Region free in Europe? Only with a HDTV

The other day I was out shopping in London and decided to pick up another game for my imported US PS3 (FEAR, for those of you who are curious). This is the first PAL region game I've bought, but knowing that the PS3 is region free I wasn't worried about compatibility issues. When I got back and put the disc in the drive, I was met by a very disappointing message: "This game not supported (80028F10)". Confused, and a bit pissed off, I did some Googling and stumbled on a very helpful thread on the official European PLAYSTATION forum.

It turns out that there's an issue with US/JAP PS3s running 576 lines of resolution (the European standard). That is, they can't do it. So European games that don't support 480i/p simply won't play. The only solution is to step up to the lowest common resolution for all regions, 720i/p. Of course, for that you'll need a HDTV and a high definition connector for your console. As a result, FEAR is fast becoming the most expensive game I've ever bought.

It's difficult to say whether this will affect people who are planning on nabbing themselves some US games for their PAL PS3s. If you have any anecdotal evidence showing that this works fine, then let us know. As for the Americans out there who are looking forward to importing Singstar next month, you'll probably suffer from this same problem if you've yet to take the plunge and gone HD.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.