Although region locking doesn’t affect the majority of gamers, among the hardcore it tends to be a sticking point. Some games have better or earlier releases in other countries, and the ability to import and play them is an important one for, say, JRPG fans or expats. Fortunately, the Vita will be region-free, meaning you won’t have to worry whether your device or game is Japanese, American, European, or whatever. You loads your discs, you plays your games.
Maybe they had to cut out the region lockout feature in order to hit that $250 price?