back to article Nintendo to limit DSi games with DVD-style region locks

The upcoming DSi handheld games console will be region locked, Nintendo has confirmed. Despite software on the previous DS console being region-free, Nintendo told website Eurogamer that it decided to tie the DSi’s software to specific geographical regions because the console “embeds net communication functionality within …


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  1. Edwin

    Lost sales

    I have to say Nintendo is hiding behind some pretty shaky arguments there.

    We'd picked the DS partly 'cause it's region-free. Guess we'll be buying a different platform next time. Too bad - we're collecting quite a few games for it over at my house and my wife just picked up our second console on a trip to San Jose.

    Is this really region lock-down or is it more pricing differential lock-in?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Online verification?

    the console “embeds net communication functionality within itself” and Nintendo intends to “provide net services specifically tailored for each region”.

    Maybe this will be a way of preventing those piracy carts from working?

  3. David Gosnell

    Age ratings

    Probably a backside-covering move, given the likelihood that such ratings will (for better or for worse) become legally binding in some shape or form in the next couple of years, and as the Eurogamer article clarifies, these vary internationally - though does this mean it will be even finer region-coding than on DVDs, to accommodate every national variation?!

  4. Nick Askew

    I'm sure it would be wrong of me ..

    .. to suggest that this is simply a move to halt the online purchase of games from other cheaper regions.

  5. Vincent
    Thumb Down


    I hate region locking. Sometimes you can wait months on end just for a game to be released in Europe. What's more annoying is that we're just waiting for Nintendo to translate it in to languages I don't even speak/understand.

  6. Paul Murphy

    hmm delivering something ..

    That the customer doesn't want is not a good idea.

    I hope that Nintendo find a compelling reason as to why people would want this, because I can't see one, and people are more likely to stay away from an 'upgrade' that restricts them.

    I wonder how long before the homebrew crowd would get around this.


  7. Colin Millar

    the reason why?


    it (Nintendo) decided to tie the DSi’s software to specific geographical regions because the console “embeds net communication functionality within itself"..."

    Bllx - its so they can charge Brits more

  8. David Heffron
    Thumb Down

    Excuse me, Nintendo....?

    "Because each region has its own age limits set by different, independent bodies, Nintendo said it believes a console region lockdown is necessary."

    No one believes this. You know that, don't you?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Excellent News! - not...

    Well, that's the final nail in the coffin with regards to me buying one of these. I travel between the UK and Canada very frequently, and my DS Lite goes with me. At the moment if I see a game I like in either country, I can buy it there and then. Instant consumer gratification...

    If the DSi makes this impossible, I will simply not bother with it.

    It will not reduce piracy and I suspect it will not take long before this is disabled by those very clever people out there, just as it has with virtually every other region locking system.

  10. Matt


    lies lies and more lies, but at least it's a good excuse for them to introduce the price fixing the other companies employ.

  11. Joe Cooper


    I really appreciated the lack of a region lock in my GBA. I bought mine in the states, and have had no problem playing games bought in Poland or Germany. Very convenient. It just makes sense for a mobile platform!

  12. Dan


    It’s good thing they’re doing this for the children.

    The more cynical of us may have thought it was a way to screw over any Brit who bought cheap imports.

  13. Jon Grattage


    Isn't the UK in Europe?

  14. Chris

    Won't be buying one of those then.

    What happened to you Nintendo, you used to be cool.

  15. TimM
    Thumb Down

    “provide net services specifically tailored for each region”.

    Yeah specifically services that allows them to extract the maximum money from a market region.

    Any other reason for region coding has always been a smokescreen (cinema release dates for example, where very few cinema ticket sales are really impacted by import DVDs. More likely impacted by piracy which ignores region coding anyway). Different requirements per region?

    @Joe Cooper - You'll still be able to import from anywhere within the EU. Region coding is illegal along with any other form of market restriction, within EU states.

    Shame really as I have more respect for Nintendo than other games console manufacturers.

  16. Richard
    Paris Hilton

    DVD Style encoding..

    and hopefully DVD style enforcement, i.e. it is by-passable by entering a "secret" code.

    Paris because as the jet-setter she is, she would like to play games in any region.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Jon Grattage

    "Isn't the UK in Europe?"

    No, it's sort of just off the coast.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Rip off UK again

    As with everything it will probably cost twice as much to buy a game in the UK or Europe than it will in America or Asia. I thought Nintendo were one of the 'good' guys of big business. Obviously I was sadly mistaken. Vitriole vitriole...

  19. adnim

    How about some truth for a change

    Regionalised embedded firmware can deal with these issues, there is no reason to region lock titles unless of course maximising profit is the goal.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bye bye sales.....

