Our friends across the pond may have had to wait a few months to get the PlayStation 4, but Sony sweetened the deal by adding a few titles we don't get. The good news is you can get these games right now, ahead of Japan's PS4 launch this week, and I'm going to show you how.
Updated 2/22/14: Added high-res screens to replace the iPhone photos used before.
What You'll Need
- A PS4 (Obviously)
- A Japanese PSN account
- Japanese PSN cards or a Japanese credit card
Signing Up for a Japanese PSN Account on Playstation 4
This will give you a step-by-step walkthrough of how to to set this up.
Next you will be prompted for an address, the first field is post code, just use what I've entered, for the next two fields, start typing in kana and select any autocomplete result.
At this point you'll be prompted in English to activate your account as your primary PS4. Do it, it'll make life easier later on. After that, you'll be prompted to login to Facebook, in Japanese:
The first thing would be to login to the PSN store and store and snag your free three-month membership to PS Plus.
After this point, you can pretty much follow Richard's guide for how to navigate the store, as the interface isn't much different from PS3. If you find a free game you want, just hit the button labeled ダウンロード to add it to your download queue. If you want to buy a game, well, that's a bit more complicated.
Signing up for a Japanese PSN account from a PC
This one's easy-peasy. All you'll need to to is go to this site in a browser that supports auto translation, like Chrome and follow the prompts on the page.
Buying Games from Japan's PSN Store
To buy Japanese games from the PSN store, you're going to need prepaid PSN cards. Fortunately, there's a large number of places you can get these from. Richard recommends Play Asia and PCGameSupply and I'm inclined to agree with him. As of right now, Play Asia has the best price on PSN cards and offers instant delivery. If you're going to spend real money here, those two are your best bet.
So you have a code, but how to enter it? First you'll want to login to your Japanese account and get into the PSN store. Scroll all the way down the page and select the last option, your screen should should look like this:
Enter your 12-digit code here (don't include hyphens) and you're all set.
Questions and Answers
Can I play my downloaded Japanese PS4 titles on my US account?
Yes, you can! After your game installs, you can switch to your US account and play there, no problem. You'll want to make sure you've activated your console as the primary PS4 for your Japanese account during setup. If you didn't, you can do so in settings.
What games are available?
Updated 2/22/14: The full compliment of titles are now available. There's an entry for Ryuu Ga Gotoku: Ishin that doesn't seem to do anything, strangely, but all other titles have something, including preview videos for Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
Do I have to stay logged into my Japanese account to download?
No, you do not. Feel free to switch to your local account and the download will continue in the background.
Could I get banned for this?
Doubtful. Playstation users have been doing this for years, myself included, and have yet to be banned from PSN for it. Sony is a very import-friendly company.
Have any questions? Need more info? Hit me up in the comments.