If there is one criticism that Nintendo faces over its products is the fact that they are region locked. This means that if you wanted to play a game, you’d have to wait for it to arrive for your region before you could, which means that any idea you’ve had about importing games from the likes of Japan would be out the window. So far Nintendo has region locked the likes of their Nintendo 3DS handheld console as well as the Wii U, and if you were hoping that things would change with the new Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL consoles, you’d be flat out of luck.
Nintendo will maintain its policy of region-locking hardware with the New Nintendo 3DS handheld, the company has confirmed to GameSpot. It means that games released across Japan, Europe, and North America will only be playable in those territories, effectively eliminating the opportunity to import games without importing foreign hardware, too. In contrast to Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo has a long history of region-locking its hardware, implementing the restriction to both the Wii U and 3DS systems. Despite hope that this policy would change, on Wednesday a representative for Nintendo told GameSpot that the New Nintendo 3DS, and New 3DS XL, will both be region-locked. In July last year, a petition imploring Nintendo to change this policy was endorsed by tens of thousands of consumers. At the time of going to press, the petition has close to 32,000 signatories.