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Nintendo DSi Software Will Be Region Locked

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the don't-import dept.

Portables (Games) 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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Ninetndo is region locked; but JESUS is FREE! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25294185)

This is what it would be like, if the majority of people were athiests.
ATHIEST KID: Mom, I'm going to go fuck a hooker.
ATHIEST MOM: Okay, son.
ATHIEST KID: Afterwards, I'm going to go smoke pot with my friends, since it's "not addictive."
ATHIEST MOM: Okay, come home soon!

The athiest kid leaves the room. The father comes home from work several minutes later.

ATHIEST DAD: Hey!
ATHIEST MOM: Hi, honey! I'm pregnant again. I guess I'll just get another abortion, since "fetuses don't count as human life."
ATHIEST DAD: Okay, get as many abortions as you want!
ATHIEST MOM: Oh, and don't go in the bedroom.
ATHIEST DAD: Why not?
ATHIEST MOM: There are two gay men fucking eachother in there.
ATHIEST DAD: Why are they here?
ATHIEST MOM: I wanted to watch them do it for awhile. They just aren't finished yet.
ATHIEST DAD: Okay, that's fine with me!

Suddenly, their neighbor runs into the house.

ATHIEST NEIGHBOR: Come quick, there's a Christian outside!
ATHIEST MOM: We'll be right there!

The athiest couple quickly put on a pair of black robes and hoods. They then exit the house, and run into the street, where a Christian is nailed to a large, wooden X. He is being burned alive. A crowd of athiests stand around him, all wearing black robes and hoods.

RANDOM ATHIEST: Damn you, Christian! We hate you! We claim to be tolerant of all religions. But we really hate your's! That's because we athiests are hypocritical like that! Die, Christian!

THE END

Scary, isn't it?

Re:Ninetndo is region locked; but JESUS is FREE! (0, Offtopic)

khing (936015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294197)

mod parent funny, and if the option is there, mod it ridiculous as well.

Re:Ninetndo is region locked; but JESUS is FREE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25294227)

Mod GP insightful

Re:Ninetndo is region locked; but JESUS is FREE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25294447)

Either it's the same person all the time or this athiests dialog is going to become the next Slashdot meme.

Re:Ninetndo is region locked; but JESUS is FREE! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25294701)

It was a /b/ copy pasta from years and years ago. This is nowhere near new

Re:Ninetndo is region locked; but JESUS is FREE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295897)

Rules 1 and 2.

Holy crap, how irresponsible! (1, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294575)

Atheist Mom didn't remind Atheist Son to use protection when he screwed the hooker!

Re:Ninetndo is region locked; but JESUS is FREE! (2, Interesting)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Ninetndo is region locked; but JESUS is FREE! (1)

captjc (453680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25298175)

moral of the story: Atheists love to party!

Disappointing (1)

amake (673443) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294191)

The more I hear about the DSi, the less I'm interested in it. I think I'll hang on to my DS Lite.

STUPID, STUPID, STUPID (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295853)

My first experience with region locking was with the PS/2 (purchased in Japan and unable to run games from anywhere else). Never again. Never.

What a stupid idea. Stupid!

I can't buy my wife most video players for sale in the US for the same reason.

Re:STUPID, STUPID, STUPID (1)

blackicye (760472) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297387)

My first experience with region locking was with the PS/2 (purchased in Japan and unable to run games from anywhere else). Never again. Never.

What a stupid idea. Stupid!

I can't buy my wife most video players for sale in the US for the same reason.

Ironically of the present generation of consoles, only the Sony PS3 is region free. By virtue of running on Bluray disks.

I guess the PSP and NDS are also region free if you want to count hand helds.

Re:STUPID, STUPID, STUPID (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 5 years ago | (#25298417)

If you're only buying games from the US and Japan for use in one of those two countries, then yeah, region locking would be annoying. But if you're living in one of those two and trying to buy games from the rest of the world, even if your console could play them, they probably wouldn't display on your NTSC TV.

Re:Disappointing (4, Insightful)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295877)

yea, this is a pretty disappointing announcement.

However, Nintendo told Eurogamer this afternoon that DSi is region-locked "because DSi embeds net communication functionality within itself and we are intending to provide net services specifically tailored for each region".
"Also because we are including parental control functionality for Nintendo DSi and each region has its unique age limit made by different independent bodies."
The good news is that this only applies to software that is compatible exclusively with the DSi, and that existing DS software remains region-free.

that makes no sense at all. region-locking isn't required for providing region-specific online services. even without region locks you can still have different region releases connect to different online servers. and even with region locks you can still import a Japanese DS and use it in the U.S. to connect to Japanese services.

the parental controls argument is also completely nonsense. there's no need to stop adult gamers from playing import titles just so a U.S. parent can control what games their child plays. if they're worried about conflicting rating (censorship) standards they can just add an option in the parental controls which lets parents region-lock that particular machine. what is so hard about that? and if the region-locking only affects DSi-specific games then kids will still be able to play games without parental controls. so what's the point of all this?

this whole DSi thing seems like a really dick move by Nintendo. not only are they confirming that the DS/Lite will be obsolete and unable to play many new releases (just 2 years after the DS Lite was launched), but they're also needlessly restricting consumer freedoms.

