Meet The First Ever Region-Locked PS3 Game

The upcoming PS3 and Xbox 360 release of fighting game Persona 4 Arena is, in North America at least, taking the rare and terrible move of being completely region-locked.

While the PS3 is usually entirely region-free, as are many Xbox 360 games these days (since on Microsoft's platform it's a decision left open to the publisher), Atlus has decided that the American release of the game will be locked on both consoles.

For any publisher to region-block a PS3 game is a strange decision; for a boutique publisher like Atlus, whose consumers are some of the savviest online, it seems crazy.

So crazy that, believe it or not, this is the first game since the release of the PS3 in 2006 to ever feature complete region-locking.

I'd be shocked if it wasn't down to some kind of move to preserve North American sales and cut down on imports, since the game is out in Japan nearly two weeks earlier (and that version also features English language support).

Still, we've contacted Atlus, and will update if we hear back.

Summon the fighter within: Persona 4 Arena (360, PS3) coming to N.America this summer [Atlus]


    oh for the love of God no. We better be getting an AU release in that case :/

      Sure, that'll be $110 please.

        You forgot the $20 put on top at EB.

        L2shop. New releases are generally $80 in JB Hi-Fi.

    I didn't even think this was possible. How come none of the JP publishers have done it before when they do region lock all their 360 releases?

    Lets just hope its not a thing to come because it was another one of those selling features of the ps3....

    Well fuck, this just completely screwed over my plan to import the thing, just hope that if it comes to PAL territories it wont be nearly a year after like Catherine. So when they say they say that the Japanese release has english support is that only voice or is it text aswell?

    well, they've lost my money for this game and any future releases. they can join ea and craptivision in the "pre-owned only" category.

    What happened Atlus? You used to be cool.


      Goddamnit wtf is up w/ all my fave pubs devolving into corporate shills! >..<

    I'm rather surprised with Atlus. They'll lose sales and dedicated customers\. Not to mention it sets a dangerous precedent for the industry.

    How would region locking the US release of the game prevent Americans from playing the Japanese release of the game? Or is the Japanese release _also_ region locked?

      Official news reply on forums is basically that all 3 versions US, JP and EU (if it ever comes out) are region locked

    Yup, this move is a nice big slice of a$$ pie!

    "I’d be shocked if it wasn’t down to some kind of move to preserve North American sales and cut down on imports"
    Luke, what other reason is there for region locking? Just curious.

      Judging from the official reply letter the irony of it all is it's to preserve the Japanese sales as opposed to the NA sales because NA's release would be 2 weeks after Jp....

    I hate this. Region locking is a form of price fixing. It is amoral and should also be illegal (I think in some cases it is)

    So far it sounds like they are only region locking the US version. This would probably since it would be cheaper to import the US version for Japanese customers than it would be to buy the game in Japan.

    This was the ONLY console game I've been looking forward to this year. It'll be delayed in Australia and I won't get to play it for another 6-12 months.

    Just moved ATLUS to my hate list!
    It´s right next to Bethesda (for the bugged PS3 games) and Square (for destroying Final Fantasy).

      You mean Enix, Squaresofts FF games rule

    This is extremely gay, luckily I have a JP PS3 slim lying around, but when one starts doing it eventually everyone will and that defeats the whole point of having a PS3 over a 360. Also one of the touted features of the PS3 was region free gaming, so what is Sony going to do to enforce publishers don't start region locking all their games.

    They could simply be saying that the MP element is region locked and not the game itself? I thought it was against Sony's policy to allowed region locked games?

    Molotov their HQ done

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