Amazon Japan Begins Shipping Video Games Internationally

Gamers who like to import titles from Japan take notice, the Japanese version of Amazon will now ship select games and hardware to international locations, potentially offering a cheaper option than turning to dedicated importers. While Amazon Japan has offered international shipping on other types of products, this is a first for video games. The change went without a formal announcement, and was only recently noticed by users on Twitter and the NeoGAF forums.

There are several restrictions, mind you, but the prices, especially for the shipping, are fairly competitive, making Amazon a great place to check first for special edition consoles that don't see release outside of Japan, as well as games that players otherwise couldn't find. Once catch is that international shipping will only be available on items sold directly by Amazon, and not third-party sellers.

Another important thing to know about is that Amazon accounts from other territories won't work, shoppers need to create a specific account with Amazon Japan. Fortunately, that's much easier than you might expect.

Right from the start of choosing a new account, users will be presented with an option to use the site in English; from there, everything in the site's navigation to tasks like creating the account, entering credit card info, and checking out will be in English.

The site will even display the converted prices of games in your local currency, as well as clearly stating which items will or won't ship to your international address.

From there, any hurdles are strictly on the individual level. Most importers know this already, but it's rare for Japanese versions of games to include English subtitles, so don't expect to play anything in your native language.

Also note any region lock restrictions; the PlayStation 4, PS3, and Xbox One shouldn't have any problems, except for the rare, odd title, but Nintendo still relies on the annoying practice, with the Wii U and 3DS only able to run games from the same region the hardware originated from.

VIA NeoGAF, Twitter