Re:Disappointing (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297073)

I won't be buying one on the basis of this announcement. I travel between the UK and US several times a year and I always take both my DS and my PSP with me. The great thing is that, if I decide I need a new game for the flight, I can buy one at either end of the journey. My DS and PSP games are basically an even split of US and UK games. For me, a region-locked handheld is useless.

It matters slightly less on the full-sized consoles, but even there, I've benefitted greatly from the lack of region locking on the PS3.

I've never been a Nintendo fanboy, but it does seem like almost everything they've done since the Wii came out has been an effort to see just how far they can push their hardcore fanbase before they finally snap. From the cash-in "casual-means-crap" shovelware flood they've authorised that's drowning the Wii, to the virtually unprecedented introduction of region-locking on a hand-held, they've amply demonstrated why having Nintendo in a dominant market position is a bad thing for gamers.

No more imports for you (3, Interesting)

Haoie (1277294) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294207)

Unless someone invents a workaround.

And that's bound to happen.

Re:No more imports for you (2, Insightful)

Mr. Roadkill (731328) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294273)

I give it six months from release, tops, before someone manages to load homebrew on it - and another three at most before a way of loading dumps of commercial games and patching around the region locking in them is found. Then, maybe 12 months at most before flashcarts for it become mass-market items that any idiot can use.

If we're looking at ONLY a way to work around the region locking, I'd expect an outboard device in less than three months from release.

With a built-in SD slot this thing is going to be GREAT for home-brew once it's cracked. And it will be, sooner or later.

Re:No more imports for you (5, Informative)

Sparton (1358159) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294323)

Wrong. From the Gamasutra article that also reported on this (http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=20525):

The DSi, however, will be able to play standard Nintendo software from any region, similar to the original Nintendo DS model and the Nintendo DS Lite.

The article is only partly right; the region-free aspect is only going to happen for games. Whatever new shenanigans they come up with for the DSi is what will be region locked.

Re:No more imports for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296809)

Until someone cracks that, too. Which given the current precedent, will take about a week.

Re:No more imports for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295499)

It's a portable system: Download content. Travel to new region.

Region locked? Sounds like... (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294219)

Sounds like something Sony would do. I guess once you have a near monopoly on handheld gaming devices (apart from phones) you can do what you will

Re:Region locked? Sounds like... (5, Informative)

Trogre (513942) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294431)

It also sounds a lot like something Nintendo would do:

The Nintendo Wii has region locking, and many games (such as Zelda) use it.
The Nintendo Gamecube and SNES also had region locking, though more primitive.
The Sony PSP supports region locking of UMD movies and games, but no games are locked.
The Sony PS3 supports some degree of region locking for games, but no games are locked.

(Please someone correct me if I'm wrong about any of these)

Re:Region locked? Sounds like... (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294695)

No, that's about correct. And the region locking (that is apparently optional) on Blu-Ray puts us and Japan in the same region, apparently... but nothing's using it so far (no telling when it will happen, but at least it's not yet that I'm aware of...)

Nintendo dangled the carrot for Wii being region-free, then abruptly said "our bad.. it's locked."

Now they want to retroactively lock their handhelds. Bleh.

Re:Region locked? Sounds like... (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 5 years ago | (#25298439)

Many Fox Blu-Ray discs use region coding, but I think that most of the other studios have managed to stay back from that so far.

Re:Region locked? Sounds like... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25294865)

Correct. All of Nintendo's home consoles (NES, SNES, N64, GCN, Wii) have had region locking. Only their Gameboy line and the DS have lacked it.

The NES and SNES didn't use regioning (2, Informative)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295225)

I actually don't think the NES and SNES were region locked per say. At least not intentionally.

The hardware between the FC and the NES was very different. The cartriges had a different amount of pins, meaning games had to literally be ported. The lock out chip (famous for creating the blinking power light and yellow screen) wasn't made to create separate regions, it was created to keep cheap/pirated games off of the market. The last revision of the NES removed the lock out chip functionality from the console itself.

If you noticed the totally different designs between the SNES and the SFC, this was because Nintendo was pretty damn sure a system with the SFC design wouldn't sell in the US. With the cool image that the Genesis was letting off, I don't think they would have been wrong with how toyish the SFC looked and it's multi-colored controllers. This was also after the NES, which revived the game market. The NES originally had a much slicker design for the US market but it sold horrible. Nintendo didn't want to repeat the same mistake that way either. Thus, Nintendo released a new, boxy system with boxy cartridges that was fairly large and used muted colors much like the NES, but fairly different from the FC and the SFC. The boxy, large designs were also employed in the cartridge shapes.

Another words, the cartridges being different sizes was not for region locking. If they were trying to create regioned cartridges, Japanese cartridges would not simply fit in and work in a SNES.

