Importing PlayStation Vita: Pros And Cons
While tempting, think long and hard before plunking down the cash for Sony's new system.
Sony's decision to release PlayStation Vita in Japan on December 17, at least several months before the machine debuts in the U.S. and Europe, no doubt planted the temptation bug in a few Westerners' heads.
To import, or not import? That, dear reader, is the question.
Having imported GameCube and PSP in 2001 and 2004, respectively, we can say with confidence that it's a tough call. There's a big upside to getting one's hands on a shiny new piece of technology ASAP, as well as some sharp downsides to being stuck with a Japanese system.
That said, we laid out the positives and negatives to grabbing Vita this holiday season.
PlayStation Vita is region free
Sony made the right move in allowing systems from different territories the share the same games. That means your Japanese PlayStation Vita will run American and European titles when those versions appear. In theory, you'll never have to buy another Vita again.
You'll have Vita before everyone else
You simply cannot attach a dollar figure to the joy one feels after purchasing a video game system no one within his or her inner circle owns. There's something cool about showing it off to friends and then taking that sucker out in public, where curious onlookers can't help but ask questions. Just don't let them touch it.
Almost everything will be in Japanese
Bottom line, you'll need to contend with the old language barrier. It won't be much of an issue in Ridge Racer, Power Smash 4 and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Other titles, though, will come with a bunch of Japanese text that may prove difficult to wade through. Sure, you can still "play" the game, but good luck figuring out the plot.
You'll pay (lose) tons of cash
Japanese players will fork over 24,980 yen ($324.80) and 29,980 yen ($389.80) for the Wi-Fi and 3G Vitas, respectively. That means you'll wind up paying that and probably more to get your hands on the system. Is Vita worth that much to you?