wouldn't be able to play it on your European 3DS (or DSi).

EDIT: As for your comment about those last few Wii JRPGs, they came over to the US a year or later after EU, not months. Much more painful of a wait.



AVahne said:

I don't think region-locking on DSi itself was optional, just the "DSi-enhanced" features such as camera use, enhanced Internet connectivity, and maybe slightly better performance when played on a DSi (or 3DS). Region-locking just comes with using those (though you'd have to ask a dev if that's true).
Still bitter that I can't play Fire Emblem Heroes of Light and Shadow unless I pirate or buy a freaking DS Lite or DS Original.



LztheQuack said:

@ikki5 I'll admit I used to complain before...just in general. But now I've decided to just be more neutral toward everything



AugustusOxy said:

And this is the straw that broke the camels back. No faceplates for the XL version + Micro SD card bs + stronger parental controls + region lock = I'll keep my current 3DS. Faster mii-verse and extra buttons aren't enough to make me 'upgrade'.

Nintendo needs to end this whole 'child friendly' BS that is essentially alienating their loyal, adult fans.



k8sMum said:

a lot of 'it doesn't matter to me so I don't care' nintendo apologists here.




The New 3DS XL is amazing! While region locking doesn't exactly make me happy, since I won't be able to import E.X. Troopers, it really doesn't bother me. There are MORE than enough reasons to upgrade from my current black 3DS XL to the New 3DS XL. Let me count the ways:

1. New 3DS XL looks cooler: multi-colored buttons and customizable covers.
2. Lighter than the original 3DS XL: original XL is a little too heavy.
3. Clearer screen: original 3DS XL screen was too blurry at times.
4. More powerful: faster load times & bigger, better games.
5. Longer battery life: 6.5 hours max life on original XL, 7 hours on New XL
6. More buttons: extra shoulder buttons = potentially better control schemes.
7. Extra analog stick: goodbye clunky and costly Circle Pad Pro.
8. Built-in NFC reader: transporting toys into games is cool to anyone.
9. Bigger 3D viewing angle - losing 3D effect for a second kills the immersion.
10.Cost - New 3DS XL retailing for only $180 in Japan.

The new 3DS XL has 10 HUGE improvements over the XL. And NO negatives. Even with the region locking, there's a chance E.X.. Troopers eventually comes to the States. It's a no-brainer for me. Did you upgrade from the original 3DS to the XL? I could only count 7 or so improvements from the original to the XL, and most of those were minor compared to the improvements the New 3DS XL makes. AND there were negatives with the XL compared to the original like the screen being blurrier and costing significantly more. There is NO reason if you made the upgrade from original to XL that you shouldn't upgrade from the XL to the new 3DS XL. And if you don't upgrade from the original 3DS to the New 3DS XL? You are INSANE!!! (and not in the cool extreme sports way)



IceClimbers said:

With how backwards Nintendo is, if they didn't have region locking many games would NOT BE LOCALIZED!!! Games like Bravely Default, Tomodachi Life, and even Fire Emblem Awakening may have never been localized if the 3DS was region-free. It would have spelled the end of the Fire Emblem franchise.



StarDust4Ever said:

@NEW3DSXLISMINE Sweet, you signed up to post. Welcome!

I upgraded from my launch 3DS to the white/pink 3DSxL. I'll do the same with "New" 3DS, if they make one in pink, or even purple! Yes, I'm a dude and pink is a "girl's" color but I don't care...



Trikeboy said:

@SuperWiiU "Nobody expected Nintendo to grow up"

What do you mean by that? 3DS was the first portable to be region locked. I understand their reasoning behind it. After buying import titles for PS3 and Vita, I found out the hard way that I couldn't get the online content for the game. I'm not saying it doesn't suck, just that I understand why.




@StarDust4Ever, thanks for the warm welcome! Nothing wrong with a dude liking pink. I think I misspoke in my 1st post. Looks like the New 3DS XL doesn't have interchangeable covers. They probably gave that feature exclusively to the smaller New model because the XL versions are so much more popular. But I'm sure they'll come out with a pink New 3DS XL. After all, that is the most popular color among girls...and dudes who like pink. I'll stick with black myself



Kolzig said:

Quite sad to hear that Nintendo still hasn't learned from their mistakes...

