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Persona 5 Scramble: Phantom Strikers, a hack-and-slash Dynasty Warriors-style game set in the world of Persona 5, launches in Japan on Feb. 20. Unfortunately for Persona fans who don’t live in Japan, the game’s publisher, Atlus, hasn’t yet announced a worldwide release date.
For those who don’t want to wait for the as-yet-unannounced North American release (and those who, importantly, speak Japanese — there’s no English translation yet), the good news it that it shouldn’t be too hard to pick up a Japanese copy of the game.
OPTION 1: IMPORT THE GAME
Persona 5 Scramble is available on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4, which are both region-free consoles. That means they’ll play game cartridges or discs from other parts of the world.
While you’ll be sure to find listings from Amazon and eBay sellers, your best bet for importing Persona 5 Scramble is an online retailer that specializes in East Asian exports, like Play-Asia or YesAsia. While any imported game will see a bit of a price markup, those sites are generally the cheapest. We’d recommend going with YesAsia because it offers free international shipping on orders over $39. (Hint: It’s also a great place to look if you’ve got your eye on special edition consoles and toys that are only available in Japan.)
OPTION 2: CREATE A JAPANESE PSN OR NINTENDO ESHOP ACCOUNT
The other option is to create a Japanese PlayStation Network or Nintendo eShop account. Thankfully, both the Switch and the PS4 will allow you to add a Japanese account to your console even if you don’t live in Japan.
HOW TO CREATE A JAPANESE NINTENDO ESHOP ACCOUNT
To create a Japanese Nintendo eShop account, head to accounts.nintendo.com and sign up with a different email address from the one tied to your own eShop account. Under “Country/region of residence” select Japan. Finish setting up the account normally.
Next you’ll need to add a user to your Nintendo Switch through the console’s Settings menu. There you can register your Japanese eShop account to that new user. Be sure that you have access to the email you registered the new account with, since you’ll need to enter a four-digit code, delivered via email, to finish linking the account to your Switch.
Once that’s set up, you’ll be able to visit the Japanese eShop and purchase the game.
HOW TO CREATE A JAPANESE PLAYSTATION NETWORK ACCOUNT
Setting up a Japanese PSN account is a little more complicated than the eShop, but still pretty straightforward. Head to the log-in menu on your PS4 (“Switch User” if you’re already logged in) and hit the “Create a New User” option. Start creating a new account as normal until you get to the country selection screen. Once you select Japan, the text will switch to Japanese.
(Again, Persona 5 Scramble is only available in Japanese right now so we’re going to assume you can at least read the language. But if you’re struggling you can always try using the Google Translate app, which translates text using your phone’s camera.)
You’ll be asked to fill out some more information, like gender and birthday, and eventually you’ll come to a screen asking for your location. There are slots for post code, prefecture, and city, but you only need to fill out the zip code. Again, Google is your friend here. Just open up Google Maps and find a random location in Japan. (We used 103-0027, which is a post code in the Nihonbashi district of Tokyo, but any Japanese post code will do.)
Next you’ll enter an email address and password and choose a username to finish setting up the account. Again, you should use a real email address, but one that’s not already tied to a PSN account. Once you’re set up, you’ll get an email to that address asking you to confirm your new account and you should be good to go.
HOW TO BUY PERSONA 5 SCRAMBLE DIGITALLY
The next snag you’ll come across is that, unless you’ve got an international credit card, you won’t be able to buy Persona 5 Scramble (or any Japanese game) with your own credit or debit card. Instead, you’ll need to buy a digital currency card. Play-Asia offers digital currency for the eShop or PSN via a code that is delivered instantly over email.
Yes, it’s a bit more work to set up a Japanese account, but it’s worth it if you want to play Japanese games without having to wait for a cartridge to be shipped halfway across the world. Plus, if you want to download the game’s DLC you’ll need a Japanese account anyway
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