PS Vita General Import / NA PSN F.A.Q.
Make sure you also check out Wololo’s article on this subject.
Q1: I live in Europe, and PS Vita is Region Free, is it viable to import from North America?
Yes, many people in /psvg/ does this.
- Faster releases most of the time. (Dragon’s Crown got delayed by 2 months in EU. Muramasa delayed by almost 4 months.)
- Many Limited Edition releases are not ever released in Europe due to publisher differences.
- Cheaper launch price. (A typical $40 game costs €40 in Europe. €40 ~ $54.)
- Cheaper still, even when imported. (VGP typically charge $7 for shipment to EU. So in total $47 for a new game. Shipment cost to EU can creep up to $15 if it’s a Limited Edition game that can’t fit letter shipment and needs package shipment)
- Digital games from North American PSN are likewise cheaper. This is a significant advantage for games that are released exclusively in Digital. Comparison of digital prices.
- The mail can be slow to arrive. (This is a disadvantage for games released worldwide simultaneously. But for games such as Muramasa, importing was still substantially faster than waiting 4 months for official EU launch.)
- Once in a while, EU gets a game faster. (Killzone EU faster by 1 week, Velocity Ultra 3 weeks)
- This will obviously affect game sales in your region and local game publishers might be hurt. Importing is good for your private economy, but bad for your local economy if you care about such things.
- Some countries impose import taxes. For solutions, see ***The import friendly shops below.
- DLC from EU account will not work for North American game cartridge. See next question.
Q2: WHAT? So EU account isn’t ideal for Imported cartridges?
For some N.A. games, EU DLC won’t work.
For some games such as “Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention” and “Ys: Memories of Celceta”, having an EU account is no hinder at all. Those games either don’t have any DLC, or their Vita version are the definitive version and thus already include every DLC.
What many of us in /psvg/ do is simply creating an account in North American PSN anyway.
- More games available, here’s a list of unavailable Vita games:
- Atelier Totori Plus
- Unavailable in New Zealand
- Atelier Meruru Plus
- Unavailable in Russia
- On the 17th of December 2014, Meruru Plus is no longer unavailable. But keep in mind future games might suffer from same availability issues as D3 did in these countries in the past.
- Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention
- Unavailable in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland, Sweden
- On the 11th of June 2014, D3 Vita was no longer unavailable.
- Farming Simulator 14
- Unavailable in Turkey
- Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1
- Unavailable in Kuwait, Qatar, Russia, UAE
- Monster Monpiece
- Unavailable in Australia, Croatia, India, Israel, Kuwait, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Ukraine, UAE
- Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus
- Unavailable in Kuwait, Qatar, UAE
- Sorcery Saga
- Unavailable in Germany
- Atelier Totori Plus
*There are many more PSP/PSN games that are unavailable. See a list at the bottom.
- Some of the unavailable games above are Digital exclusives, this is obviously significant. For example if the localised version of Totori Plus doesn’t have a physical cartridge version, a person with New Zealand PSN won’t be able to purchase the game at all.
- Cheaper prices.
- Cheaper PS+, $50 a year is cheaper than €50 a year. (€50 ~ $68)
- There has been reports of some online multiplayer games having latency issues due to bad netcode:
- Street Fighter x Tekken
- Dead or Alive 5 + (this needs more testing. This particular game has dead multiplayer regardless your region/connection)
- We currently don’t know the full extend of this issue as games like Killzone and Toukiden have proven to work fine.
- “Crash Bandicoot” and “Spyro The Dragon” are available on N.A. PSN but, unlike their EU counterparts, they are not compatible with Vita.
- Tech support at Sony USA can be problematic for PSN related issues. See **Guideline below.
- PS Vita can only hold 1 PSN account per memory card.
- This is no problem if you are new to PSN and about to create your first account.
- But it can be problematic and hard for you to abandon your EU account if you already have invested time in Trophies, and money in Digital games, and it can be an especially hard decision to abandon your EU account if you have paid for PS+.
- Decide (sooner rather than later) whether or not you want to switch to North American PSN.
- Some people solve this multi-account issue by having 2 memory cards, one card for each account. The trick is that Vita can be reset and have have memory cards swapped when you want to switch PSN account. This way you don’t have to delete the games and savefile from memory card. This takes a few minutes to do, it isn’t optimal for ease of use, but it’s doable.
- (Subjective) Some people claim EU PS+ offers better games. See list of IGC, decide yourself.
