Nintendo: DSi Software Will Be Region-Locked
Nintendo now says that software released specifically for the DSi will be region-locked, restricting gamers from downloading and loading games intended for other regions.
"DSi is region locked because DSi embeds net communication functionality within itself, and we are intending to provide net services specifically tailored for each region," said a statement
given to UK consumer website CVG.
The statement reasons that region-locking its upcoming DS hardware upgrade is necessary as the new system will feature parental control features which will be dependent on each region's unique age limit.
The DSi, however, will be able to play standard Nintendo software from any region, similar to the original Nintendo DS model and the Nintendo DS Lite. Users will also be able to browse the Internet on their DSi from anywhere in the world and exchange photos with friends in other countries.
The statement runs contrary to recent comments
from Nintendo of America's Sales and Marketing EVP Cammie Dunaway, who told Wired's GameLife blog, "I believe that just as you can currently buy a DS in Japan and use it here in the U.S., that you should be able to do that with DSi... I carry around my Ice Blue DS because I like the color, and I could find it in Japan and couldn’t find it here."
Further demonstrating the company's uncertainty over the DSi's region-lockout status, when asked by G4TV whether the forthcoming handheld will be able to play titles from other countries, NOA COO and president Reggie Fils-Aimé said
, "To be honest I don’t know for sure, I will look into it."
According to recent indications from the company, the Nintendo DSi will launch on November 1st in Japan, after April 2009 in the U.S., in spring 2009 in Europe, and in the second half of 2009 in Australia.