The first Nintendo system to have actual intentional region locking was the N64. Up until that time, I don't think any one had ever thought of doing that. It just wasn't in people's minds. Thankfully, there was a popular system that came out before the N64 known as the PSX that had shown Nintendo there was another way. ;-)

Re:The NES and SNES didn't use regioning (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295443)

I was a little off on the description of the FC. The controllers had a microphone on them, not a speaker. Also, there were volume controls on the controllers.

I wish I could find a picture of the original NES design that had failed. But at least wikipedia mentions it in their NES article under the title "Original chassis/casing". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo_Entertainment_System [wikipedia.org]

Re:The NES and SNES didn't use regioning (1)

Chaos Incarnate (772793) | more than 5 years ago | (#25298483)

The "original chassis/casing" described in that article is not the one that failed, but rather the extremely common one that most people think of when they think of the NES (and that's pictured at the top of the article).

Re:The NES and SNES didn't use regioning (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295469)

per say

Another words

Admit it, you are intentionally trying to troll grammar nazis.

Re:The NES and SNES didn't use regioning (0, Flamebait)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295701)

Yes I am. ;) The post had some pretty questionable phrasing in general to boot.

The N64 didn't have region locking (1)

NotSoHeavyD (1367115) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295849)

Well not between the US and Japan anyway. I mean it just used a couple of plastic tabs to keep you from plugging the cartridges in. Remove the tabs and you can play any Japanese or US game. (My N64 is a Japanese one and yes I played tons of US games on it.)

Re:The N64 didn't have region locking (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295929)

Yeah, region locking was the wrong word there. I was trying to say that was the first time I felt that Nintendo was intentionally trying to separate the Japanese and North American markets through artificial means (the tabs). Speaking of which, it was a lot of fun melting the tabs off back in the day.

Re:The NES and SNES didn't use regioning (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 5 years ago | (#25297805)

The lock out chip (famous for creating the blinking power light and yellow screen) wasn't made to create separate regions, it was created to keep cheap/pirated games off of the market.

Then why did they have a version of the chip for the EU market, which used a different code than the US chip? I seem to recall reading that four different lockout chips were made, one of which was for a 10-game hotel room system.

Re:The NES and SNES didn't use regioning (2, Informative)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 5 years ago | (#25298221)

And even the N64 wasn't much of a region lock. You could either:

a) Buy the adapter for $10

b) Be cheap and get a needlenose pliers and/or a soldering iron to pull out the notch next to the connector in the console (or modify the case of the game itself if you really wanted to).

I know it only took me about 5 minutes and I was playing my import copy of Goemon 64 :)

Re:The NES and SNES didn't use regioning (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 5 years ago | (#25298561)

The Genesis/Mega Drive had region locking after 1992. The Sega Saturn did as well.

Re:Region locked? Sounds like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25294897)

All of Nintendo's home systems have been region-locked in some fashion, whether physically or electronically, in the cart, in the system, or some combo of these. So you can throw N64 and NES in there as well.

This message is licensed for sale and play in... (4, Informative)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294989)

Your right in that Nintendo seems to be on a general path to region locking and Sony seems to be doing the opposite. Regardless, the DSi issue especially is a shock to many because the time to pull a switch like that would have been when the original DS was released. Changing their policies mid-game feels a bit cheap.

One thing that I want to point out is that in a few spots the region locking was differing hardware/features. Usually the actually region locking was ridiculously light otherwise. There was no game of making modchips that had to use stealth modes not to get caught.

  • The Famicon had some extra pins in the cartriges that some developers used to develop better sound in their games, making them incompatible in the US. Also, the Famicon, much like the Wii, had speakers in the controllers. The two systems in many ways were totally different consoles.
  • Japanese games would fit into a SNES console and work with no problems whatsoever. The reverse was not possible because SNES cartridges are much larger than SFC cartridges.
  • The N64 employed slightly different tab placement that the notches on the bottom of the cartridges fit into. Break the tabs, and you have a non region locked console. This struck me as the first obvious attempt at enforcing regioning.
  • The region on the GameCube was determined by a single wire being grounded on the circuit board. No need for any special chips like other consoles. What was a huge annoyance as the memory cards using different formats. This would mean Japanese games would attempt to format American formatted memory cards and vice-versa. Was this also a form of region locking? Maybe...
  • I know nothing about the Wii as I don't own one.

I don't own a PSX either, but I do have one PSX-J game. I play it on an emulator because I would rather not have to buy a Japanese PSX. It'll be the same for the PS2 when I get fast enough of a computer. The PS3 was pleasant a surprise after those two. But still, Sony isn't too innocent with their PSP firmware race and blu-ray video regions. They are just the good guys right now. Are PSP movies regioned too?

In the end, most games are licensed for sale and usage in their specific regions. Until the big three stop putting that ridiculous label on everything, I will stay weary of all three. (If I was wrong somewhere in this post, someone please correct me.)

Re:This message is licensed for sale and play in.. (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295937)

I will stay weary of all three.

I was weary a long time ago. Maybe it's time to go to bed. Perhaps you meant "wary"?

