Have you ever paid a monumental price just to import a Japanese game into the States – or Europe, for that matter? If you’re a dedicated gamer, you surely did; but here’s some good news: Amazon Japan has finally agreed to ship video game hardware and software worldwide.
No fanfare joined the quiet change – it was Twitter users that first noticed the tremendous news and reported it yesterday. In spite of the wave of joy that just swept over all the weeaboos out there, not all games have become shippable.
The third-party sellers are still restricted, as only products sold by Amazon are included in the update. Even some of the products in Amazon’s warehouse refuse to be shipped, for reasons still unknown.
Before Amazon made the change, your only option for importing Japanese video games was either contacting eBay or specialist retailers. In the end, you either had a considerable price hike on your hands or you had to worry about the products’ reliability.
Without trying to put a dent in the good news, it’s a shame Amazon didn’t open up some years ago, because nowadays, few good games won’t be released internationally in the end.
Setting up an account on Amazon Japan is actually easy – start by clicking on the big button saying “English,” or stick with Japanese if you know the language.
After you log in, the website will clearly mark the items that will and won’t ship to your country. Shipping prices are reasonable, as well, less than $10 per game.
Why import Japanese games? As the country to make a breakthrough in this field, Japan gets special edition consoles that might never make it in Europe or North America, as well as some games that never get an international release.
Before Amazon took the decision, other sites started making a living from selling Japanese games and consoles globally. Although this news won’t be undercutting sites like Play Asia with its prices, it’s expected that Amazon will take a slice of their market share, even if only through brand recognition.
Some games – such as the controversial Dead Or Alive Xtreme 3 – still tempt European fans. Even though the game will be out soon in Japan, it’s less likely to also be released in the West; if it is launched eventually, fans expect it to be heavily censored.
That said, gamers will still have to contend with the language barrier on many of these video games. However, for import gamers, that’s always been half the fun anyway.
Image Source: Nihongonobaka