Nintendo DSiNintendo has confirmed that its newly-announced DS handheld console revamp, the DSi, will not allow you to play games bought in other regions. The DSi features a camera, SD card slot, web browser and larger screens and launches in November in Japan and, according to the rumours, Spring 2009 in Europe.

The region lock, stopping Japanese DSi consoles playing European games etc. is only for DSi-specific games (cartridges or downloaded from the new “DSi Shop”), existing DS games will still be region-free. So why should gamers be up in arms about such a limited region lock?

1. We all suffer, not just the geeks – Quirky Japanese games like Phoenix Wright and Trauma Center may never have made it to the UK on DS if it wasn’t for publishers being very aware of their popularity on import. Localised, English-language versions of such games are costly to make – and it’s only when an import market is proven and demand (and hype) builds that we get a game most of us can read the text for. There will be loads of crazy, innovative Japanese games that use the new features of the DSi – but the region lock means it will be very difficult to prove any demand for them.

2. Control issues – A download shop systems, particularly with a region lock on, hands more control over to Nintendo. They decide pricing, which games get distributed in which regions and when. And they’re traditionally not very good at getting stuff to Europe very quickly…

3. Europe gets everything last – Apparently we’re set to get the DSi before the US does. But we’re still getting it well after Japan. And even that’s a rare instance of Nintendo (and most Japanese games companies) treating us with any respect. The history of videogames coming from Japan to Europe is one of delays, broken promises and poor conversions. Expect to wait a long time for popular DSi games to go from Japan to Europe.

4. No cheap/early consoles – Flying to Tokyo this Christmas? No point in picking up a DSi in Akibahara – it won’t play European DSi games when they launch. Ditto your 2009 Christmas New York dollar spending spree (not that you’ll have one if the credit crunch keeps going like this).

5. Different markets, different approaches – According to Nintendo: “DSi embeds net communication functionality within itself and we are intending to provide net services specifically tailored for each region”. Great – if history is anything to go by, while Nintendo fans in Japan will get some kind of all-singing, all-dancing iMode and iPhone-baiting service, European fans will have to input weird codes in just to play friends online.

Out Spring 2009 | £100 | Nintendo

  • hhh

    juz stick back to Ds is good enuff.this new dsi is worse than dslite in many ways…

  • rpgcod195

    i agree with him the dsi sucks so bad it should not even be a handheld system

  • james braselton


  • The shepard

    The DS is old hat now anyway.It’s great for kids but for more mature gamers the novalty soon wears off.
    When will there ever be a successful handheld console for proper gaming, the PSP was a big let down (it looked nice but real crap for gaming), the DS is for gamers lite.
    iphone and itouch are ok but still not for real gamers.

  • kaafi

    dsi sucks cause only fat people love it
    and the dsi has camera but do you know how they put the camera on it it went up my ass so you better thank me if you buy one

  • lolz

    “The DS is old hat now anyway.”

    Yet, it’s THE best selling console in Japan this gen, with 26 million units sold right now, so that’s ONE in 5 Japanese person who has a DS!

    The equivalent for the UK would be 12 or 13 million units!

    That’s HUGE, and many of these units are owned by adults.

    But then, there is a lot more DS software in Japan, like on most consoles, the Japanese market has the most games. And there are plenty of games to please older gamers available in Japan.

    It’s not a hardware problem, but a software one. Too many publishers publish shovel ware for kids in Europe. They should license good Japanese games instead of financing crappy games.

  • FishyHat

    I agree but not just for the region lockout, IMO the DSi has add-on’s and removals that simply won’t appeal to the Western/European market.

    Lack of GBA port: this is a dick move on Nintendo’s part..example: I own FFVI for the GBA..if i want to play this game on the DSi i have to download it from the store which means i have to buy it AGAIN!…no thanks.

    Obsolete camera: .3 megapixel cam?!?…my cell has a 1.3 and my Cybershot has a 7.2, so why in God’s name do i need another cam that isn’t even on par with my cellphone? answer: i don’t.

    DSi can support MP3: woohoo! welcome to the year 2000 Nintendo, it’s been done already with the Ipod and not only does the Ipod hold more songs it’s much more portable.

    I’m certain the DSi will be a big hit in the Asian markets, but i expect the DSi to phase out in Europe and the States within the first year or so.

  • chaz

    the region lock also is nasty to children who have relatives abroad, who want to give the cheerful lad or lass a new game as a gift. cue tears and frustration when the thing won’t play.
    nasty thoughtless suits, really. at least when the same thing happens with DVDs, you can (with foresight) unlock your unlockable player. hey! i know! we’ll just have a big collection of dsi devices in the house!

    people who decide these things are both greedy and stupid.

  • Meep

    My blue dsi is not region locked I can play my japenese Pokemon diamond on it with no problem.
    Plan on importing heart gold for it aswell.

  • trentway

    Nindow is bad company.
    This comany release DSi with internet without parent contol option at the beginning of DSi innitial setting. This means the parents who has no idea of internet, would give to the child and he or she is start surfing. Try out for yourself. You can even go to Hardcore site. Nintendo is owned and operated by Japanese and do care about other, except money. Demon minded company.. go to hell, Nintendo..!! Japanese sucks.
    posted by : trentway, 12 October 200

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