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James Peter
17 Nov, 2006

eGames 06: Sony MD believes region coding is a thing of the past

PS3 News | "There's not going to be NTSC or PAL."
At the currently-in-progress eGames and Entertainment Expo, Michael Ephraim, the Managing Director for Sony Computer Entertainment Australia and NZ, had some rather interesting things to say about region coding for console games. After being asked on an industry panel about what he thought the future would hold for zoning, he responded, “The region coding issue has always been the television standard – NTSC and PAL. With PlayStation Portable and Nintendo portable devices there have been no regions because you’re playing on a standard screen.”

Clearly wanting to press the point home, he continued, “Moving towards the high definition era, there will be one standard. There’s not going to be NTSC or PAL, so you know there’s no commercial or any other reason that that’s been done in the past except because of standards in different countries. I think you’ll see more and more single zone situations as high definition takes on.” That’s a bold prediction, we must say. After Sony’s recent legal action against Lik-sang for importing consoles into Europe, one would have to expect that there was some rather important commercial implications regarding segmenting console sales into regions.

Fortunately, Ephraim explained his reasoning. “The movie industry doesn’t [intend to get rid of region coding] but we don’t control that, that’s the movie industry and that’s mainly because theatrical releases come out at different times. Movies come out in the US, as you know, right away and they have to be translated into 15 languages in Europe, so if a movie came out in the US and went to DVD very quickly, it would ruin theatrical business around the world. So that’s the movie thing, but the games thing has more technical standards on television and I think we’ll see less and less of that as technology changes.” Even though those are words that are sure to make many importers very happy, we have to admit that it doesn’t seem to fit in with Sony’s strategy so far.

Nintendo and Microsoft’s representatives on the panel declined to make a comment in the issue.

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7 Comments
7 years ago
I hope there isnt, cause playing games in pal and getting games in pal region really suck.
7 years ago
I wonder what happens, does a new standard emerge using HD stuff? or does either pal or ntsc take over?

Im thinking that neither pal nor ntsc will because i _think_ they are for anologue televisions

if im wrong then i hope it is PAL that wins out, as it gives a picture with greater detail
7 years ago
Thats true. Now all 3 companies need to actually do something about it (though Microsoft seem to be doing quite well, if Gears and Pinata were infact intended to be region free).
7 years ago
*reckons...but I think you ran out of space.

I hate the whole region encoding thing, I don't really see why they were introduced in the first place. Why not just have one global thing.
7 years ago
cause local retailers would be doing double backflips at the loss of sales.
7 years ago
I don't think its going to make a huge difference, but if it would then the answer is simple - give us a proper pricing structure. None of this US$1 = AU$2 crap.

Actually they should be doing that anyway. But of course, they wont.
7 years ago
DancesInUnderwear wrote
Thats true. Now all 3 companies need to actually do something about it (though Microsoft seem to be doing quite well, if Gears and Pinata were infact intended to be region free).
If all games had english text and english voice like Xbox games in Japan, I can see myself importing cause of the price thing. Unless of course, sony bans that too. icon_cry.gif
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