Earlier, we here at Attack of the Fanboy reported on a rumor regarding the possibility of the New Nintendo 3DS being region-free. The rumor didn’t live long, as Nintendo has now confirmed to GameSpot that the upgraded system will, in fact, be region-locked. This continues the company’s long-standing policy that has prevented its fanbase from importing games without having hardware from the same territory. So you can say goodbye to trying out games from overseas unless you plan on purchasing a second handheld system.
While we can’t say this is an unexpected move on Nintendo’s part, it is still disappointing to see the company sticking to this business decision while the competition has moved in the opposite direction. Having region-free hardware is important to Nintendo’s fans, too, as shown by this petition. The linked petition has reached 32,000 signatures, all asking Nintendo to remove the territory restrictions from the 3DS and Wii U. Reaching it’s 35k goal will unlikely move anyone at Nintendo at this point, however.
The New Nintendo 3DS and New 3DS LL are both set to be released in Japan later this year. A European launch will occur sometime next year, with a North American release currently waiting to be announced.