    Anyone getting carts from another country, if frustraited by region lock they will go down an alternative route, possibly something like an R4 for less than twenty quid and just illegally download the latest games instead. The PS1 is a good example of this, and that needed the hassle of modchips, the PSP managed to survive this so long as it was so notoriously difficult and user unfriendly to run game copies.

  21. Michael Warburton

    Who cares?

    Nintendo consoles seem notoriously easy to hack, there'll be a CycloDS(i) card soon after launch I've no doubt. No need to worry about region locks and carry all your backed up games on a single card.

  22. K

    lol ... Hello Nintendo, Goodbye Nintendo..

    lmao.. I've been waiting for this handheld, now I'm just laughing at it!!!

  23. Joe K
    Thumb Down

    Wake up

    They haven't done this for any other reason other than to stick it to the import companies, don't want that riff-raff making money now do we.

    Also, it keeps Japan stock soley in Japan, where the populous is obliged to buy a minimum of 3 new models each, keeping the supply restricted and the rest of the world desperate until we get it next christmas.


  24. Bad Beaver
    Thumb Down


    That is just wrong. Regioncoding on a mobile device is a total PITA. I want to be able to buy games for my device wherever I happen to be.

  25. kk
    Thumb Up

    Chill out ffs

    Ok so the comments have been more intelligent than on other sites. At least you guys seem to get the idea that it’s to regulate online pricing.

    But despite knowing that and for you all to still bitch about a company trying to protect its financial models seems a bit off.

    Things cost differently in different countries, its global economics not a company’s personal vendetta against you to make your life as difficult as possible.

    Also DS games which will still probably be developed for for the foreseeable future is still region free so yes you can still buy carts where ever you go, or import them.

    Ps: “PSP managed to survive this so long as it was so notoriously difficult and user unfriendly to run game copies”

    Obviously has no idea. The psp can be so easily soft modded with a little research and in fact many believe it’s the modding scene that has kept this platform alive through hardware sales. Its certainly not the games!

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Get 'em while they last

    I suspect this will create a rush on DS Lites, as people who like the platform but don't want to be bogged down with crap restrictions will want a spare on hand.

  27. Kevin

    anyone else read the whole article?

    "The DSi is backwardly compatible with software designed for the DS, but it’s worth noting that the DSi region-lock won’t apply to DS titles."

    from the way that is written it sounds like it only applies to the online store for the DS ware which if anything like the Wii ware is a pile of emulated games and game demos. Not the actual DS cartridge based games.

    I won't be buying one not due to the region lock for DS ware, but due to the fact my DS I bought on the day of release still works perfectly fine, and like the saying if it ain't broke don't fix it.

  28. paul l


    this region things a great idea, i hate it when i get connected to the japenese internet instead of the UK one, with UK regional net communication imbedded into it i shouldnt have any problems.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Lies and bullshit.

    >"Nintendo told website Eurogamer that it decided to tie the DSi’s software to specific geographical regions because the console “embeds net communication functionality within itself” and Nintendo intends to “provide net services specifically tailored for each region”."

    What a bunch of specious nonsense. If you want to tailor your net services for each region, you do it with a bit of anycast/edge caching and geoiplocation. Not by hard-coding it in the game. Maintaining and manufacturing multiple versions adds to their costs - they wouldn't do that for no reason.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People who want to import

    You obviously want to import because you're interested in playing actual games. Too bad. You gamers aren't nintendo's core audience anymore. The people they're marketing too nowdays won't look at the internet to check upcoming releases, or whats coming out in japan. They won't hear of most titles until they're out here, so it doesn't matter.

    Plus I don't think nintendo have caught on to the fact that punters in the regions they neglect can actually see when titles come out elsewhere and see that they're getting the shaft.

  31. Iain

    What? Is this a joke?

    "the PSP managed to survive this so long as it was so notoriously difficult and user unfriendly to run game copies."

    Ha. Hahahahahahaha. No, really. This has got to be sarcastic. I've never met a PSP that wasn't softmodded. Not because I'm a dirty pirate, but because it was the only way to play PS1 games on them at first.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    It's in the firmware...

    Given how the original DS' firmware could be completely re-flashed with a elaborately crafted "circuit closer" and flash cart, I'd say it won't be long before those "do-it-yourself firmware region changer carts", complete with illegally-ripped firmware from DSis of each region, starts appearing in markets where parallel imports are illegal, which will then probably be shipped elsewhere.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the DS. I even have a Pink DS Lite. And I have applauded Nintendo in the past when it turned out that the PSP was indeed region-locked after all (even though it was up to the publisher to decide if they want to implement it, and in the end just a handful of crappy EA-published games- no surprise there, eh?- and all those movie UMDs most never cared about used it). but now it's sad to see the Big N destroying the handheld market they have built up.

    Skull and swords. It's not about piracy, but choice of software, especially in countries where Nintendo has no presence.

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