Next year's Playstation 3 could be the first major games console to drop region coding on games, Australian IT's reporting.
So says the head of Sony Computer Entertainment in Oz, who suggests the PSP's lack of gaming region restrictions is a sign of things to come. He also added that the emergence of high-def as a global standard - which the PS3 can do via its Blu-Ray drive - makes region coding seem increasingly out of date.
While nothing's guaranteed - region-free gaming isn't Sony's official line on the next Playstation - such a move would work out nicely for us UK punters. We reckon there would be two main consequences. First'd be a new, previously unavailable catalogue of overseas titles, and the second - opposable thumbs crossed - would be lower game prices on the high street.
We'd love access to non-European games as we'd finally get access to some of the weirder and more wonderful titles Japan-only titles put out by the the likes of Bandai and Capcom.
The price drop on games from the current going rate of £35 would be even more welcome. Thanks to the pound continuing to ride high in exchange land, you'd be able to pick up PS3 games from the US version of Amazon for nearly half price the UK cost. Gamers would, in effect, have a choice of any online store anywhere in the world. If importing titles from web shops caught on, the British high street would be forced to drop its prices in retaliation.
For now, we'll have to wait and see. The PS3's still officially due here in spring 2006, though there have been rumours of delays [story here].
No PS3 'til 2007?