Persona 4 Arena is the first region-locked PS3 game

Persona 4 Arena has the dubious honor of being the first region-locked game on PS3. Watch out, importers.

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PlayStation 3 has been the import gamer's console of choice this generation, thanks to its lack of region-free games. Whether you're a US gamer looking to play Japanese games, or a gamer that owns a snazzy Japan-only special edition console, you knew that any game from any region would play in your system.

Of course, someone had to screw that up. Surprisingly, it's Atlus. Persona 4 Arena is the first region-locked game on the console.

"Yes, the PS3 version game will be region-locked. I certainly can't offer details as to why, but there might be an official response at some point," an Atlus representative confirmed on its official forums.

It's an odd decision on Atlus' part, considering all versions of the game across the world are "nearly identical," according to The Escapist, with text and voice options in both Japanese and English regardless of which version you pick up. Still, it's a good thing to know--especially if (like me) you don't use a North American system to play games on.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    July 6, 2012 2:30 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Persona 4 Arena is the first region-locked PS3 game.

    Persona 4 Arena has the dubious honor of being the first region-locked game on PS3. Watch out, importers.

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      July 6, 2012 4:20 PM

      I heard about this a couple days ago, and I'm really surprised its coming from Atlus.

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      July 6, 2012 4:21 PM

      I guess this helps Atlus USA make some scratch but it kinda sucks.

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        July 6, 2012 10:11 PM

        I think it's more to keep Japanese gamers from importing the cheaper U.S. version.

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        July 6, 2012 6:53 PM

        I saw this on shoryuken.com as well. The key bit is this:

        "...The unforeseen consequence in all of this was that we had a version of our biggest game of the year releasing within a couple weeks in two territories, both identical in content, but at radically different price points. Importing, as great as it is for gamers who otherwise can’t get access to a title, can also cannibalize the performance of a title in one territory to the benefit of another. While we’re all one big ATLUS family, the reality is that the dramatic difference between the Yen and the Dollar makes for a dramatic difference in price. So the decision was made, perhaps at the expense of some of our fans, clearly at the frustration of many, to region-lock Persona 4 Arena..."

        It definitely sucks, but given that Atlus is a fairly small company, I kinda feel for them in this situation. I don't think there was a right answer to this situation that would leave everyone happy.

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        July 6, 2012 6:57 PM

        So, how much do the Japanese pay for their PS3 games?

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          July 6, 2012 7:10 PM

          This particular game can be preordered for 5947 yen, which is essentially $60. At the current exchange rate, the USD cost actually would come out to $74.67. I suspect that the U.S. price will be on the cheap side, maybe $40 to $50, which might tempt Japanese gamers to import our version.

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        July 6, 2012 7:45 PM

        I think their reasoning is fair. I for one haven't imported a game since I stopped living in Japan, so even if this were a new policy, it wouldn't affect me, but I can understand how frustrating it would be for someone who cannot get a copy of the game any other way. As for people living in North America though, this hardly seems like a big deal. The Japanese and NA versions will be identical, with global online play, and there will only be a two week gap between them, so surely the hardcore fans can wait a couple of weeks. If we want more Atlus games to be released in North America, we need to buy them in North America instead of constantly importing them, which in the end hurts the performance of local sales.

        Now if the NA version lacked content that the Japanese version had, then the gloves are off.

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          July 6, 2012 9:04 PM

          Well said.

          Thus far the only annoyance I've personally seen is from a player in Ireland who was intending to import the US version. However, even then his wait shouldn't be too bad. I've heard Europe is getting the game sometime in August. The only thing I haven't heard about is Australia.

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        July 6, 2012 8:10 PM

        [deleted]

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          July 6, 2012 8:11 PM

          [deleted]

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            July 6, 2012 10:13 PM

            U.S. dwellers don't save money importing Japanese games. I spent $82 to bring Ni no Kuni over last month.

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            July 6, 2012 10:16 PM

            I'm pretty sure this is to stop japanese players from purchasing the less-expensive international version of the game, which is identical in every other way.

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          July 6, 2012 8:45 PM

          Yeah, it's a really well worded statement

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      July 6, 2012 7:04 PM

      If I go to Tokyo next year, I'm buying a PS3 there. All we have is the boring black ones, they have blue, red, silver, white and others.

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        July 6, 2012 7:20 PM

        Yeah, the color options are pretty slick. I dunno why we can't get those cases here.

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        July 6, 2012 8:02 PM

        US Blu Ray movies will not work, I believe.

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          July 6, 2012 10:07 PM

          I haven't tried cross-region blu-rays, but Japan and U.S. are both in region A.

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      July 6, 2012 8:11 PM

      thanks to its lack of region-free games

      I assume you mean region-locked here.

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