I am thinking of buying a 3DS when the price drop comes into place in America, however I live in Australia. Will Australian 3DS games work on a North American 3DS?

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    Nitpick: PAL and NTSC refer to (obsolete) TV broadcast standards and have no meaning applied to handheld devices. Japan and the US both used NTSC broadcasts, but are in different 3DS (and different DVD, but the same Blu-Ray) regions. France used neither PAL or NTSC but SECAM, but shares a 3DS (and DVD, and Blu-Ray) region with the rest of Europe. Australia used PAL and shares a 3DS (but not a DVD!) region with the rest of Europe.
    – user2640
    Oct 9, 2011 at 13:55

1 Answer 1


The 3DS, unlike the Nintendo DS before it, is region-locked. There are 3 regions: North America, Japan and EU/Australia. So if you buy your 3DS in Australia, you'll need to purchase games from either the EU or Australia as well. Nintendo explained their reasoning in the following statement:

“Nintendo 3DS hardware is available in three versions: Japanese, American and European/Australian,” Nintendo told us in a statement.

“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.”

It went on: “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.”


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