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Nintendo 3DS region-locked

Importers beware.

Importers and globetrotting gamers suffered a blow today after it emerged that Nintendo 3DS software will be region-locked.

Confirmation comes from an email from Nintendo of Japan support, translated by user farnham on forum NeoGAF.

This means that software specifically created for the Nintendo 3DS will be region-locked: European software will only work on European consoles, and more importantly US and Japanese software won't.

While the move is sure to disappoint importers, it comes as no surprise. Although previous DS handhelds - and GameBoys before them - had been region-free, the DSi and the DSi XL are region-locked.

Nintendo was undecided on the matter as late as E3 2010 in June, when Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said the company had yet to make a decision.

The 3DS is due out in Europe and the US in March, and in Japan on 26th February.