Nintendo confirmed Monday that software created specifically for the DSi will be region-locked by major territories, with Europe, North America and Japan receiving software that only works with their specific regions.
This marks a contrast with previous Nintendo portable hardware, like the Game Boy and original DS, which both worked just fine for importers who craved Japanese titles while living in the U.S. or Europe.
Nintendo's rational for the change was due to the fact that the "DSi embeds net communication functionality within itself and we are intending to provide net services specifically tailored for each region," said a Nintendo rep in an interview with Eurogamer.
Nintendo's family-friendly street cred was also at stake, apparently, with the company adding that new "parental control functionality" for the portable is different for each region. If you translated that into meaning some kind of new Friend Codes, you'd probably be right. Nintendo never specifically mentioned the term, however.
Please note too that these changes apply only to the DLC DSi-only content that Nintendo revealed alongside the portable last week. All existing DS software will remain region free, as will Internet browsing on the DSi's integrated browser. Photo sharing will also be enabled on a worldwide basis.