North American gamers have it pretty good. We pay less for our games and often see them on store shelves earlier than our European and Oceanic counterparts. We’re spoiled, really. But despite our privileged geographic position, we always want more. We envy Japanese gamers, the ones who play the real thing on day one and don’t have to wait for the localization of highly anticipated titles like Final Fantasy XIII.
Luckily, times have changed. Digital distribution means that we don’t always have to wait for physical copies of Japanese imports we want to play. The Japanese PlayStation Network Store is filled with titles that have not yet appeared on the American one. The following is a list of some of our favorite Japan-only PSN games. But first, let’s begin with a detailed guide to help you get online and playing right away.
How to access Japan’s PSN
- Go to profiles and create a new user
- Log in as that user
- Scroll to the PlayStation Network tag and choose “Sign up for PlayStation Network”
- When presented with the choice choose “Create a New Account (New Users)
Above: So far, so easy
- When presented with the choice choose Japan as your country of residence. This will change all user interface text into Japanese. Continue and enter your birthday.
- Select the lower-right blue button to move on.
Above: You’ll want to enter the year, month, and day from left to right
- Next up is the end user license agreement. Scroll down and select the button on the lower-right to continue.
- Enter your e-mail address in the first field. When you finish a popup menu will appear. Just click through.
- Select a password and enter it in the second field. It must be over six characters, more than one character must be a number and no character may be repeated more than three times. The password is not case sensitive.
- Re-enter your password in the third field.
- Pick a secret question in the drop down menu in case you forget your password. Just pick one and enter an answer in the very last field. If you want your answer to be in English, you should hit the select button on the PS3 controller until the English characters appear. You should probably write this down.
- The next screen wants you to enter an Online ID. It must be between 3-16 alpha-numeric characters. It cannot be the same as your password, and it cannot be changed. If you cannot proceed past this point, you may need to try coming up with a more original name.
- Next you must enter your name. Put your last name in the first field and your first name in the second field. In order to enter your name in English, hit the select button on the PS3 controller until the English characters appear.
- Use the drop-down menu to select your gender. The top character is for male. The bottom is for female.
- You’ll need to enter a Japanese address. Obtaining one of is up to you. Fortunately, you don’t need to validate your address, so looking up a hotel address should on your own should work fine. Here are translations for the menu fields to help you fill them out.
- Move to the next menu. Don’t check the box and move on to the next menu again.
- You’re almost done. This final screen is just asking you to confirm that all the information you’ve entered so far is correct. Click on the button on the lower-right to proceed.
Above: Congratulations! You are now logged into the Japan PSN
Let’s start downloading
In order to buy these games you’ll need a Japanese credit card or a Japanese PSN card. For most of you, a Japanese PSN card will be the most convenient option. Like the Japanese address, obtaining one of these items is up to you. Click over to the next page, and keep reading for some of our favorite exclusive titles available online.
Above: Online retailers often add a hefty markup to Japanese PlayStation Network cards. We were able to find some at NCSX, PlayAsia, and Nihongo Pera Pera