Digital games! What a world we live in! If the internet age has taught us anything, it's that waiting is for suckers. You can get any current-gen game you want, whenever you want. Unless, we're talking about imports, that is. You can get them, but there are a few extra steps to follow. Never fear, we're here to help.
Before the age of the internet, getting an import game the day it came out was virtually impossible. Forking over hundreds in shipping costs would get the game to you a day or two if you were lucky. Thankfully, all you need now is a little extra cash, a speedy internet connection and possibly some foreign hardware.
Pictured above: Shin Jigen Game Neptune VII for PS4
What you'll need:
- A Japanese PSN account
- A prepaid PSN card
We've covered how to get a Japanese PSN account before. If you check out the link above you'll find a great step-by-step guide on how to to get one if you haven't yet.
After you've done that, all you really have left to do is buy a PSN card. I've tried Japan Codes, Play Asia and CN-USA. Each service offers near-instant delivery of a redemption code, though I've usually had to reach out to Japan Codes to request they send me my code, I've never had a negative experience with any of the three listed.
Prices are always variable, because they're based on exchange rates so make sure you do your homework before you buy. Once you've bought a code and entered in PSN (you can read that same guide above for instructions on how to redeem your code) browsing PSN is easy. The Japanese PSN store has the same layout as the US store, albeit in Japanese.
Pictured above: Xenoblade X for Wii U
What you'll need:
- A Japanese console
- That's it!
Oh, Nintendo fans. You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you? You love the world's most insular game company, and all you want is to play the games they've yet to release outside of their home turf. I've got some good news and some bad news for you then. The good news is Nintendo's eShop is surprisingly friendly to foreign credit cards. The bad news? You have to import a console to get into it.
If you're thinking of playing Xenoblade X early, you'll have to get yourself a Japanese Wii U to do so. Play Asia is probably the cheapest place to get one, but you may be able to find a good deal on one on eBay or Amazon. Odds are if you're willing to drop a few hundred bucks to import some games, you probably don't need our help in figuring the situation out. You get out there, you dedicated go-getter you!
Once you've got your console, just shop like you would in the US store. Enter your credit card and buy what you like, the big N loves you and your money, even if they region lock your consoles and handhelds.
Pictured above: BlazBlue Chrono Phantasma Extend for Xbox One
What you'll need:
- A Japanese Xbox Live account
- A prepaid card
Let's face facts, not a lot of people want to import Xbox games. It's the sole American-made console on the list, and it isn't very popular in Japan. Still, Xbox One players shouldn't be left out in the cold.
For starters, you'll need to get that Japanese Xbox live account. The easiest way to do this is to create a new Microsoft account. Once you've got a new Microsoft account, go to Xbox.com and login using it. Follow the on-screen prompts and set your country to Japan.
Once you've done this, sign into your Japanese account and enter the code you've purchased and shop just as you would normally! That's it. Very similar to the PS4 process. The hardest part is finding a game you'll want to import.
That's it. You've got everything you need to import any game you want without leaving the comfort of your couch. Instant gratification! The future is now! Now go and get some awesome games you might not have the opportunity to play otherwise.