Nintendo Switch Can Access Other Regions' EShops

This could be big news if it lets you purchase Japan-only games.

13 Comments

Back in January, Nintendo announced that the Switch would not be region locked, allowing you to import and play games from other countries. You'll also be able to access the eShop from other regions, although there are some caveats that may limit the ability's usefulness.

With the day-one update live, Switch users can now access the eShop, add friends (using friend codes, unfortunately), and more. This has led to the discovery that you can sign into the eShop from other regions--including Japan, where there are traditionally numerous games released that never make it overseas. Nintendo confirmed with GameSpot that this is intended functionality, and not the result of some kind of loophole.

The process is fairly simple: You make a profile on the system and connect it to a new Nintendo Account account that is set to the region whose eShop you want to access.

Logging into this profile on the system and going to the eShop then shows you games from that market. Should you make a Japanese account, it'll let you get certain things not available in North America or Europe currently, such as Puyo Puyo Tetris and New Frontier Days: Founding Pioneers, according to Eurogamer.

However, you reportedly can't purchase games from other regions with a debit or credit card from a different country. It's possible that purchasing prepaid cards will be a workaround for this, but that remains unconfirmed for now.

Despite this, it is possible to download free demos from other regions, letting you grab Japan's Puyo Puyo Tetris demo, for instance. Journalist Chris Kohler noted on Twitter that some Japanese games may even feature English text options. Update: NeoGAF member Cheesemeister has provided a list of languages supported in games on the Japanese eShop.

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ZmanBarzel

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During the Giant Bomb "Switch Launch Day" stream, Jeff showed he had already bought and downloaded some of the Japan-only games. Yeah, it's just like buying Japan content from your U.S. PS4: you need to buy prepaid cards to fund your Japanese account.

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master_49

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Hello all, check out this article from TechnoBuffalo: "How to download Japanese games on your Nintendo Switch" - a tutorial video is included. Have fun! :)

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uncle5555

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"However, you reportedly can't purchase games from other regions with a debit or credit card from a different country. It's possible that purchasing prepaid cards will be a workaround for this, but that remains unconfirmed for now."

Which is unsurprising considering you've never been able to do that on any Playstation or Xbox.

Chris, why couldn't you guys spend $30 buy a JPN digital code from the many game import sites on the net and test it out? Is Gamespot that cheap?

I don't expect much out of you guys at Gamespot, but at least show a little bit of effort....

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master_49

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Edited By master_49

We will have to see how things shake out - adding funds from a credit card to your Nintendo account should be all that's required.

Can't imagine they would prevent us from legally purchasing content from differnt regions (because we don't have a CC from that region). I hope.

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uncle5555

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@master_49: Because if it's like any of the other consoles it's restricted by account and your account is tied to a specific region. Its been that way on the PS3 & PS4, also on Xbox 360 (although sometimes JPN-only games show up on the US XBL) available to be purchased.

It's going to be tied to buying points cards at online retailers to the region you want to buy from.

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master_49

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@uncle5555: See my other comment above - linked to this article.

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master_49

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@uncle5555: I hear you, have those three consoles. Nintendo does things differently - hopefully they allow purchase from ANY eShop region using your primary payment method.

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chiefwiggum16

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I'd imagine having money in your account will do the trick just fine

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Doomerang

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Edited By Doomerang

According to the list, Disgaea 5 can be played in English once bought off the Japanese store, yet it's not a launch game in the West. What the hell?

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Moonco

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Moonco  Moderator

Good - I always hated region lock. Hope a future update allows us to purchase games with a credit card

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freedom01

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Edited By freedom01  Moderator

@moonco: I have to test the CC part out. I have no problems purchasing stuffs from the Japanese E-shop on the Wii U and 3DS with a US CC. But have yet to test it out with the Switch.

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wtf_666

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Edited By wtf_666

It would be lame to be able to download demos from other regions but not actually buy the game. Nintendon't

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