(If I was wrong somewhere in this post, someone please correct me.)

No problem.

-Your friendly local spelling and grammar nazi

Re:Region locked? Sounds like... (3, Informative)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296221)

The Wii is not only region locked - it's technically mandatory. There is no "unlock" bit on games. You can pick a region or have the game not play at all.

For VC games / channels this is different - there's a code for "region free".

Of course, if they ever decide to release region free games, they could release a firmware update. But you'd have to install that update via the internet, because the game itself wouldn't even load to the point of installing its bundled updates.

Re:Region locked? Sounds like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25294725)

Sounds like something Sony would do.

Sony does not currently region-lock PSP or PS3 games, despite aggressive (and mandatory) region locks on their previous-generation games and systems.

I guess once you have a near monopoly on handheld gaming devices (apart from phones) you can do what you will

Nintendo's portable gaming business has always been dominant, going back to the original GameBoy and possibly even earlier with the Game & Watch series of games. That can't have anything to do with this, since almost nothing has changed except for the unprecedented strength of the PSP as a competitor. (I don't own or really want one, but apparently enough do to have kept it alive and kicking this long in the face of the DS Lite juggernaut.)

Re:Region locked? Sounds like... (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295973)

Sony does not currently region-lock PSP or PS3 games, despite aggressive (and mandatory) region locks on their previous-generation games and systems.

Is this true about the PS/3? I refuse to even consider another PS console due to the heartbreak I had with the region locking in the PS/2.

I love the GBA not only because it is a highly convenient for me being a handheld, but all of the games I purchased in Japan, some of which I still like to play from time to time, work. And I no longer have any functioning GBA units from my time in Japan.

Why would you do this? (5, Insightful)

R4nneko (1194727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294225)

Regionally tailored content I can understand, but you could:
Just do a check on the region, and have a default if you have no content tailored for that region

Region locking is especially painful when it comes to portable devices. When I travel, one of the advantages of a DS is that if I see a game I am interested in, I know I can buy it and play it regardless of where I bought my DS.

All I can say is that this greatly reduces my enthusiasm for the device as it becomes more clear that Nintendo want to keep the region restrictions that allow the crazy price variations viable. In Australia it is still cheaper to buy a console and games from the US and pay shipping than buying them from the actual storefront.

Re:Why would you do this? (1, Insightful)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294363)

Exactly! Why the $#@) would nintendo switch over to the Dark Side on this issue now?!? I bought the original DS shortly after launch and bought a lite a few years later and this is how nintendo rewards me? While traveling international it's great as is, there are also some great games that won't be released in other countries due to licensing and "they won't be that into it" reasons. Electroplankton, jump superstars...

The one -potential- justification I could see is the piracy that goes on, they sell cartridges that allow you to download and store any DS games you want onto a flash-based system apperantly. Region locking might cut down on that... for a day or two.

Really dissapointing. Has the big N not seen what happens with computer game piracy and DRM? Once again, legitimate users are the only ones who get the shaft. If I do get a DSi, the first (and possibly only) thing for it I will be buying is a piracy device.

Re:Why would you do this? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294755)

Well, the original NDS isn't region locked and I doubt they won't to ignore the what? 50+ millions? of those sold. So most titles will still be ok. And since we probably don't know all about what kind of software it will run I think it's a little to early to get upset because maybe it won't matter much. Time will tell.

Re:Why would you do this? (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296059)

The one -potential- justification I could see is the piracy that goes on, they sell cartridges that allow you to download and store any DS games you want onto a flash-based system apperantly. Region locking might cut down on that... for a day or two.

Nope, not even that.

The piracy going on has to do with people selling Nintendo game cartridges as genuine, except with counterfeit parts, etc. At least that's the piracy that bit me and I never expected shrink wrapped Nintendo-labeled cartridges to be a problem.

There is NO justification for region lockout. None.

Re:Why would you do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25298063)

Exactly! Why the $#@) would nintendo switch over to the Dark Side on this issue now

Hmmm...Dark Side of the issue, you say? DSi? Coincidence? I think not.

Re:Why would you do this? (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296025)

Region locking is especially painful when it comes to portable devices. When I travel, one of the advantages of a DS is that if I see a game I am interested in, I know I can buy it and play it regardless of where I bought my DS.

It's painful in any kind of device. It is, or should be, well known that Japan gets the first and best of anything and many of us like practicing our Japanese while gaming or just playing the original version of a game.

Of the cartridges I have for GBA, they are divided up into stuff I bought in Japan, stuff I bought in Singapore, stuff I bought at home (which are sadly all counterfeit pirates and now broken - I'm stupid and dense sometimes) and stuff I bought in the US.

I think I'll try to get his & hers DSes again. They were totally out of stock the last time I tried (a year and a half ago). Maybe I'll have better luck and I hope I did not wait too long.

Region locking is lame (1)

el_munkie (145510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294233)

One of the most innovative games I have for the DS, Electroplankton was import-only because the distributors though Americans wouldn't like it.

