A report filed by Korean gaming site RuliWeb claims that the upcoming Nintendo 3DS portable gaming handset will be region locked. The locking system on the 3DS will be much like the system used by DVD players and movie releases. The gaming console and corresponding games will have an embedded region code — the console’s region code will not be editable by the user. If the handset region and the game region do not match, gameplay is disabled. The publication cites the following conversation — purportedly between a customer and a Nintendo support staffer — as the source of its information:
There are no Region codes in DS and DS Lite, but DSi, DSi [XL], and 3DS have region codes. The region codes are installed in each game and the 3DS itself. … You can’t play if the region codes are different.
For example, if you play a Korean 3DS game with a Japanese 3DS system (or vice versa), you won’t be able to play at all.
A mild form of region locking is currently in use on the DSi and DSi XL consoles, albeit on DSiWare and DSi-enhanced titles only. The locking is, in all likelihood, an attempt to protect companies that have signed region-specific release deals with Nintendo. The company did not respond to requests for comment by several publications.