Sony has confirmed that it will stop imports of the PlayStation 3 into Europe ahead of its promised release in March.

Last week Pocket-lint reported that Sony had won a lawsuit to stop Asian exporter Lik-Sang from shipping the PSPs into the UK. At that time it wasn't clear if the ruling would effect the PS3; however, now it seems that the case against Lik-Sang has set a precedent.

Sony told the BBC, “The law is clear, and grey importing PS2, PSP, or PS3 into the EU without the express permission of SCEE is illegal. Therefore, we'll utilise the full scope of the law to put a stop to any retailers who choose to do this”.

Sony's position is that it's just trying to protect the consumer from buying hardware that doesn't play older European software for PlayStation and PS2, and won't play European Blu-ray movies or DVDs.