To the disappointment of many, Nintendo has confirmed that its new hardware for the 3DS and 3DS XL will be region locked in affirmation of its policy.
Presently, all the 3DS hardware models that are available follow a strict policy or being locked region wise. So, a 3DS console from Japan, Europe or the US will be able to play the games only from that particular region.
Many were hoping that these new models from Nintendo would be breaking free from the policy of being region locked. Fans have been insisting Nintendo to remove region locked restriction. The company confirmed to GameSpot that these new models too will follow its policy of being region locked.
Nintendo has followed this policy for its Wii U consoles as well. This is in contrast to the policies of Sony and Microsoft. The first handheld console from the company to feature this restriction was 2009's Nintendo DSi.
Nintendo fans protested against this policy of the company raising the issue through an online campaign via Change.org that managed to get close to 32,144 supporters.
Nintendo has defended its decision of having region wise locking on its handheld consoles.
"From some people's perspective, it might seem like a kind of restriction. However, we hope people can appreciate the fact that we're selling our products worldwide," Satoru Iwata, president, Nintendo told in an interview to IGN last year.
"There are many different regions around the world, and each region has its own cultural acceptance and legal restrictions, as well as different age ratings. There are always things that we're required to do in each different region, which may go counter to the idea that players around the world want the freedom to play whatever they want," he added.
These new Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL consoles have not been confirmed for North America. It is expected that the company will release the handheld in Japan later in 2014 and its European release sometime in 2015.