A UK PS4 or Japanese PS4?

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#1 Posted by wackojackman (184 posts) -

I live in the UK and have recently taken a job in Tokyo starting at the beginning of January. I will be out there for a minimum of a year to a maximum of 3, but will ultimately move back home. I am wanting a PS4 and have looked into buying one whilst I am living in Tokyo seeing as the console is region free and has a decent price difference to the UK.

UK Price: £349
Japan Price: ¥38,980/ £247 roughly... exchange rate fluctuation and all that.

Will buying a console in another country come with some disadvantages when moving back to the UK, besides having different plugs? I was hoping the community could share some nuggets of wisdom as to whether this is a good idea or will I return home to an array of issues to do with owning a Japanese Playstation?

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#2 Edited by StrikeALight (1225 posts) -

I'm quite surprised by the discrepancy in price. I thought gaming was particularly expensive in Japan?

Sorry, I can't help with the potential issues.

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#3 Posted by wackojackman (184 posts) -

@strikealight: I guess the difference in price only matters that much when coming back to the UK. Assuming it could be a different matter when I am living and earning in Japan, it might be a luxury I cannot afford.
I did not know Japanese gaming was thought to be expensive, so you've provided me with some help, thank you.

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#4 Edited by Pepsiman (2803 posts) -

I used to live in Japan until last year. Because the country still has an extremely healthy used games culture where market prices are very quick to reflect the relative success or failure of any given release, your mileage will vary pretty dramatically depending on what games and systems you want to play. A PS4 and its games in the first year, like anywhere else, are bound to be the most expensive overall in terms of upfront investment compared to getting a system with games at a later period, but the market fluctuates enough that you can get recent games for pretty good discounts even new if you're patient enough and do some comparison shopping. Popular stuff might still cost you a few dozen quid, but unless you need to play a game right as it releases, you'll find prices for even new copies to go down enough to reasonable levels. If you're working as an ALT or something similar in the English teaching industry, you'll definitely be making more than enough money to afford some games even on those modest wages, especially if you're smart about where you do your grocery shopping and whatnot in Tokyo. It's an expensive city, but very livable if you don't just go to the same places the tourists do to take care of your daily needs.

Beyond that, I'd suspect that the internals of the PS4 will be the same no matter where you buy it. Nowadays, I believe a lot of electronics like game consoles are engineered to work with different standards of voltages across regions, so I wouldn't be surprised if a Japanese PS4 played nice back in the UK once you worked out the plug situation. Of course, I'd suggest doing your research ahead of time to make sure you're not gonna set your apartment on fire or anything if you just plug it in raw, but that's obviously a given. Beyond that, I believe every piece of PlayStation hardware post-PSP is equipped to boot in multiple languages out of the box, so it should be easy to get a Japanese PS4 to run English system menus if you can't read Japanese. The only issue you might want to consider is that Sony might not honor your warranty in the UK if something happens to it. I've heard stories of people both having no problem getting systems not native to their region serviced and those who couldn't and both are frequent enough that I don't think there's a consensus on what Sony's internal policy is.

That's about all I can think of at the moment. If you've got any questions about import consoles or just living/working in Japan in general, feel free to keep prodding me here or via PM.

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#5 Edited by Sooty (8193 posts) -

If the PS4 is anything like the PS3, buying one from any country won't be an issue. If it still uses the traditional 'kettle plug' power cables then you can easily get a plug that'll work anywhere. I'd just get one in Japan to make sure you get the warranty should anything go sideways, 5 weeks isn't a long wait right? There's nothing that exciting to pick up on the PS4 at launch anyhoo.

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#6 Posted by Slaegar (837 posts) -
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#7 Posted by thevector (77 posts) -

If it makes a difference to you the PS4 release date in Japan isn't until February 22nd. You shouldn't have any problem playing physical games from different regions, but it is hard to know how easy it will be to access the PSN store and play downloaded games from different regions until the system is actually available.

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#8 Posted by HansNorbert (2 posts) -

@wackojackman: be careful. I think the ps3 has the power supply inside the case and has just a standard cable to the plug in the wall. Japan has a 100 V Voltage and europe has 230V. I´m not sure you can just change the plug and it will work.

