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  1. #1
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    GDC 2006: Region-free PS3

    March 22, 2006 - In a QA session following the platform keynote address at GDC 2006 this morning, Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios President Phil Harrison confirmed what was heavily demanded for import gamers all over the world and yet previously thought unthinkable for a major corporation: the PS3 will be region-free for gaming.

    The move was not unexpected, as SCE had previously mentioned considering the possibility of opening up the region structure for PS3 games recently (the newly-released PSP system has but does not use a region code system for games, but that's more a standard for portable games than a new development for region-free gaming.) The system is, amongst other things, hoped to help combat piracy - many import fans "chip" their consoles with region-free mod chips to play import games, and while that desire has some legitimacy, it also opens the doors for pirates to release illegal copies of games. (Funnily enough, it's most often easier to run illegal games on a console than it is to run legit games from other countries due to the way most mod chips work, leading to a slippery slope for importers hoping to stay legit but finding the road difficult to maneuver.) Region-free gaming also allows game publishers to release games across the globe simultaneously, either through e-distribution or on disc. The capacity of Blu-Ray had previously been mentioned to allow for multiple languages of a game to be encoded onto the same massive-capacity disc.

    The one caveat of this new region-free structure is that games made for specific regions' electrical and TV standards may have problems on your TV set. A PAL PS3 game, for instance, will have difficulty running on an NTSC TV, unless the developers have thought ahead and planned for that issue. It is currently unknown how the PS3 will cope with this problem (whether there will be a warning when you run an import about possible TV incompatibility, or if possibly there might be a no-play screen for incompatible games depending on your PS3's TV settings.) Also, games made in other countries will naturally only have the text and dialog it is programmed with, so don't put your pre-orders down so fast on all of those Japanese RPGs and Dragon Ball if you don't know a lick of kanji, because English will only be in if the developers have planned for it. (It's unknown if there will be any type of "patching" system for multi-language releases, although that might be possible on games post-release now that the PS3 is carrying its massive HDD and flash memory support.)

    We'll have more details on how this impacts publishers and importers as soon as we know more about SCE's plans for region-free PS3 gaming.
    oh yeah, PS3 will own everything for sure
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    I hope this hasn't been posted before....

  2. #2
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    This deserves a thread of its own for sure. I was just thinking about this the other day (see my thread - region coding discussion). This is freaking awesome news. Also it makes sense since harrison stated that they will no longer need to release different versions of games for different regions. Blu-ray allows for 100s of languages on one disk for each game, so all games will release at the same time worldwide anyway. I love this news, especially as I'm from the UK. No more waiting 6 months for games .



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    That is awesome.

    Finaly we can buy games from anywhere and be able to play them.

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    Thats awesome. Now I need to go move back to Japan and relearn my Japanese.

    Okami made me want to do that anyway. I sure hope they don't replace all the japanese symbols flying all over the place with american words in Okami That would destroy the immersion.

    Just have the subtitles for that game stay in American and maybe some of the attack moves show up in American and it'll be fine.

    Oh great now im talking about Okami again. Sorry its just an incredible game.
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    Watch them Japanese porno games sell now...

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    Yes, finally. I didn't think I'd live to see the day when I didn't have to chip my console to play import games.

    I wonder if this also applies to PS2 games.
    Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are good is like expecting the bull not to charge at you because you are a vegetarian.

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    Thats another point. Say goodbye to the legality of modchips. The excuse before was 'enables you to play import games...' Now that excuse can no longer be used, they have to be made illegal worldwide, as there will no longer be a legal way to use them.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Cera
    Yes, finally. I didn't think I'd live to see the day when I didn't have to chip my console to play import games.

    I wonder if this also applies to PS2 games.
    You mean Artificial Girl 2? that game was fun.

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    Great news for sure, but I'd like to see the actual quote before I jump up and down celebrating. One of the IGN articles mentioned that the Blu-ray has enough space to store multiple languages on one single disk... I certainly hope that isn't the "evidence" they're basing their assumption on.
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    Whi, and some more good news for ps3 .

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    It's economical and efficient! Which should help Sony and the game devs, since Blu-ray initially costs more to produce.

    Of course, this only applies to the developers that wish to include multi-language support.

    And Itain, I believe this is paraphrasing straight from the GDC announcement, so I think this is a step above speculation. But again, its just a possibility that is open to developers- it's up to them if they want to support it or not.
    "On the second day of the exhibition, representatives for the Convention Center announced that the line to see Nintendo's Wii console, which zigzagged around corners and promised a wait time of more than four hours, had broken every E3 record."
    -Ign E3 2006 wrap-up

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cera
    Yes, finally. I didn't think I'd live to see the day when I didn't have to chip my console to play import games.

    I wonder if this also applies to PS2 games.
    I dunno, from what it sounds like, it would make sense for PS2 games to be supported, wouldn't it?

    We have the worldwide launch, with the PS3 being region free. Now, that tells me that Japanese are going to be looking for BC on their games as well. So that would have to be available to them as well. Being that they're knocking down all the walls on launches, with the region-freeness + worldwide launch, it sounds like somebody in Tokyo would be getting the same PS3 as somebody in the US. So it makes sense if they really want to accomplish a truly worldwide system, which makes all the sense in the world right now.


    Quote Originally Posted by G_H_G
    Thats another point. Say goodbye to the legality of modchips. The excuse before was 'enables you to play import games...' Now that excuse can no longer be used, they have to be made illegal worldwide, as there will no longer be a legal way to use them.
    That was going to be my next point. I would think Sony would have to make PS2 and PS1 games region-free as well if they're serious about stopping modchips. Otherwise, people will mod their systems for old imports.

    Overall, good news! I'm hoping I'll be able to play Guitar Freaks and Drummania in HD come this fall! Also, I wonder if somehow, the online imports will have a network to use (possibly the PNP?), I'd kill to play some KOF94Rebout vs. some of my Nihonjin friends. [/quote]

  13. #13
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    This is absolutely fantastic. No more waiting for games like Minna No Golf (Hot Shots Golf for you Americans) for months on end! Sites specialising in importing/exporting gaming paraphernalia should also benefit from this PS3 news because of the extra demand.

    Tekken PS3...bought from Japan...no months of waiting...

    *cries with joy*

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    One wonders how devs are going to manage the language issues.
    The PS3 looks more than good enough for me .

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    This is by far the best news to come out of GDC for me. No more waiting 6+ months for my favorite RPGs and no more games cancelled in EU.

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    Region free is a pretty huge shocker to me. Thats definately never been done before.

    Maybe this means the days of a 6 month wait for RPG's is over. Maybe developers will create their games with both the japanese and english translations at the same time. That would definately kick major butt.

    I hate sitting back right now knowing I cannot play FFXII for a long long time, and Rogue Galaxy either. Two games I'm absolutely itching to play and can't because of the language issue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terarrim
    One wonders how devs are going to manage the language issues.
    Lots of space on blu-ray means lots of languages available on one disk. Which means only one release is required - no more pal/ntsc/ntsc-j releases. There are some extreamly powerful translation tools available now out there, so it shouldn't be a problem unless the game has voice acting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by G_H_G
    Quote Originally Posted by Terarrim
    One wonders how devs are going to manage the language issues.
    Lots of space on blu-ray means lots of languages available on one disk. Which means only one release is required - no more pal/ntsc/ntsc-j releases. There are some extreamly powerful translation tools available now out there, so it shouldn't be a problem unless the game has voice acting.
    I would not care about voice acting as long as i can get subtittles on them. I can finally play all those gundam games that only come out in japan.

    Isn't this great news for developers aswell. Now they get to sell more games overseas.
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    Or they could have the releases they way they are now- with Japanese first, English second and other languages later, etc.. It's just that since they're region free, if you can speak other languages, you can import them if you want. That's kind of like what some people with mods chips are doing now.
    Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are good is like expecting the bull not to charge at you because you are a vegetarian.

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    so does this mean we could watch japanese region-code 2 dvds if so lemme know in this thread or pm me because i have 1 japanese dvd i havent watched yet ive had it for 2yrs but the other japanese dvds work on my ps2 because their not region 2.

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    This is just marvellous for the english speaking Europeans. Remember when Dragon Quest VIII was released in U.S. last year? Well, it's still not released in EU, and it won't be out until the end of April.

    No longer will we have to wait half a year for the games because of the damned dubbing cultures
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Melchiah
    This is just marvellous for the english speaking Europeans. Remember when Dragon Quest VIII was released in U.S. last year? Well, it's still not released in EU, and it won't be out until the end of April.

    No longer will we have to wait half a year for the games because of the damned dubbing cultures
    All I have to say is thank god for Swap Magic. And thank god I wont ahve to use that piece of $#@! anymore once I get the PS3.

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    Achievements IT'S OVER 9000!
    It's just as I predicted. The "new Sony" as I'd like to call it (under Stringer that is) is going to be MUCH more western world friendly than we've seen in the past. The Playstation has never been better!

    Expect more good news at E3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefein
    It's just as I predicted. The "new Sony" as I'd like to call it (under Stringer that is) is going to be MUCH more western world friendly than we've seen in the past. The Playstation has never been better!

    Expect more good news at E3
    I see more of a world-wide friendly. They will treat everyone more equally.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nosferatu
    so does this mean we could watch japanese region-code 2 dvds if so lemme know in this thread or pm me because i have 1 japanese dvd i havent watched yet ive had it for 2yrs but the other japanese dvds work on my ps2 because their not region 2.
    I believe this only applies to games, not movies.
    Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are good is like expecting the bull not to charge at you because you are a vegetarian.

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