Re:Region locking is lame (1)

trytoguess (875793) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294317)

Let's not forget the Ouendan series [wikipedia.org] that were so heavily imported they ended up creating the localized version Elite Beat Agents...

Re:Region locking is lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296107)

One of the most innovative games I have for the DS, Electroplankton was import-only because the distributors though Americans wouldn't like it.

Wrong.

Elektroplankton was released in North America and Europe [wikipedia.org] . I bought the localized copy from EBGames personally.

I'm not sure where you got the 'distributors though Americans wouldn't like it' bit, but perhaps you should try checking actual retail sources before spouting your mouth off. Thanks.

Re:Region locking is lame (0, Flamebait)

el_munkie (145510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296303)

It might have been released in the US later, but I had to special-order it at the time. I guess I don't keep up with DS games as much as you, dickface.

Bad move (2, Insightful)

Dracil (732975) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294327)

Well there goes any intention I had of upgrading. I have many import games. I also have many domestic games. I am not going to get two DSis just to play them all.

Re:Bad move (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295019)

Read the article, your DS games will all work on the DSi. There's no way Nintendo could backport region locking into the DS, so all DS software would have to remain region free. It's DSi software in particular (And I'm betting it's mainly downloaded software) that's region locked, purely for licensing reasons.

Pandora FTW (3, Interesting)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294329)

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

Re:Pandora FTW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25294599)

What are you talking about? You mean your hands are too big?

Re:Pandora FTW (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294773)

Not that it will get that many good commercial titles that region lock would make a difference anyway ...

Little homebrew is region locked =P, though still hacked in so to speak.

Re:Pandora FTW (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295821)

The Pandora is clunky, ugly, an absolute slap in the face to the ergonomic movement of modern handheld devices, and to be honest, it just won't attract the attention of enough Linuxshirt wolfshirt neckbeards to get any legitimate development. Enjoy your overpriced hunk of crap. We'll stick with the fun consoles that we wouldn't be embarassed to use in public.

Re:Pandora FTW (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#25298603)

Hey... If someone can figure out a way for me to check my WoW auctions, run a few dailies, etc on this, I'd probably buy one.

My laptop is a fine platform for gaming, but it requires a surface to set the machine on, and one for the mouse. In the break room at lunch, it takes up a LOT of space, and draws a lot of attention...

what a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25294331)

I was in India a couple of months and i saw some young college engineering nerds playing "street cricket" on a Japanese Wii, the game was not polished but the neighbors were complaining that they are having fun for quite sometime. I think it is high time Nintendo opens up its software before it gets out of hand.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25294443)

So Nintendo has the opportunity to finally bring their On-Line services into the competition.

Right now MS is in the lead with Sony fast on their heels/close to passing them depending on who you talk to while Nintendo keeps shooting themselves in the foot.

First friend codes, then friend codes per game, then you can't run downloads off SD cards, and the Wii is the only system this gen without a hard drive (well, that and the XBox Arcade which is also ridiculous).

Now then pull this stuff? (sigh)

I really hate Nintendo as a company... (2, Interesting)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:I really hate Nintendo as a company... (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294783)

I don't know why this got modded down, but it is spot on. Nintendo got my ire when they tried to halt the Game Genie way back when. It was arrogant... but their games are still fun. Just like Sony's games are fun, though their other arms (non-gaming) can be infuriating... (their games division less so, but still possible.)

But I suppose the lesson here is that the games are what counts... but no matter how great its games are, a company should never take the goodwill of their customers for granted.

Re:I really hate Nintendo as a company... (2, Insightful)

Starmengau (1367783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295825)

Simple, Nintendo is, in the groupthink, one of the companies that can do no wrong.

Re:I really hate Nintendo as a company... (4, Informative)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294809)

Except the flashcarts uses the NDS-slot now adays. so this won't stop them. And if it would be as easy as just blocking a key or something such it would probably have been done by now. So I don't see how removing the GBA slot will stop the current piracy alternatives. It will also break a few utilities.

I think it was an issue with size.

Built in ram, bigger screens, SD-card reader, smaller size, something had to go, GBA-slot did.

Also maybe they want to sell GBA games as downloads to SD-card, which don't seem all that weird.

Re:I really hate Nintendo as a company... (2, Interesting)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:I really hate Nintendo as a company... (1)

Tejin (818001) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295687)

Actually, they're removing the ARM7 chip, which is the one which was used to play GBA games. This allows them to use a single chip and save space, now that they don't need to replicate GBA hardware as well as DS.

Re:I really hate Nintendo as a company... (3, Interesting)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295755)

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

Re:I really hate Nintendo as a company... (2, Interesting)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25298565)

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.

Re:I really hate Nintendo as a company... (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296495)

I'm really saddened to see this habit of abandoning earlier consoles. As a kid I had backwards compatibility with my Mega Drive for my Master System. I had it with my GBA for my GB games. I had it with my PS2 for my PSX games. And I had it with my DS for my GBA and GB games.

