Software for Nintendo's upcoming DSi console, and upgrade to the Nintendo DS Lite, will be region-locked by major territories, with Europe, North America and Japan receiving software that only works with their specific regions.
This marks a contrast with previous Nintendo portable hardware, such as the Game Boy and original Nintendo DS, which both worked for importers who craved Japanese titles while living in Europe or the US.
Nintendo's rational for the change was due to the fact that the "DSi embeds net communication functionality within itself and we are intending to provide net services specifically tailored for each region," according to a Nintendo rep in an interview with Eurogamer.
See the Nintendo DSi in action by watching the video below
Nintendo's family-friendly street cred was also at stake, apparently, with the company adding that new "parental control functionality" for the portable is different for each region. If you translated that into meaning some kind of new Friend Codes, you'd probably be right. Nintendo never specifically mentioned the term, however.
These changes apply only to the DSi-only content that Nintendo revealed alongside the portable last week. All existing Nintendo DS software will remain region free, as will internet browsing on the DSi's integrated browser. Photo sharing will also be enabled on a worldwide basis.