- (Subjective) The PSN region will have impact on the free-to-play game Destiny of Spirits. Many people seem to prefer the asian waifu spirits and having an NA based PSN will make i more difficult to acquire non-American spirits.
Q3: I think the advantages simply outweigh the disadvantages, how do I create a North American PSN account?
- Register the PSN account at https://store.sonyentertainmentnetwork.com
- As a precaution, we select United States as country, and Oregon as state. This is a safeguard just in case wepshop policies change in the future since Orgon has 0% sales tax.
- If PSN asks for your address, simply use one of the many hotels in Portland: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=hotel+portland+oregon
- Done with setting up North American PSN. The problem is now that Sony might not accept your foreign credit card for digital purchases. There’s a solution for that.
- Amazon accepts all credit cards. You only need to add a hotel address to your Amazon addressbook: Your Account -> Your Account ->Settings ->Address Book -> Manage Address Book
This address needs to be set as your billing address for the purchase.
Everything will be fine since this is a digital commodity and no physical shipments will be made. Use one of the hotels in point 3 above, since Oregon has 0% sales tax.
- Digital PSN cards can bought here: http://www.amazon.com/Sony-Playstation-Network-Card-Online/dp/B004RMK4P8/ You will usually receive a code on-screen immediately after purchase, the code can be redeemed in your PSN account and money will be added to your PSN wallet. But on rare occasions it can take 1 to 2 hours before Amazon sends you the code through email.
***The import friendly shops
- VGP: http://videogamesplus.ca ships N.A. games worldwide, These guys also lower the value of your parcel automatically and are useful for importing games to EU. Especially good when the Canadian Dollar is weak against the Euro.
- Estarland: http://estarland.com ships worldwide, hasn’t been confirmed whether they can also lower parcel value, but it won’t hurt to send them an email to ask.
- http://www.superufo.com and http://solarisjapan.com has the cheapest 64 GB Vita memory card at the time of writing. If you need to import to Europe, SolarisJapan offers to devalue the shipment for you so it’ll go through customs. You just need to configure this when making the order.
http://solarisjapan.com and http://nin-nin-game.com also offers a large variety of Limited Edition Vitas and japanese Vita games. http://amiami.com also has a selection of japanese Vita games.
- Australians have http://www.ozgameshop.com and Big W retail chain which has very competitive pricing compared to importing, if you think the often slower EU release dates are acceptable.
- Amazon.com, they add jew tax automatically to your price. In addition to insane shipment costs.
- Nippon-yasan. This website has scammed at least one fellow Vitagenner as of now.
It’s been reported that N-Y is using dubious distributors, and one of the “brand new” Vitas bought from them has been reported to be pre-owned.
Beware if you plan on buying Figurines from them, they’ve been classified as a bootleg shop by MFC: http://myfigurecollection.net/shop/32
According to certain reports from buyf/a/g threads, theres a risk that you get pre-owned figures or bootlegs from N-Y: https://data.archive.moe/board/a/image/1411/96/1411968994748.jpg
**Guidelines for Sony USA Tech Support:
― Do not reveal your EU residency during live-chat or you will be kicked off-chat. Use an American proxy if you have to. If asked, claim you live in Portland no matter what.
― It is an advantage that your registered address in PSN has the real address of some hotel. This is overkill, but adds to your credibility as a US citizen.
― Sony Tech Support might ask you for your PS Vita serial number. This is yet another attempt to kick you off-chat, when they see that your Vita was not sold in USA. If possible, try to see if the issue can be reproduced on the PSN store in your webbrowser from PC. This way you can keep your Vita out of the discussion.
― If this truly is a hardware issue with your Vita, then you are better off contacting the Sony Tech Support from your real region anyway for warranty and whatnot.
*Unavailable PSP/PSN games:
― Black Rock Shooter (Unavailable in Australia)
― Class of Heroes (EU)
― Corpse Party (Australia)
― End of Serenity (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine)
― God Eater Burst (Australia)
― Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure (EU)
― Final Fantasy Tactics War of Lions (Bulgaria, Hungary, Qatar)
― Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (Bulgaria, Hungary, Qatar)
― Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker (Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, India, Israel, Kuwait, Qatar, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine)
― Saiyuki: Journey West (EU)
― Valkyria Chronicles II (Bulgaria, Hungary, Israel, Kuwait, Qatar, Ukraine)