It seems Sony is considering not putting region encoding on games for the PS3. Story here.
They decided not to do this for the PSP, which makes sense for a handheld device: what’s the point in it being portable if you can’t play the games that you buy when you’re travelling? Their rationale is that high-definition television (HDTV) is making playback of signals a unified system around the world, unlike the current state of affairs with PAL and NTSC. Of course, if you’ve got the money to buy an HDTV then you could probably afford several different PS3s from all the different regions around the world, but that’s beside the point (apparently).
The good news for all of us Brits is that this means we’ll finally be able to buy and play games from the US on our UK Sony hardware without illegal and potentially damaging modifications. This means we will at last be free of the six-or-more month wait that it usually takes before US games are translated over into all the numerous languages of the European market. Yep, despite the fact that we British are very good at understanding American, we currently have to wait for the games to be translated into French, German, Spanish, Icelandic, Welsh, Cornish, Swedish, and Ogham before we get the chance to play on them.
Let’s not forget that another thing that happens during that six month wait is that the price of the game always seems to double. It’s curious really, you’d think that the company would have recouped a lot of their money so wouldn’t need to charge us Brits twice as much as the Americans, but it doesn’t seem to work like that. So, we might be getting releases faster and cheaper. That’s such good news that, for today, I’ve decided for the moment to stop calling them $ony.