RegionThree Loader Makes Region Free 3DS a Reality

Have you always wanted to play Japanese 3DS games on your North American/European 3DS, but couldn’t because of the region lock? Or lamented the fact that North America gets everything before Europe? Well never fear, because RegionThree is here!

RegionThree is a loader by smealum released for Nintendo 3DS, 3DS XL, and 2DS (it does not work on new 3DS models) and is compatible with firmware versions 9.0 – 9.4. With it, loading 3DS game carts that are a different region from your system is a breeze. All you have to do is download the loader, move the file to the root of your 3DS’s SD card, and perform a little magic on your 3DS (full instructions on the official site) to get it up and running! 
Not only is RegionThree great for those who like to import games, but it does not in any way promote piracy, as it requires an actual copy of the game to work. There is no flash cart or other illegal method required, and I can confirm that using it to load a Japanese game on my North American 3DS did not harm my system in any way. 
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get out there and import some games! A couple standout titles from Japan this month include Legend of Legacy and Yowamushi Pedal: Ashita e no High Cadence. You can also check out my list of 10 Japanese Games Worth Importing. The exchange rate is also really great for Americans looking to import from Japan right now, too! 

(via NeoGAF)

About Anne Lee

Also known as apricotsushi. Anne can be written with the kanji for apricot (杏), and sushi was the most quintessentially Japanese thing I could think of when I was 13, resulting in my goofy, albeit memorable, nickname.

  • Rowan Idris Carmichael

    Not to be too fussy, but Europe did eventually get SMTIV! But this is very excited regardless of SMTIV’s presence or lack there of in europe!

  • Rowan Idris Carmichael

    One of the other nice things about this is that if it ever did get patched, your save data is on the carts mostly, meaning, if you really do get into importing and are patched out, you can either wait, for the new exploit, or continue on an imported 3DS if need be.

  • apricotsushi

    No, I appreciate you pointing it out! I took that bit out. Now I can’t think of any games EU hasn’t gotten eventually, since we even got Rune Factory 4…

  • apricotsushi

    Very true!

  • Rowan Idris Carmichael

    That was a shocker. I had been expecting SMTIV because we eventually get most atlus games. But Harvest Moon is more hit or miss here. XSeed can be more hit or miss in terms of things of theirs ending up our way… I unfortunately bought Fantasy Life after giving up hope on RF4, only for it to be announced the next week…

  • Zach

    Also worth mentioning: it looks like some games (the game he used, Smash Bros) that have, or eventually will have, localizations will be automatically changed to the native language of the system. Obviously it’ll only work with games like Smash that have immediate plans for localization, but still that’s rather nifty!!

  • apricotsushi

    Ah yeah, I thought that was a really neat thing! Is that because the localized version is already on the cart?? That seems hard to believe :O

  • Rowan Idris Carmichael

    Melee also had the english localisation in the Japanese version. What surprises me here is the lack of an option. I assume it is going off the system language which a lot of modern games do. (Vita has a number of games that are only in english from Japan if you set it to british english not US english)

    Also, minor point worth adding, writing to streetpass data seems to cause games to crash. Don’t enable any streetpass features from these games.

  • I don’t really get the point of this hack. Who would actually have a profit of this? We all know this exploit will be fixed in no time from Nintendo. So you need a second 3DS to play Project Steam and keep your old 3DS not updated to play your imported games. What also sucks no one can tell you if future import games will work. Does anyone want spend money on game that maybe don’t work in half a year?
    So why don’t get simply a second 3DS from the region you want to import, before to get second 3DS from the same region?

  • Rowan Idris Carmichael

    Second 3ds is the better way. But for a variety of people in a variety of situations there are boons. From immigrants, travelers, multi language households and more there are many reasons someone might want this.

    An enthusiast importer though? Probably not. Personally I’ve just not had the funds to get myself a Japanese 3ds yet and kept putting it off. But I was craving some Mario 3d land, but am living in Japan right now. So this was excellent, perfect timing. Since save data is on carts, then I can easy transfer my saves to my Japanese 3ds when I pick one up finally.

    A number of people I know in the ESL teaching profession are quite pleased as it’ll let them tinker with games where they are teaching without needing to pick up a new console, so they can decide if they really want to invest.

  • Interesting! There’s no real point to me checking it out myself, I guess, but I’m glad others will finally be able to play some Japanese 3DS games. Oh, and I can vouch for what you said here about the exchange rate right now. It’s amazing! Every time I buy a game from AmiAmi, I’m like, “that’s all I’ve got to pay?!?” Anyway, here’s hoping Nintendo isn’t able to kill this anytime soon…

  • Rowan Carmichael

    Super Mario 3d land doesn’t have English in it if you are curious (playing on my Aussie 3ds yesterday)

  • Zach

    Bizarre!! Maybe this is all part of Nintendo’s eventual reveal for the great Berlin Wall of region locking to be torn down with select titles…!? Ah well, thanks for checking though!

    It is interesting to note as well that there are also games (maybe not plural?) out there like Pokemon ORAS that allow you to play in English (or any other language) with a Japanese copy of the game.

  • Rowan Carmichael

    X and Y had a simmilar feature I believe.

  • ZACH

    I know right?? I can only imagine it’s because the localization ~is~ already on the cart, it was just unlocked. But then it makes you wonder… why did it take an extra month to release over here if that’s the case? Does it just boil down to businessman semantics?

  • ZACH

    It’d be interesting to see someone do the same thing with a game like Super Mario 3D Land, see if it changes to the native language as well…