Yarnton: 3DS region lock partially due to ratings, DLC
UK Nintendo boss defends decision and draws parallels with DVDs
Nintendo UK boss David Yarnton has defended his company's decision to region lock the 3DS and its games by claiming that the decision is at least partly down to DLC support and the difference in international ratings systems.
Speaking to Eurogamer in an interview, Yarnton also compared the region locking to that of DVDs, which has long been accepted as common practice.
"There are a number of different factors that come into it. Part of it is, when you're looking at the software and the different areas, what additional features are included that may not necessarily be available in other territories? For example, we might have in one territory downloadable content that's not necessarily suitable or we don't have the means to do it in another territory. So therefore it may not be compatible," the executive told Eurogamer.
"The other thing is, if we look at it at on a regional basis, we have to be very conscious of - the customer may not really care about this - but different territories have different ratings. We're very conscious of making sure we toe the line as far as government goes. In Europe we've got PEGI. In Australia there's a different rating. America's got a different rating. Japan's a different rating.
"The other part, DVDs are also region-locked. It's nothing new. I know people would love to sample the box of chocolates from everywhere, but at this stage... As time goes on, who knows what's going to happen?"
The decision to lock Nintendo's newest handheld, meaning that games purchased from outside your geographical region won't play on a locally bought 3DS, surprised and many disappointed some, who were hoping to import niche titles from Japan. These hopes were dashed by an attendant PR in the Eurogamer interview, who responded unequivocally to the line of questioning.
"All games will be region locked."