If the companies keep abandoning their earlier consoles in future versions, they'll see a lot less tie-in (if I can't play my PS2 games in the PS3, I have less incentive to get a PS3 and can instead weigh the merits for the Xbox360 and PS3) and a lot more illegal emulation.

Re:I really hate Nintendo as a company... (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 5 years ago | (#25298423)

Kinda like the Wii is an overclocked Gamecube with a few chips thrown in (Bluetooth, wifi, etc.).

The Wii is not an overclocked GameCube. Stop kidding yourself. It's just compatible with the architecture of the GameCube.

Re:I really hate Nintendo as a company... (2, Insightful)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295061)

Alright how was that modded trolling, yet someone who AGREES with me gets a 2? Trolling is going onto a sony forum and saying "xbox sux" and other noobish stuff for no good reason. This, however is just saying that I don't like Nintendo's way of doing things, and actually stating my facts! What'd I do wrong, can someone explain it to me?

Re:I really hate Nintendo as a company... (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296149)

i agree with you, but Sony isn't much better. the console i own at the moment is a PSP, and i love it to death, but Sony is just as rabidly greedy and anti-consumer as Nintendo.

the PSP has gotten god knows how many firmware updates, and few of them add any value to the system. they were all pretty much put out just to break compatibility with CFW/homebrew. the PSP is such a powerful piece of hardware, yet there's no (official) software to take advantage of it.

for instance, the PSP's built-in media player doesn't support any kind of media browsing capabilities or even have playlist functionality. how can you market the PSP as a media player when it can't even sort tracks by artist or load custom playlists? this is strictly a software problem, and could be easily fixed with a firmware update. but there hasn't been any changes to the PSP's bareboned media player since launch day.

then there was the Skype update that was made for the PSP slim only, screwing over loyal early adopters. luckily some homebrew developers came up with Furikup [noobz.eu] which works on all PSP models, and is more robust than the official Skype functionality. of course, Sony is still trying to suppress homebrew development at every turn, despite the fact that homebrew actually adds value to the PSP whereas Sony's policies cripple it.

and then there's the PSN and Playstation Store. one of the biggest selling points of the PSP was its ability to play PSX games on the go. of course, you have to re-purchase all of your PSX games from the PSN in order to play them on your PSP. even worse, Sony wanted PSP owners to also pick up a PS3 if they wanted to access this advertised feature. the PSP comes with wi-fi and web browsing capabilities, so why does it need a PS3 to access PSN content? that is not a technical requirement, that is simply corporate policy designed to suck more money from consumers.

now you can access the PSN via a Windows computer running IE, but it's still easier to just run CFW and convert your own PSX games to POPS eboots. of course, Sony's actions have probably driven a lot of PSP owners to just downloading pre-converted PSX games off the internet.

Re:I really hate Nintendo as a company... (2, Insightful)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296151)

Unfair moderation!

Exhibit A: Nintendo absolutely hates piracy.

As well they should be. Piracy is a problem ... in Asia. Worse, at least in the Philippines it is hurting their reputation because the shrink wrapped pirate crap being sold under their name is just that - crap and breaks almost immediately.

Is there anyone here who seriously believes that someone should be encouraged to sell crap under someone else's name and be able get away with it? Really?

Re:I really hate Nintendo as a company... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25298107)

But this is completely stupid.
- Region lock your console
- Lose millions of $$$ because people stop importing your games.
- See how the same people is now downloading cracked region free games from the internets.
- Release hyper DRM DS 2.0
- See how now the people is forced to buy actual Chinese pirated games.
- ???
- $$$(Don't hold your breath)

Re:I really hate Nintendo as a company... (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#25298143)

Of course they want to stop pirating. Nintendo has been one of the most fair companies when it comes to their portables and allowing people to play imports.

However there is rampant piracy with the DS. It's far too easy to buy multi-game paks from China rather than buying the real item and no matter what you may think that is wrong and should be stopped.

Removing the GBA cart won't stop ds hacking. There is no real use for to continue the GBA slot when GBA games aren't really made and they will continue selling the DS Lite.

As an owner of the Virtual Boy I can attest to the reason it failed is because it was a head of its time and the technology just wasn't there to do the idea justice. This isn't Nintendo's fault and in fact they released it despite everyone thinking it was rubbish based on the fact they held Gumpei in such high regard.

If you're going to troll then at least troll with common sense and facts.

Re:I really hate Nintendo as a company... (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 5 years ago | (#25298515)

Exhibit A: Nintendo absolutely hates piracy.

So do Sony and Microsoft. Have you already forgotten all the firmware upgrades on Sony's PSP intended to block homebrew?

They can do with their consoles what they like. It's not like piracy is a good thing for their business, and it's expected they will do what they can to stop it.

Exhibit B: Nintendo always says things are "impossible" so they can earn more money. Take, for example, the DVD incident.

I'll give you that. Business as always.

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.

Now you're just whining. The Virtual Boy in itself was a mess, and if Nintendo chose to not give him a second chance, that's their right, and it's not really mean, especially considering how big a fiasco it was.

Would you give a man a second chance when he's responsible for a failure like this? Business-wise, it doesn't make sense.

