The PlayStation Vita has now gone on sale In Japan. After nearly a year of waiting, gamers in the land of the rising sun can now get their hands on Sony’s latest handheld. But for those of us outside of Japan there are two options: import the PS Vita, accessories & games or wait until the system launches in our home countries.
If you’re considering the first option you might want to read this article, there is considerable cost involved in importing beyond the obvious financial premium for having the handheld first.
The PlayStation Vita console is available in two different flavors – Wifi Only & 3G, for those of you who wish to download data through cellular network. The 3G model is not guaranteed to work in foreign countries even though 3G is pretty well established in the developed world.
Once you’ve chosen which model you’re going to import it is important to understand what is included in the box. You’ll find the Vita Hardware, a power cord and USB Cable. We’ll get to the issues of memory cards, and the prices involved, in a bit.
PS Vita Hardware (Wifi Version)
There was some confusion surrounding the PS Vita memory card situation leading up to the Japanese launch. Now that the user manual for the Memory cards have been posted online we have final details surrounding what you can and cannot do.
The Vita will only allow one account per console unless you choose to perform a factory reset. Trophies can only be earned on the original Vita the game was started on. There has been no word on whether or not performing a factory reset will re-enable trophies for used game.
Memory Card (4 GB)
Memory Card (8 GB)
Memory Card (16 GB)
The PS Vita launch line-up consists of 26 games and some of them, like Uncharted Golden Abyss, are fully in English. Other games, like Dream Club Zero Portable and Lord of Apocalypse, may rely so heavily on the Japanese language that importing them makes little sense even for the most hardcore amongst us.
As with the memory cards & hardware the price of Vita games fluxates between 1.5x to 3x the retail asking price announced for North America. This is especially true for the games that have not been confirmed for North American or European release. We’ve scoured the internet for the most popular vita games. If you’re looking for early access, be prepared to pay for it.
Uncharted: The Golden Abyss
Uncharted: Golden Abyss is perhaps one of the most anticipated launch titles available for the PlayStaton Vita. The game was developed by SCE Bend and was announced alongside the console this past January. Golden Abyss allows players to use the swipe of their finger in place of quick time events and button presses reloaded while maintaining the platforming and third person shooting mechanics the series is known for.
|Ebay||$98.00 (average Buy It Now)|
Hot Shots Golf 6
The Hot Shots series (known as “Everybody’s Golf “in Japan) has been a staple on the PlayStation since the PlayStation One, all the way back in 1997. The latest game, Hot Shots Gold 6, will make use of a “Live Area” system and its courses can be modified using Augmented Reality. It will be one of the launch title released in February 2012 in North America.
|Ebay||$89.99 (average Buy It Now)|
Blazblue Continuum Shift: Extend
BlazBlue Continuum Shift Extend is the fourth update in Aksys System’s latest fighting franchise. The game uses a unique fighting system where each character can fill up a “heat gauge” in order to pull off a special move. Another element of the system is the “Guard Libre” gauge which tugs back and forth as players block attacks. Continuum Shift Extend introduces six new characters, versus the original arcade version and includes all of the latest balancing changes found in the arcade version.
|Ebay||$149.99 (average Buy It Now)|
And that’s just a glimpse of the games available for the PlayStation Vita’s Japanese launch.
We just received our import PlayStation Vita from Play-Asia yesterday morning. The entire process took a mere two days from the time the order was placed to the time the order was received. Although, shipping times are typically in the region of 3-5 business days or longer (we hounded the Fedex shipping facility to let us pick it up early). If you’re thinking about picking up a PlayStation Vita, if you act now, you may still be able to receive it before Christmas is here. Order the PlayStation Vita using the handy banner below.