Nintendo has suggested that 3DS software won't be entirely region locked across the board - but confirmed the "possibility" that certain games won't be compatible with foreign handhelds. While the hardware itself will come in three versions - Japanese, American and European/Australian - and offer network services specifically tailored to each territory, the platform holder is so far refusing to outright commit that all software will not work on a different region console. Nintendo's full statement: "Nintendo 3DS hardware is available in three versions: Japanese, American and European/Australian. Nintendo has developed different versions of Nintendo 3DS hardware to take into account different languages, age rating requirements and parental control functionality as well as to ensure compliance with local laws in each region. "Nintendo 3DS also offers network services specifically tailored for each region. "Additionally we want to ensure the best possible gaming experience for our users and there is the possibility that Nintendo 3DS software sold in one region will not function properly when running on Nintendo 3DS hardware sold in another. "Guidance will appear on every packaging of Nintendo 3DS hardware and the accompanying software. If you are in doubt, Nintendo recommends that you only purchase Nintendo 3DS software in the region where purchased your Nintendo 3DS system.[/p] Source From the statement itself, I'm interpreting it as the 3DS has region-locking capabilities in it, but the system itself only enforces it if the game requires it. In a case where a game is not region-locked, there is no guarantee that it will work on a system from a differing region. Something like this may be fixable with system updates. So, in a nutshell, region-locking is decided by the game, which is decided by the developer/publisher, imo.