In an interview published in the Australian computer magazine
, the chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment Australia, Michael Ephraim, hinted that PlayStation 3 games may ship without region codes.
Currently, it is not possible to play a PlayStation 2 game bought in North America in a PS2 console bought in Europe or Japan–at least not without performing a hardware modification to the system and voiding the warranty. For the same reason, gamers in North America can't buy games from Japan and play them in their local PS2 consoles.
According to Ephraim, the company sees the emergence of a global HDTV standard as a reason to consider dropping region-coding.
"If you look at the fact that the PlayStation 3 hardware will support high-definition TV," said Ephraim, "which will be a global standard, there's a good likelihood that it will be global region, as for example we've done with the PSP."
It's worth bearing in mind, however, that Ephraim's comments only apply to games made for the PS3, and not to movie titles that other publishers will be producing on DVD and Blue-Ray formats.