Here's hoping that the inevitable software update comes still someday that makes the 3DS and the Super 3DS region free. It most definitely is a software block and not a hardware block. Also would not hurt to make Wii U a modern console by making it also region free. It really pains me to not be able to play games like Yakuza 1&2 HD.

It is just so strange that Nintendo is so often the first to make all the big good changes regarding the controllers and all that, but then they are still a stone age company when coming to stuff like open world and no borders and artificial region locks. They really ruined the handhelds with DSi's region lock. Was the eShop the only reason they made the region lock? The account system has always been quite poorly made by Nintendo engineers so maybe they just didn't have the brains to make a proper account system and had to resort to include a region lock at the same time so only one region eshop could be accessed and cartridges from the same region.

The most stupidest part of region lock is that not all same games get released in USA an Europe. NoA and NoE have some absurd ways of not releasing games so that one region gets something the other one doesn't. Wii U isn't even that necessary to be region free, but the handhelds are. It's just insane that if I were to go to USA or Canada for a trip and saw some new game there and wanted to buy it, but it would not work on my 3DS. It used to be awesome with DS and DS Lite when you could do that. The same goes for if an North American gamer goes on holiday to the old continent in Europe and sees for example in England some awesome new game and wants to buy it. Nah nah, Big old Nintendo don't want to you to buy their games freely. They don't like to earn money. So go home and wait for the game to be released there, IF it ever will be released.



Zombie_Barioth said:

The problem with that is, going by Nintendo logic even with region-locking we might not get games. It certainly didn't encourage them to localize Xenoblade or the other Project Rainfall games. We almost didn't get Animal Crossing at all, what saved it was Tree House playing around with the localization and everyone loved what they did. For one reason or another we never got the sequel to Hotel Dusk.

At least without regio-locking there wouldn't be anything stopping you assuming the game is already in a language you understand. There really is no goid reason for it. Any "legal" or "cultural" reasons Sony and Microsoft have to deal with as well, Nintendo isn't special in that regard. Its not their job to be helicopter parents for their customers either.



IceClimbers said:

@Zombie_Barioth True, though Nintendo has done a lot better job when it comes to localizing games recently. I mean, would you have ever expected Nintendo to localize Tomodachi Life last generation? I remember seeing a Japanese trailer for the game a few years back. I said "there's no way in hell they'll ever localize this". Had to eat my hat this year



StarDust4Ever said:

@IceClimbers There needs to be a lot more hat-eating then! I remember arguing with a guy on VC Forums a few years back (2009 I believe), that SMRPG would be released on Labor day as the 250th VC game, and he said he'll eat his helmet if it came to pass (his avatar was a hamster wearing a helmet). I'll bet that helmet was super duper yummy, too...



AltDotNerd said:

Don't care, as long as that picture of the "Super Smash Bros New 3DS XL" is real, it can be region locked to a single city for all I care!



Zombie_Barioth said:

Yea, Tomodachi Life is definitely a game that screams 'Japanese' if I ever saw one. Don't have the game myself, but boy I've seen the GIFs.

I'd say Nintendo does better than a lot of companies when it comes the localization. Theres not too much we don't get, Animal Crossing is the only one I know of that was "too weird" for western audiences.

@Kolzig has a good point about the account system being the issue. I wonder if it isn't due to everything being tied to the hardware rather than a separate account, so there is no way to region-lock just the accounts.



BinaryFragger said:

Although game importing is most likely not that common, I'm surprised about the number of people who are against having more choices.
If the PSP was region-locked, I wouldn't have been able to enjoy my European copies of Breath of Fire III and Tales of Eternia, two games that were never released in North America.



Wouwter said:

@Einherjar First off, thanks, your response is great. Really explains some of the problems.

I get that localisation is time consuming, it's just that when a game comes here (Netherlands) it will most likely still be in English. That really makes it feel like a pain waiting for games.

To the network thingie, can't you access stores from other regions on your Playstation and Xbox? It's what they claim here anyway.

You're right that there's probably only a handful games that don't come here (from the US anyway), but some arrive much later (SMTIV, just delayed again) or don't get a physical release (like Phoenix Wright 1 2 3 in Japan). It just feels like an unnecessary step back from the DS (I actually have two Japanese games on that).
My reaction about not buying their next handheld is a bit overblown, they'll probably sucker me into it anyway, darn them and their great games. But region locking is still sad in my mind.



