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Portables (Games) Entertainment Games

Nintendo DSi Software Will Be Region Locked 148

aliquis writes with news that software made for the recently announced Nintendo DSi will be region-locked. Nintendo's reasoning is that the DSi "embeds net communication functionality within itself and we are intending to provide net services specifically tailored for each region." It's also been discovered that accounts with the DSi's online store won't be linked with the Wii store, so points for one won't work with the other. Nintendo has stated that they don't intend for digital distribution to replace retail sales. We discussed the DSi's announcement last week.
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Nintendo DSi Software Will Be Region Locked

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  • by Haoie ( 1277294 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @08:35PM (#25294207)

    Unless someone invents a workaround.

    And that's bound to happen.

  • Pandora FTW (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Sparr0 ( 451780 ) <> on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @08:56PM (#25294329) Homepage Journal

    Yet another reason I cannot wait to get my hands on Pandora []. My primary gaming handheld is currently a GP2X [], but I am starting to outgrow it for non-gaming purposes.

  • by supersloshy ( 1273442 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @09:23PM (#25294541)
    Nintendo's just too concerned with their profits to actually care about our needs. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the games they make (DK Jungle Beat, Wind Waker, every Metroid game, anything really that's 1st/2nd party), but I just hate the way their company's ran. Exhibit A: Nintendo absolutely hates piracy. They'll do whatever it takes to stop people from pirating games, such as trying to block homebrew (if you don't remember they tried to block the twilight hack, and removing the GBA slot can only mean they don't want people hacking their DSi's to pirate games) and blocking unofficial discs (that includes action replays, people). Exhibit B: Nintendo always says things are "impossible" so they can earn more money. Take, for example, the DVD incident. Nintendo said that "it would require more than a firmware upgrade to play DVD's", and that they'd sell a Wii that could play DVD's for more money. However, some hackers found out that the Wii disc drive CAN actually play DVD's and made some homebrew to get it working. Exhibit C: Their business practices are kinda mean. I mean just look at what they did with Gunpei Yokoi! Not only was it their fault the Virtual Boy was a failure but they didn't even give him a second chance. I'm glad I'm getting a PS3 soon, sony's the only company doing things right this generation.
  • by neokushan ( 932374 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @10:34PM (#25295037)

    The DS is basically a GBA "with extra bits". Kinda like the Wii is an overclocked Gamecube with a few chips thrown in (Bluetooth, wifi, etc.). Even though the GBA slot on the DSi may be missing, the hardware is still there so it could easily play GBA games if it simply had access to them. I'm betting you're spot on about the SD card thing, or more than likely, downloadable titles that are probably little more than repackaged ROM files.
    I give it a few months before someone has any ol' GBA Rom working on this thing, particularly as the DSi seems to be a "DS with extra bits" and the DS homebrew scene are extremely familiar with the hardware as it is.

  • by renegadesx ( 977007 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2008 @11:21PM (#25295417)
    Replace "christian" with "Iwata" and this pretty much nail my views on this region locking crap, comming from Australia where we always get ripped off on a platform independant level.
  • by neokushan ( 932374 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @12:07AM (#25295755)

    How on earth are they going to keep compatibility with DS games, then?

  • Late 80s coming back (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <> on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @05:20AM (#25297205)

    Right now I feel like times are changing back again. With low-cost netbooks on the rise, SSDs and OSes burnt on to Bioses we're going to see more of this stuff creeping out into the computing world. It's the only way MS can attempt to enforce their Windows Family lockin. By providing inflexible hardware with some locks bolted on to them. I feel like the 80s are coming back, with Atari, Comodore and Archimedes stepping back into the ring.
    Oh well, time to switch to the Pandorra [] for handheld gaming then.

  • by Goaway ( 82658 ) on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @09:25AM (#25298565) Homepage

    Probably by assuming the ARM7 code is their official binaries, and emulating those elsewhere. The official DS emulator from Nintendo, Ensata, doesn't even emulate the ARM7 at all. It provides the same functionality in software instead.

    This would work on games developed with the offical SDK (all the commercial ones, I'm guessing) and not at all with homebrew.

  • Peter Pan (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <tepples@gm a i l . c om> on Wednesday October 08, 2008 @11:13AM (#25299993) Homepage Journal

    There is NO justification for region lockout. None.

    Say you develop a video game based on a book. Copyright in the book has expired in your region, but the copyright still subsists in another major market. You do not want to be sued in the other market for copyright infringement. So you region-lock your product to reduce your exposure to copyright lawsuits.

    Case in point: Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. Barrie wrote the novel Peter and Wendy in 1911 and willed the copyright to Great Ormond Street Hospital. The United States copyright expired in the 1960s under the Copyright Act of 1909's publication plus 56 years regime. But under the life plus 70 years regime in effect in Europe, the copyright subsisted until 2008, and GOSH demanded royalties for any copies distributed in Europe.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead