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Sony to crack down on Home region hopping?

19 May 2009

Hopping from one region to another on PlayStation Home is apparently a fairly common practice for a variety of reasons, including gamers looking to buy items that aren't available in their particular region. Despite the chances of getting caught moving from region to the next being very slim, it was a practice that many thought was illegal. According to SCEA, though, it's completely legitimate and you won't be punished for it -- for now anyway!

That doesn't mean it condones such activity -- to the contrary. On the official PlayStation forums, SCEA Home Manager CydoniaX has responded to information spread recently from a SCEE representative going by the forum name TedTheDog, who told users that they would be getting picture frames in the next update, v.1.21. It turns out that this is for the U.K. only. In his post, CydoniaX appears to be a little cross at his European colleague for revealing the information in a section of the forum that's frequented mainly by U.S. Home users.

In his post he writes:

Tedthedog is great at communicating with the EU community, but also needs to make sure he lets us know he's doing it. We've all discussed this and we're cool. But this kind of thing won't be happening again if we can help it.

On the subject of region hopping, he writes:

Every region has its own business deals, developers, etc and it can be extremely difficult to get legal agreement for cross-regional deals. So if you are an SCEA Home user, it's not the best idea to be going to SCEE or SCEJ forums for your information about Home. NO we don't condone global travel or wearing items in SCEA that users obtained through creating accounts in EU or Japan. The fact that many people have figured out how to go around this is not something that we plan to either condone or punish. That said, I can tell you that all regions agree that this needs to stop.

So we come to the conclusion that those who are currently region hopping aren't being punished and won't be in the immediate future. By the the sounds of it, however, CydoniaX's last sentence suggests that the different regions will be getting together very shortly to discuss how to prevent it. How long then before region hopping grinds to a halt?

Oh, if anyone is bothered about the picture frames that caused all of this fuss, CydoniaX says that they'll be coming to the U.S. region in due course.

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UPDATE: Apparently, TedTheDog actually told users on the U.K. PlayStation forums that the U.S. will be getting picture frames in v.1.21. We apologize for any confusion.


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