Einherjar said:

@Wouwter Localisation =/= Translation. Translating the title is only one small step of localization, and because of how costly it is already, its even skipped more often these days.
Localisation is anything from finding a regional publisher, maybe opening a regional branch, producing promotion material, manuals and inlays, getting the rights top sell it in the first place, getting it rated. And all that managed from the other side of the world

For instance, our USK (the age rating organization here) only rates games, send to them in physical form. So, whatever you do, you need at least one mastered dist of you game no matter what.
Likewise, if they dont let you pass and youll need to change aspects of your game (also time consuming) youll need to send in a censored copy later on, meaning another master disc for a game, that may end up as an eShop only title.

So, even though games over there in the netherlands are in english, that doesnt mean that the dev didnt have to jump through several burning hoops to get that game to your country

Also, if youre dutch, were basically neighbors

To the store thing: Technically, you can access the stores of other regions on your console.
On an X360, you have to use a VPN tunnel to do it. Should you get busted, your concole gets banned.

On a PS3, you "just" have to make a fake account of that region. The biggest problem here: Sony has a region lock for credit cards and an embargo for online retailers sending prepaid cards to other countrys.
For me, its rather cumbersome to get my hands on PSN$ cards.
Also, fake accouts tend to get banned.

With Nintendo, i heard it has something to do with your regional settings of the device itself, but i have enver tried it. I have also never heard of bannings due to that, maybe because it only worked for a handfull of people.

So, to sum it all up: Of course you can. There is always a way to trick the system. The problem is, you may be able to, but you are not allowed to do it. Its against the respective EULA and as far as i know, still a legal grey area.



ToxieDogg said:

Region locking sucks. I'm surprised to see so many people supporting it, but they're probably the same people who would find excuses for Nintendo even if Nintendo came out with a load of restrictive anti consumerist garbage for their next console like Microsoft originally tried with the Xbox One.

I do not bother with Japanese imports as I can't read Japanese, but there's a lot of games that either get released in the US that don't appear in the UK until months later (and vice versa) or don't get released at all. Back on the DS, I had to import games like Contra 4, The Legendary Starfy and Dragon Quest: Rocket Slime, on the Wii I had to completely miss out on games like Excitebots and the Kirby Anniversary Collection because my Wii isn't modded. I could go even further back in time and reel off a ton of US Gameboy games I imported as well. Historically it's never caused any issues for publishers or caused them to lose much in the way of sales so why the sudden restrictions this gen? As for localisation, there's been quite a few instances when games released in Europe have only been in English anyway....look at Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies on the E-Shop for instance. Do you see many complaints about it? No. Most people are just happy to be able to play the game at all.

Asides from money grubbing, trying to maximise profits and control regional markets there's NO excuse for it, none whatsoever.

On the subject of localisation, why is it that games like Shovel Knight can be made accessible to Europeans on Steam worldwide as soon as they're released in the US, but on the Wii U and 3DS they're held back for months and months?



ModestFan93 said:

@ToxieDogg Read the post above you and every other one he has made. And typical bashing of people who spurt region-locking are blind fans and not the logical reasons behind it. Sigh.



ToxieDogg said:

@ModestFan93 I've read the whole thread, but I don't agree with the reasons supporting it. Do feel free to continue championing an outdated and anti consumerist system that isn't widely enforced by the other console manufacturers though.




unrandomsam said:

@Einherjar It is just wasted money that they have no need to waste. (Same as it would be for me if I had bought the USA version of Megaman X4 for the Saturn instead of the Japanese one. The text is not important the game is). Rondo of Blood on Wii was the same Japanese made no difference at all to me. Castle of Shikigami 3 the translation was creepy I would have been better off without it.

Plus for download stuff they choose to mandate the ratings. (If it was illegal not to then Steam wouldn't able to not do them).

Japan still likes "Game like games" and the text is completely irrelevant for them.



Einherjar said:

@unrandomsam And your point is ? Youre saying that translating a game is pointless since YOU didnt like it ?
And even dowload releases need to be oficially rated, there are no two ways about it.

Youre talking about a minority of games here. Care to play through, say, a full fledged RPG in japanese ?

