Gaming on the cheap in Japan: 2013 update
Important note on DLC on PS3:
Some of the suggestions for console gaming involve purchasing other region games on PS3. Most of the time if the game requires an online pass, or has DLC that you are interested in, note you must activate the pass or make the DLC purchase in the online store of the same region as the game. If it’s an Asian region game, you gotta activate the online pass from the Hong Kong PSN store, exc. This is free to do as all you have to do is set up a PSN user account for that region, but buying DLC can be a bit more tricky as you will have to buy point cards online for each specific region. Xbox gamers don’t have to worry about this because as of now, online passes / DLC aren’t region locked.
Asian Region Games:
Asian region games are a great way to save a few bucks in Japan. Most can be bought inside the country from online sites, and the majority of them are identical to the US version. As a plus, sometimes you can get lucky and they will leave the Japanese voices in as well on RPGs, but this is on a case by case basis, don’t count on this. Before doing this though, please re-read my comment above regarding online passes / DLC.
All PS3 games are region free. 360 gamers can check region compatibility by going to this site:
Where to buy:
My favorite place to pick up asian region games is Amazon.jp. They carry most of them. You can find an Asian region game by going to Amazon.jp, typing the name of the game in, and adding アジア版 on the end of it. If you see that kanji, you are good to go.
A good alternate place to buy is from yahoo auctions: auctions.yahoo.co.jp in Japan. There is a guy called Jimmywai2000 that sells most asian region games for between 3500 and 5000 yen new. I’ve used him many times in the past. Same deal though, go to auction.yahoo.co.jp and type the name of your game in plus アジア版
Importing your home region’s game:
You can also save a few dollars by importing games from your home region. A new game in Japan can cost up in the 8000 yens, but normal western releases usually top out around 59.99 for big releases. Even after paying the shipping, you will come out ahead, and shipping has gotten really fast lately. I got my US Black Ops 2 copy on actual release date.
Where to buy:
Once again, Amazon is my favorite place for this. This time, you will add 北米版 for US version, and 欧州版 for European version. US is usually the cheapest. Australian versions also exist, but they are usually even more expensive. My favorites are these:
Sometimes you can find good prices of a rakuten.jp search as well.
Rejoice all! PC gaming is back and cheaper than ever! With insane sales going on almost every week lately, it’s hard to not be excited about the return of PC. Unfortunately our enemy here is DRM. With the rise of DRM, it has become popular to region lock some games based on IP.
IMPORTANT Note about regions:
If the game you are buying needs to be activated on steam, first open steam and check the game’s page. If the page shows “not available in your region,” be careful and do research before buying. I’ve gotten burned before by buying a game from amazon.com and it not allowing me to activate it through steam. Rule of thumb, if you can buy it from steam directly, then you can activate a code from any site.
Now that that is out of the way, good sites to watch for deals include:
These are the 4 that seem to have the most deals. In fact, if you are a regular slickdeals visitor, then they will alert you to all the sales going on!
Note about English in Japanese games:
Recently a number of Japanese games include full English, but once again sometimes they can be region locked. EA is a big fan of locking the Japanese version to the Japanese language. It doesn’t always happen, but sometimes it does. A good way to check if the game supports English, is to hop over to:
They are a great community, and have a VERY comprehensive list of games with English support. Games sell expensive in Japan, but they also lose value VERY fast, so you can pick up used games on the cheap in Japan from time to time.
Thats all for now. Catch you guys later!