I'm glad I'm getting a PS3 soon, sony's the only company doing things right this generation.

They're just not popular enough anymore to afford to be the dicks they were previously. If their PS3 ever takes off, you'll see how their habits come right back.

Region Locking (1)

neostorm (462848) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294835)

I have never really understood region locking, and I was never able to get an answer from people on why they did it. Is it just a method of control? Forcing people to only buy their region, and to wait for release of a product in their own, (or be SOL if it never comes). That really pisses me off if so.

Can someone explain that to me if they have a better understanding of it?

Re:Region Locking (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25294959)

I don't know for sure but I'd like to think that it creates some kind of gray market that is only profitable for the manufacturers. Just one thought off the top of my head.

Re:Region Locking (1)

bugbeak (711163) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295051)

Apologies if this sounds like an apologist spouting (I am very much against region-locking myself). One reason for region-locking is localization. For example, there's a guitar simulator for the DS called M-06 released in Japan. When Ubisoft released that game in the States, they renamed it to Jam Sessions. The average gamer Stateside would be more inclined to pick a game if it were titled "Jam Sessions" as opposed to "M-06" Another more famous example is the rhythm game called "Ouendan". The original concept of the game involved high school cheering squads that "cheered" on; this concept is familiar and common in Japan but not so in the West (slightly different from the idea of cheerleaders). This was localized to "Elite Beat Agents". Most average gamers will shy away from games that are in different languages because they won't understand what's being said. Low sales equate to low income. Hence, the lockout.

Re:Region Locking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295561)

One reason for region-locking is localization.

Except even that doesn't make a lot of sense these days. All the games I've worked on in the last decade, we've written to support all regions and languages, then at the end, I put in region locks and scripts to copy different language files for different regions. If it weren't for region locking, I'd have an extra week for bug fixing and polishing.

After 10 years in the industry, I've never gotten a better answer than, "That's the way we do things here son."

Re:Region Locking (1)

Geod (1275586) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295659)

The argument for locking games due to poor reception and low sales doesn't make sense. Since many of these games are not sold locally and are imported from the country of origin at the gamers own expense. The game publisher doesn't suffer from low sales, since the publisher never sold their games locally anyway. But, the publisher benefits from having foreign gamers buying their products, and the gamers paying for their own shipping.

Re:Region Locking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25295909)

Right... the titles are bad...

Got it.

So what do you think Namco Bandai is going to call Tales of Innocence when it is released in the US? I loved their great renamed titles from the past. For example, they renamed Tales of Symphonia to Tales of Symphonia, and Tales of the Abyss to Tales of the Abyss. Oh, and it was a stroke of genius to rename Tales of Vesperia to Tales of Vesperia!

Oh wait, they aren't releasing it in the US!? Silly me. I guess we're still forced to import the Japanese version.

I'm glad that Nintendo is trying to impede this sort of thing with the DSi. The Title thing is just too confusing for us Amercians to understand.

Re:Region Locking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25298509)

This argument makes absolutely no sense at all. It explains reasonably why games are localized; it does absolutely nothing to explain why I shouldn't be able to play a game from another locale if I want.

Re:Region Locking (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295091)

The classical region locking allowed manufacturers to price products for specific areas. For example they sell things cheaper in India, because the cost of living and corresponding wages are lower there, despite exchange rates with countries like UK and US. This has the effect of blocking products like American movies sold in India cheaply making their way back to the US as cheap gray market and underpricing.

As companies will, this has gone from gray market deterrence to abuse of the consumers. For example products are not released at the same time in all regions. DVDs get released later in some regions because the theatrical showings are later. The abuse is that consumers get screwed two ways because it makes it so easy to delay in some regions.

Pirates generally don't use region locking. Guess which products lots of consumers prefer.

Re:Region Locking (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296337)

The classical region locking allowed manufacturers to price products for specific areas. For example they sell things cheaper in India, because the cost of living and corresponding wages are lower there, despite exchange rates with countries like UK and US.

I can sort of see that being true now, given outfits like Amazon.com. But was this really true when region locking was invented?

Citations, please?

Re:Region Locking (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295109)

One word: Greed.
The best description I heard of it was when DVDs were the new thing. They were deliberately region locked because "Sometimes a film would come out on DVD in the USA while it was still in cinemas in other parts of the world and thus would hurt ticket sales". It never used to be a problem for VHS because the US and most of the rest of the world used 2 different TV systems (NTSC and PAL).
Games don't have a "cinema" release, obviously, but they do tend to have staggered releases (i.e. The US will often get a game weeks, sometimes months or even years, before Europe gets it), which can mean that a game has already dropped in price by maybe 10 or 20USD before another country gets it, thus making it more worthwhile importing it and cutting into the profits of the publisher.
I'm from the UK and I know plenty of people who can import DS games for half the price they are here, usually weeks before they're even released, too. If it's half the cost than here, publishers will see that as loosing half the profit on a sale.
This is also one of the reasons why Blu-ray got more support than HD-DVD - HD-DVD was region free, BR was opt-in regioning.
At least Microsoft did the sensible thing on the 360 and also made it opt-in. What's more, games can have multiple regions locked to them (so a game might be region locked to Japan only, but then the US release a few weeks later can be US AND Japan) and since it's up to the publisher, it pretty much keeps Microsoft in the clear from both consumers AND publishers who want two different things.