And if you read my former post, localisation is NOT just translating a game. The translation is the most time consuming aspect, thats why most games these days only come in english and only the biggest titles get the benefit of a text translation.
Even IF you abandon translating a title, the whole localisation process is still a behemoth and still very costly.

And if your point should be "abandon localisation and make importing a default" let me tell you that we, and i guess thats not that uncommon in other countrys too, charge a ceretain tax fee for importing goods.
So you end up with a game you cant understand, but have to pay more for it in general.
Making them available through download only in other territorys would neglect the tax fee at the customs, but the game would still be unreadable for the majority, especially when it comes from japan.



unrandomsam said:

@Einherjar It doesn't have to or Steam wouldn't be able to have stuff on it with no ratings whatsoever. If that is illegal then Valve are being very stupid about it so I am pretty sure it is not. Or Appstores etc.

Importing games without a suitable rating isn't illegal either or they would be stopped by customs all the time.

RPGs need to have text you can understand but most games don't (In genres that are really struggling even in Japan). In this instance paying more is fine because they need all the money then can get and as few costs as possible. (Nintendo has no such loyalty from me).

USK is bad as well no reason to not have one for the whole of Europe. (The UK is the same in other areas like the stupid border controls that mean it takes 4 times as long to get back into the UK than going through loads of Europe).

I suppose if they just made the games for PC that might be easier but buying Japanese PC games that are not on Steam or similar is pretty difficult.

If they just put translations into the Japanese release and it was playable then they could do that for more games than doing a full localisation.

Neo Geo is all region free and the bios decides what to do. That is just fine as well.



Einherjar said:

@unrandomsam Pardon me im im not going to explain the whole point again.
You CANT skip localisation, you simply cant. WIthout this process, you cant put up your game on shelves across the globe.
Why ? Because you need someone to put them there. Someone, who organizes the whole manufacturing, shipping and selling process. You cant simply skip that.

About Steam: Steam DOES go against our local laws. Its even quoted on our Wiki Page. Games that are banned here arent available through steam, Valve opened a backdoor for games that arent rated yet to be censored through a forced patch or to be taken down entirely should it get banned (As of yet, never happened)
Also, Steams age restriction system is against our laws. Granting access to 18+ content over here through a mere age prompt IS illegal.

Due to said backdoor AND valve being an US company, operating under a different set of laws, this cant be adressed and is merely gelded.

Steam is, in fact, a legal grey area over here. Thats the reason every form of prepaid card around here, be it for teh eShop, PSN, XBL or Steam is labeled as 18+ to further restrict access.

Also, you cant have a single rating system for Europe, since europe consists of several different countrys acting under several, entirely different law sets.

"If they just put translations into the Japanese release and it was playable then they could do that for more games than doing a full localisation." Again, not possible. Like is said, translating something already is the most costly and time consuming aspect of the whole thing.
And without further localising it, no retailer outside of japan can put the game on shelfes, since it simply isnt available to them.
No store will say "well, we just order them from japan then", that would cost insane amounts of money for them.
Thats were local manufacturing comes into play. Make the games where they are put on shelves to shorten transportation routes. You need the man in the middle for this.



rayword45 said:

I'm very pleased to learn that Nintendo has not learned from their past nor the past of their rivals.

There's gonna be an exploit for homebrew much sooner than if they had left it region free



Zombie_Barioth said:

"If they just put translations into the Japanese release and it was playable then they could do that for more games than doing a full localisation."

Last I checked, most people prefer games in their language, one that they can easily understand. "Playable" is highly subjective and normally just squaking in quality. Barring all but the mist niche games (which normally just lack an English dub), if I'm shelling out $40-$60 for a game released on my home soil, I would expect more than just "playable" for my investment in their product.

Localization isn't just translation of text, its a translation if the game itself. In quite a few cases, companies have built their name on their localization, and a good part of a game's charm comes from it. In fact, even some of Nintendo's own games are popular due to their localization, namely Animal Crossing and Mario&Luigi. Mario himself has always had an English voice actor. Its not something to simply skimp on, and doing so comes of as cheap and shoddy, harming the quality of the game itself.



Noelemahc said:

@Azooooz There's the West and then there's the West. A crapton of games were released in Americas but not in Europe, and therefore are unavailable for Europe, most of Africa, most of the Middle East, non-Japanese-speaking Asia and Australia; despite having been released in English (and, in a few cases, French and Spanish).


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