SCEA confirms PSP games will be region-free

Regional-lock not to be used for games

Posted by Staff
SCEA confirms PSP games will be region-free
After yesterday?s announcement of an official Japanese release date, the question of whether or not the PSP will be region-locked has once again surfaced to the fore. And the good news is, as suggested by certain murmurings on the SPOnG forums yesterday evening, it?s not region locked (at least, not for games). Speaking to IGN on behalf of SCEA, Molly Smith stated ?For games on PSP there is no region code. However, due to language and system issues, quality assurance procedures are done in each territory. Therefore, we recommend purchasing both the hardware and corresponding software in the same market/territory.?

Clearly, Sony doesn?t want potential PSP owners importing willy-nilly, and they are cautioning people against doing so. But equally clearly, many people aren?t going to be remotely deterred by those slightly vacuous words of warning. Sony has brought up issues of possible regional differences between multiplayer features, and of course, the fairly obvious points that Japanese games are mostly written in Japanese (or even spoken, with regards to certain virtual pet games). But, at the end of the day, the PSP is being released in Japan soon: and that is enough of a reason for many to investigate the possibilites.

So there are potential problems, and there is still no official word on the possibility of universal UMD movies, or rather the issue of regional coding is still ?undecided?; but it seems that Sony has followed Nintendo?s suit, and the most determined gamers will be able to select what they want from where they want.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle in acquiring an early import is the simple fact that the initial shipment is for only 200,000 units. Take into account the size of the Japanese gaming public, and the enthusiastic fanboys from everywhere else on the globe, and there probably won?t be enough to go round without paying some sort of ludicrous premium. Not that we're saying we're not tempted.


NiktheGreek 28 Oct 2004 14:36
Fantastic news, and it means just one more system where importers can get an early start without having to pay higher prices due to region locks later on.

Every time new PSP info emerges this week, the race looks closer. This will be a highly interesting time for handheld gaming, more so than ever before.
Joji 28 Oct 2004 16:24
That's sweet news but it won't stop people importing UMD games. I for one hate waiting, but I'll most likely end up wait til next xmas for a PSP anyway.

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tyrion 28 Oct 2004 17:51
Great now I need to learn Japanese in order to enjoy my Christmas! :-)

Oh and win the lottery to pay the hugely over-inflated prices PSPs are gonna command on import.

Still, this is good news, it means Sony have done some market research into the handheld sector of the games industry. It will be hard for anybody to accuse them of rolling in with no idea what they are doing after this news.
almondVanHelsing 28 Oct 2004 17:54
Joji wrote:
I for one hate waiting, but I'll most likely end up wait til next xmas for a PSP anyway.

"I hate waiting, but I'm going to wait?"

I'll be waiting, but just because it's hard enough having to play games in English for me never mind having to learn Japanese!

This is good news all round though, it just remains to be seen if SCE will once again annoy their collegues in the movie division be making the PSP region unlocked for movies too.
Kaxxx 29 Oct 2004 12:26
Not suprising but good to hear all the same. Handy if your in the states and fancy picking up a few titles or importing. Doubt i would use it that much but essential really for handhelds.
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