For years now, fans of the early Nintendo dual screen handheld systems (DS) have had access to not only games released in their own region(s), but also the ability to freely play import titles from other regions throughout the world. When the DSi hit, a region lock was implemented and that trend will not continue once Nintendo releases the 3DS
over the next couple of months.
An email from Nintendo of Japan support has made its way public which confirms that the system will be region locked. The region locking with the DSi system was “spotty”, in that there are only a few retail titles that were actually locked, as well as all of the digitally distributed titles. I am sure that many Nintendo fans are hoping that this same spottiness continues with the 3DS as the import-friendliness of the system has been a huge seller to hardcore gamers.