New PS4 FAQ Mentions Possible Region Locked Games, Shuhei Yoshida Says Console Is Still Region Free

With the opening of the preorders of the PS4 (that went sold out almost instantly) in Japan, Sony Released a new official FAQ to explain the consoles most relevant ins and outs, and there’s one point that got a few gamers worried about the possibility of not being able to play games from regions different from their console.

Q: Can I use in Japan the game titles and PS4 console released overseas? Conversely, can PS4 titles sold in Japan be used in foreign countries?

A: From the view point of each region’s safety standards and to guarantee operation, please purchase the PS4 console and the games that are sold in your area. There’s the possibility that the titles of some software developers could be region locked. In addition to that, you may no longer eligible for support if you use a an overseas model of the PS4 in Japan.

This obviously put some gamers on edge, especially the part about possible region locked games, and one of those gamers asked SCE Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida directly.

In the twitter exchange above Yoshida-san is asked “wasn’t the PS4 region free?” When he doesn’t understand the question, he’s shown the url of the FAQ I translated above, and responds “That doesn’t deny that it’s region free at all”.

Indeed it doesn’t, as the console itself is region free, but it does say that some games may be region locked. Hopefully we’re looking at a situation similar to the PS3 that, to my knowledge, had only one region locked game (Persona 4: Arena) during its whole lifetime.

Unfortunately it was a very good one, and it caused European gamers to have to wait for it for a rather relevant amount of time, but only one is definitely better than many.

Join the Discussion

  • Bright Bart

    The console is region free but it will obviously be left up to developers if they want to region lock their games or not.

    • PhantomVash808

      It’s the same on the PS3. Very few Publishers even made their game region locked though. I can only think of Persona arena and a few sports games.

      • How_delightful

        You just named a company I have never head of and would never buy from; and I have over 150 PS3 boxed games in my collection.

  • Is_Mort

    Unless we can insert homebrew translations for foreign games, this feature is mostly useless.

    • Mstrbrown

      This would be really sweet

    • Draken

      Not true… If you are an expat living abroad, you will probably purchase a system from the country in which you currently live (to avoid “import” taxes). However, if your current country of residence doesn’t get certain games, or it only provides games that have been translated in a language that you are not 100% fluent in, then you will probably want to import games from another region. (main reason I got a PS3 as I haven’t lived in North America for a very long time)

      • How_delightful

        All consoles Games should be region-free and all should have English on them as a first or second option.
        Chinese & English.
        Japanese & English.
        French & English.
        German & English.
        This way you are partially restricting copying across borders, but you are catering to almost every other customer eventuality, and helping people learn English.

        I am mostly German, but everyone around Asia who work here or in other countries speak some English at least; so EVERYONE can use and buy the consoles and games.

        Otherwise they are cutting their own throats for customers.

    • How_delightful

      That is a feature I have asked for over the past six years since I moved with my PS3 to Japan.

  • andy

    Article doesn’t understand what it is saying. By default the PS4, like with the PS3, is region free. Developers have to go out of their way to lock a game to a region and if they do they are the jerks. On 360 developers had to be the ones who went out of their way to make a game region free or not and its hard to know what games are and aren’t on the system as a result.

    • Mstrbrown

      In defence of the article; at the time read it, the explanation given is the same one you gave.
      And in reply to your statement about developers who choose to region lock their games being jerks, maybe you should realise that there could be good reasons for a game to being region locked.

      • How_delightful

        The reason is to mess up the millions of English speaking people who work in other countries; to force us to read impossible languages and listen in on and speak impossible to learn languages (many languages/scripts take 12 years to learn properly).

        The other reason is to jack the prices.

  • jdp12

    Same as PS3 then, it’s up to the dev
    Fortunately there was only one region locked ps3 game

  • RealityCheck2013

    Online people are trying ‘every day’ to find a fault with the PS4. Nothing(AGAIN) to see hear, so move along… LoL:D

  • they should just make it free man.
    why do these companies keep locking s… up?
    so annoying when you have to keep importing.
    This kind of nonsense is the reason why people keep pirating.

  • shade

    How a game can be region locked on a region free console ? That doesn’t have sense.
    For sure with PS4 we will probably looking at a situation similar to the PS3, but to say that the PS4 will be region free is to lie.

  • tilt

    In my opinion region locking is a ridiculous thing for games. It alienates foreign buyers in favor of the domestic market. Region locking for PlayStation is an archaic relic of the past and needs to stay that way going forward. In an age where bigger titles need bigger profit margins it makes no sense to region lock a game. Hell even smaller and indie titles need all the traction they can get…

  • obliviondoll

    PS3 was region free on release. Most fat PS3s can play the region-locked Persona game (and Way of the Samurai 3, which was also region locked) perfectly fine. Only the later-model fat PS3s and slim/super slim models actually have the region coding in the machine.

    So yes, this DOES mean the PS4 will have region locking capabilities, even if they aren’t widely used. And while it doesn’t 100% confirm that there IS that possibility, it’s quite definitely the opposite of openly stating the console is region-free. Pointing out that the comment doesn’t directly confirm region locking is also not a clear statement that the PS4 will be region-free. The title of this article implies a LOT more weight behind Yoshida’s comment than is actually there.

    If someone accuses me of murder and I say “I’m not saying anything” then I get accused of confessing and say “I never confessed to anything”, I’m not saying that I didn’t murder someone. I’m just clarifying that I never SAID I murdered them. And that’s basically all that’s happened here (minus the importance of a murder investigation, obviously).

  • TZuck

    Just for those that are not aware. Japan and North America are in the same region when it comes to Blu-rays. Blu-rays have less regions than DVDs, the only real reason I could see for region locking a disc would be for PAL vs NTSC territories. There may be a chance where a PAL system could be at risk with NTSC material because of electrical frequencies but just saying that makes me skeptical. The other small reason is probably because of currencies and developers possibly losing money with sales to other territories.

  • How_delightful

    So what do the hundreds of thousands of people who live and work in Aisa do when we dont read the EXTREMELY EXTREMELY COMPLICATED Kanji the Japanese/Chinese like to use in the software when only a single language option is available [rendering the games useless]; then there are all the combined MILLIONS of customers around the world who use English and work abroad; including the military. EVERY console/GAME should AUTOMATICALLY use English as the second language if they want to keep up with the competition.