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Nintendo defends 3DS region lock

You can't sample everyone's chocolates.

Nintendo has confirmed reports that all 3DS games will be region-locked.

When asked to explain the decision at today's 3DS event in Amsterdam, Nintendo UK boss David Yarnton told Eurogamer it was all down to varying regional content.

"There are a number of different factors that come into it," he explained. "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 one territory where there's downloadable content that's not necessarily either suitable or we don't have the means to do it in another territory. So therefore it may not be compatible.

"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 tow the line as far as government goes there. In Europe we've got PEGI. In Australia there's a different rating. America's got a different rating. Japan's a different rating.

Yarnton did offer a glimmer of hope that the situation might change in the future.

"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."

Although Nintendo home consoles have long since featured region locks, the 3DS is its first handheld to limit where users can purchase their games.

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Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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