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Region-free PS3 356

An anonymous reader writes "IGN writes that "In a QA session following the platform keynote address at GDC 2006 this morning, Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios President Phil Harrison confirmed what was heavily demanded for import gamers all over the world and yet previously thought unthinkable for a major corporation: the PS3 will be region-free for gaming." There's no chance that the MPAA members would allow the same for movies but at least it's a step in the right direction."
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Region-free PS3

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  • Re:so what? (Score:4, Informative)

    by KDR_11k ( 778916 ) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @10:19AM (#14980010)
    Even moreso, who cares about stability if Linux allows the moon people to make your computer explode?

    (PS3 games will not be locked to anyone, stop repeating that rumour, it has been denied already)
  • More info... (Score:4, Informative)

    by astonish ( 177831 ) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @10:21AM (#14980024)
    Actually, what he really said is that the machine itself will not have any region restrictions, but it would be up to publishers whether they want to restrict their games to certain TV formats etc. Which they probably will for many major releases.

    Still if a publisher, especially from Japan, knows they aren't going to publish a game in the US/Euro they can leave it region free and let importers have more fun. Still a good thing. Lets hope they get the system off the ground, so far my impression is one of a very expensive hype machine that has to play catch up to Xbox Live. Still, I'm all for having two (three??) great next-gen systems in my living room.
  • by malkavian ( 9512 ) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @10:23AM (#14980035)
    Perhaps Sony, touched with the debacles it's been involved in recently (the Rootkit being the most well known), has decided its time to rely on a modicum of common sense. After all, the market has done without regional coding since the dawn of time (well, until a few years ago) and prospered.
    The simplest solution being the best (as is often the case) says remove the complexity that doesn't really gain anything, and see what you have. The copy protection on a console.. I can live with that.. I've never been that interested in backups, as I take great care with the disks.. I have, however, been most peeved when buying region coded items that refuse to play just because I'm in the 'wrong country'.
    Hopefully it's the start of a new trend of business actually listening, rather than dictating. I doubt it, but hey. It's a hope.

  • by GauteL ( 29207 ) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @10:29AM (#14980068)
    "Europe will STILL have to have a separate set of games because they use PAL instead of NTSC anyway"

    Most fairly new European televisions can display both NTSC and PAL picture.
  • by Tony Hoyle ( 11698 ) <> on Thursday March 23, 2006 @10:36AM (#14980102) Homepage
    720p is 720p

    Nope. 720p 60hz is different from 720p 50hz.

    There are already issues with people trying to import HDTVs from the US to Europe and finding they don't work with european broadcasts.
  • by meringuoid ( 568297 ) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @10:36AM (#14980109)
    This announcement seems all flash and no substance -- Europe will STILL have to have a separate set of games because they use PAL instead of NTSC anyway.

    I gather that a lot of modern TVs will work with either PAL or NTSC inputs, so they won't have any trouble with this; and since the PS3 is being designed with HDTV in mind, PAL vs NTSC is really kind of irrelevant. HDTV is the same everywhere.

    I personally wonder if this is something to do with Australia. They've ruled down there that region coding on DVDs is actually illegal; I hear that all Aussie DVD players are now multiregion. Region-coding the PS3 will get Sony into legal trouble in Australia. Region-coding all non-Australian PS3s will be kind of pointless - people prepared to import foreign games will presumably also be happy to import an Aussie PS3. So they may as well drop the whole thing.

  • by mausmalone ( 594185 ) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @10:42AM (#14980143) Homepage Journal
    Furthermore, most current graphics hardware is capible of displaying in either PAL or NTSC or SECAM, etc ... I think there will likely still be some sort of region identification, but probably more like it's done on the DS: it'll ship with a default region selected, and you'll be able to change it in the options. It's probably the simplest solution to "What display do I use when I boot up for the first time ever?"
  • FTA: NTSC bPAL? (Score:2, Informative)

    by cyclomedia ( 882859 ) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @10:44AM (#14980157) Homepage Journal
    TFA suggests the possibility of a "no play" screen if an import game demands an output signal that is incompatible with your region coding so that things dont go bang. which to me suggests two possibilities.

    1. the author is dumb
    2. all my tvs have been magic tvs

    currently (well, not this very second) i'm playing a US NTSC import of a PSone game on my PAL telly in the UK, sure the picture is a bit stretched but even this cheapo 19" tv has a 16:9 anamorphic button, squashing said picture back down to something more pleasant on the eyes. same goes for NTSC DVDs too.

  • by eht ( 8912 ) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @11:06AM (#14980299)
    HDTV defeinately does not all use the same standard, there's at least 4 different SMPTE standards I know of 260M, 295M, 274M, and 296M, and most of them have multiple standards within them.

    260M is 1920x1035 at either 30Hz or 29.97Hz, 295M is 1920x1080 at 25Hz, but at more lines per frame the spec in 274M, 274M has a ton of standards, all 1920x1080, but at many varying frame rates, including 30, 29.97, and 25, at both progressive(1 field per frame) and interlaced(2 fields per frame), and also a 24Hz frame rate, and 23.976Hz, and then 296M comes in with 1280x720 at 30Hz and 29.97Hz progressive.

    So a movie running at 1920x1080@25Hz interlaced will run 20% faster at 1920x1080@30Hz.

    Isn't that great?

    Sorry, I work with television signals everyday and the massive amount of standards causes me no end of annoyance.
  • Re:HDMI (Score:4, Informative)

    by Hieronymus Howard ( 215725 ) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @11:38AM (#14980528)
    Here's a few clues for you, since you don't seem to have any:

    Firstly, HDMI is not "a proprietary version of DVI created by Sony". See []

    Secondly, all "HD Ready" ( []) HDTVs sold here in Europe have HDMI.

    Thirdly DVI to HDMI adapters are not expensive. You can get one for about $7 on Ebay, including postage.

    Fourthly, HDMI is not a form of DRM. HDCP is DRM, but HDCP can be implemented on DVI as well as HDMI.
  • PAL60 SDTV (Score:3, Informative)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Thursday March 23, 2006 @01:59PM (#14981690) Homepage Journal

    PAL/NTSC will still be significant [because] It will be many years before the majority of the customers have high-definition tv's.

    Standard-definition TV sets in Brazil use PAL color coding on the same "M" (60 Hz) scan frequencies used by NTSC. In fact, one of Nintendo of Europe's Metroid Prime titles requires support for PAL at 60 Hz.

  • by wall0159 ( 881759 ) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @04:37PM (#14983047)
    "Why should distributors of electronic content bear that burden when other mediums don't?"

    Because they're trying to sell their product as a license - *not* as a product. For example, I can buy a spade, and hire it to whomever I choose. I cannot legally do that with a cd because, although I own the cd, I've only licensed the contents.

    Thus, even if the cd breaks, I *still* own the license to listen to the music, and thus ought to be able to - using either my own backup, or a company provided replacement.

About the time we think we can make ends meet, somebody moves the ends. -- Herbert Hoover