Re:Region Locking (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296279)

Can someone explain that to me if they have a better understanding of it?

There have been "explanations" here, but they have mostly been of the form that content distributors == MPAA wish to have total control over where their content goes and WHEN.

What they have been trying to do with DRM is to duplicate the conditions of say the GBA where a GBA game cartridge only fits into a certain game playing device and can only be played there.

The conflict arises due to the fact that people have reasonable expections of playing GBA games on a GBA handheld and nothing else. If they want to play the same game that is available for another system (which may also have different features), they have to buy it separately.

Most people think of music as music and once they buy it once, they've paid their dues and should be able to listen to it on anything. The RIAA wants everyone to keep buying the same music for every different format change.

I presume the MPAA is doing the same thing, but I haven't even looked in that direction since I bought some VCR movies over a decade ago.

I presume region locking is a combination of "you do not travel, fuck you, do not resell this outside your local gulag" and "you do travel, so fuck you or buy it twice". It's the only thing that makes sense.

I'm frustrated and I'm biased. Region locking is the single worst negative impact on my health via $SPOUSE who does not understand any of this and wants all kinds of things from the US that she cannot use - thanks to region locking.

Region locking still legal? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25294911)

At the age of global free trade, when companies can legally utilize anywhere in the world the lowest cost labour, cheapest material, biggest tax advantage - is it still legal for companies to limit consumers with region locking?

Re:Region locking still legal? (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295301)

Not in Australia as I recall, thank ghed one country has common sense in THAT.

-uso.

Re:Region locking still legal? (1)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25298595)

Globalization is for COMPANIES, not CUSTOMERS, you silly person!

Stupid (1)

Kasracer (865931) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295197)

This is just stupid. The excuse for delivering content based on a region (or using specific servers for that region) is dumb. All they have to do is run a quick check on the current IP address and it'll tell them what region you're in (spoofing need not apply). No need to hard code any of this shit. Is Nintendo _that_ incompetant or are they trying to rip everyone off?

I'll ride the bandwagon... (1)

Neko-kun (750955) | more than 5 years ago | (#25295723)

...of accepting the region locking if and only if it's for content specifically tailored for smaller regions.

Cause I for one would not like to receive offers to participate in an ARG with the DSi as the crux if it's taking place in New York City while I live in Los Angeles.
It would make me sad. Like all the email announcements I get about the events happening at the Nintendo World Store in, guess where, NEW YORK!

I'd hate to sound so US-centric with this post but it does affect me. The US has what, four main time zones? Nintendo would be idiotic to consider it as one region for the purpose of bonus content tailored to the "region".

Re:I'll ride the bandwagon... (2, Funny)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296355)

Cause I for one would not like to receive offers to participate in an ARG with the DSi as the crux if it's taking place in New York City while I live in Los Angeles.

Better than receiving ads for subprime mortgages for property in California when you are living in the jungles of Mindanao. I got plenty of those. Thank you! Yahoo!

Re:I'll ride the bandwagon... (1)

Neko-kun (750955) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296621)

Oh, come now. Keep it related to the post.

One thing is junk mail that takes little to no effort to write a script for and another is for something that would actually be of interest if not a good way to spend an afternoon.
I mean, participation in an ARG game is quite different than checking the spam in your inbox.

Re:I'll ride the bandwagon... (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296721)

Sorry, I guess I still do not get it.

I also did not refer to SPAM, but to the "targeted" ads Yahoo! offers Yahoo mail users.

Re:I'll ride the bandwagon... (1)

Neko-kun (750955) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296969)

Either way, you're still off.

What I meant by "targeted localized content" was content available only to those in such a region.
For example, the DS Download stations. They only have a range of B wireless and the demo titles available for download vary from station to station.
Now, implement that based on IP (seeing as the DSi has an integrated wireless) and you can have content available to an entire IP block which is more-or-less divided up geographically.

That way, you can have game demos available in Los Angeles that are different than the ones in New York.

Now instead of demos, make them full blown interactive games available only for download in said city and for a limited time, that would guide you on a city-wide egg hunt with many other people participating.

When implemented like this is when I would say "region locked isn't a bad thing".
Otherwise it's just like every other DRM. Just detracting from the experience, not adding to it.

Dear Hackers/Homebrew Enthusiasts: (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25296443)

Enjoy your new puzzle!

In other news (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296945)

91degrees will not be buying a DSi.

A feature that makes the hardware not run certain applications is of no use to me.

That's odd... (1)

3.14159265 (644043) | more than 5 years ago | (#25296949)

One would think they'd try to make it better than the DS!

Late 80s coming back (1, Interesting)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 [openpandora.org] for handheld gaming then.

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