With the release of Under Night In-Birth to Japanese markets, gamers everywhere are looking to pick up a copy. The game doesn’t come out in America until 2015, even though its menus are basically in English and the game is fully playable on American PS3’s. So how would you go about getting your hands on an import copy of the game? Well we are here to break it down in a few easy steps.
Method 1: Get a Disc Copy
The PS3 is region free! So if you can find a disc with the game on it, you are good to go! Unfortunately, that’s kind of hard to do, considering you’d have to look to specialty shops. Mom and pop stores are probably your best bet, as they usually have no problem special ordering a game if it guarantees them a sale. You can also try your hand on a store that specializes in imports as well. Note, that you will likely spend 10 dollars more than you usually would to get the game, to cover the price of shipping.
You can also order the game online from online import retailers like Play-Asia.com. Unfortunately, if you order the game online shipping will usually take something ludicrous, like 21 days or more! You can pay for rush shipping but this will cost something even more absurd, like 30 dollars extra!
On the upside, as soon as you get the disc copy you can take the game home, pop it into your PS3, or your friend’s PS3, and just start playing!
Method 2: Get a Digital Copy
Disc copies are very rare and it wouldn’t be surprising if you called every store within a 50 mile radius and still couldn’t find a copy of the import that you want. Luckily, nearly every import game is sold via the PSN. Unluckily, you can’t just buy a Japanese game on the American PSN. It’s gonna be a little bit complicated, but if you follow these steps, you’ll have whatever import game you like in no time.
Step 1: make a Japanese PSN account. This is pretty straight forward and there will be a bit of information faking happening. You can do this several ways, either via a PSP, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, or even your PC. Basically just set your region to Japan when making your account. You’ll have to use a brand new e-mail to register the account, and you’ll have to come up with a Japanese address. Luckily, you can just put in a Japanese area code and Sony’s own software will fill in the rest for you. If you need more detailed instructions, check out Kotaku’s step by step guide.
Step 2: Obtain PSN points. Unfortunately, you cannot add funds directly to your Japanese PSN account unless you have a Japanese credit card. If you do, good for you! If you don’t, you’ll have to buy a Japanese PSN points card to redeem your funds.
Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Once again you’ll have to look around in import shops or order one online and now we are back to square one. Luckily, there is another way. Play-Asia.com, as well as a few other import websites, allow you to purchase a PSN points card, and then instead of mailing the card to you, they will just e-mail you the code the card has. That way you can redeem your PSN points instantly! To redeem your points just follow the process as usual: sign on to the PSN store, go to the redeem a code section, and you are done!
Step 3: Purchase and download the game.
This goes without saying but there is a small hitch here. First of all, make sure you have enough Yen (or Hong Kong dollars if you are purchasing off the Hong Kong store) to cover the cost. You’ll likely have to overshoot the cost just to be sure, which once again will likely run you about 10 dollars more than usual.
Second of all, once you download the game you can actually safely sign off your Japanese PSN account and play the game on your other account. Note that, depending on the game, certain online functions may not work.
And that’s it! Pop in your import game and go. Now a whole world of games is open to you, games that never made it to our shores.
Former Contributing Writer