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#9 Posted by Xeiphyer (5837 posts) -

Biggest issue I can think of is power issues. Different voltages means you'll need a converter for one of the places. Its not a huge deal, but definitely something to consider.

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#10 Edited by wackojackman (184 posts) -

@pepsiman: Thanks very much, that is some pretty useful information about buying games over there. That's promising to hear that the internal electrics could adapt to working with UK voltage, but could that also depend on how I solve the plug situation? Thanks If I come up with anymore Japanese gaming or life problems I'll be sure to send them your way.

Thanks everyone, it seems I should do some research into the Voltage situation and whether the warranty can work over here. Will it be a case of just picking up a different lead? Or will I have to buy some sort of converter?
@thevector may be on to something; if I set up my PSN in another country will I run into any problems?

Though as stated, there isn't much convincing me to buy it day one over here or on February 22nd out there. I know I would like to pick one up sometime next year though as I am a sucker for that new technology feeling.
Funnily the main reason I thought I'd like to buy a PS4 in Tokyo (The price difference) probably won't make that much difference in the end with me living in Tokyo anyway... I will only really see that £100ish saving when I move back to England.

Thanks again everyone

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#11 Posted by CynicalBuzzard (254 posts) -

I would go with the Japanese version since it should not give you a problem.

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#12 Edited by Pepsiman (2803 posts) -

@wackojackman: If setting up a PSN account with the PS4 is the same as it is on the PS3, you'll probably be able to access free services fine, but will have some trouble accessing any paid services without a credit card from the region corresponding to the account. So for example, if you come to Japan with just a UK credit card, you should be able to either set up a new account with the UK set as the region or access an existing UK PSN account and be able to use its paid services overseas just fine. Conversely, I'm not sure what your banking setup is going to be like in Japan or whether you'll have a credit card there, but you'll likely also be able to set up a Japanese PSN account on that same console just fine; you'll still be able to access it and at least its free services outside of Japan, but any paid stuff will require a Japanese credit card or a Japanese PSN card. Basically, if they didn't mess up account management like they kind of did with the Vita, you should be able to have multiple accounts set to multiple regions and you'll be able to freely access them whenever you like on the same console; the extent will just depend on whether you want to use any paid services. I know I have separate PSN accounts for the States and Japan since their offerings on the online store differ and it's not an issue on the PS3.

That being said, I have no idea how any of this is going to work on the PS4 or whether Sony has discussed it, so for all I know, they pulled another Vita and made it so your console can only have one account at a time unless you reset to factory settings! That'd be really fun!

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#13 Posted by THRICE_604 (217 posts) -

Just get the one that is cheaper. The system is region free so you can play whatever games you want. I don't know if they still do it for PS4 or not but Sony Japan's swapping of X and O's functionality on Japanese PlayStations would be annoying enough to dissuade me though.

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#14 Edited by Mocca_Bear (67 posts) -

Gratz with the job btw!

Lived there for half a year myself and it was a pretty amazing experience :D

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#15 Posted by wackojackman (184 posts) -

@thrice_604: Ah I can see it being annoying for some people... I'm a big Metal Gear fan, so I was exposed to the old O/X functionality switch early on. Didn't realise they did that to consoles though... will be interesting to see

@mocca_bear Thanks. I'm looking forward to it, but it'll be a pretty big adjustment to make.

Thanks everyone for the help... I will likely buy one over there if my budget allows it. Maybe I'll come back here and let you know how it goes but it is way off beyond February, so who knows?!

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#16 Posted by LiquidPrince (16884 posts) -
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#17 Posted by TechnoSyndrome (1357 posts) -

If you want to watch DVDs and Blu-rays on it I'd take into consideration the region coding. Games might be region free but movie playback won't be. For Blu-rays Japan is Region A, and UK is Region B. DVDs are more complicated with Japan and UK both technically part of Region 2, but Region 2 can actually be broken up into sub-regions, with D1 being United Kingdom only and thus not playing on a Japanese PS4.

You should also take into account that despite the PS3's supposed lack of region coding, Atlus was allowed to region lock Persona 4 Arena. This might be a point in favor of the Japanese PS4 though, since Europe got screwed over and had to wait like half a year to see a domestic release.

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