U.S. gamers planning on importing Nintendo's upcoming DSi handheld before 2009 are not amused.
No import for you! Nintendo confirmed this week DSi only software will be region locked. This applies to downloadable games as well as any eventual DSi-specific cartridge-based software, according to Nintendo. However, you'll still be able to surf the net and share pictures from anywhere in the world regardless of region. While regular DS games will remain playable on either iteration of the handheld, the DSi's region lock quashes any reason to import it before the U.S. release.
In a statement to CVG, Nintendo offers some explanation for the region lock. "DSi embeds net communication functionality within itself, and we are intending to provide net services specifically tailored for each region." Additionally, Nintendo explains parental control functionality will be included on the DSi, and different regions have a unique, independent age limit.
The company's clarification came this week after NOA executive vice president Cammie Dunaway shot from the hip in an interview with Wired's Game | Life blog, stating "I believe that just as you can currently buy a DS in Japan and use it here in the U.S., that you should be able to do that with DSi."