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How to buy Japanese games from the Nintendo Switch eShop

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Want a few more launch games?

Inti Creates/Sunsoft

The Nintendo Switch is region-free — meaning you can buy a physical copy of a game from any part of the world and play it on your system — but one of the lesser-known benefits of this decision is that you can buy any digital game from another region’s eShop and play it on your account as well.

All you need to do is make a separate account in each region, purchase the game from the eShop and, once it’s downloaded, you can play it on any account on your system. There’s always the language barrier to worry about, but many games on the Japanese eShop already come with the option of playing in English, and your system will detect your language settings and adjust the game automatically.

It’s pretty cool, and it also means that you can ignore regional release dates as long as the games are offered in English and you don’t mind making the extra accounts.

Check to see if your credit card has any foreign transaction fees before you buy credit, but this is a neat way to pad out the launch library a bit, especially since the Japanese market has a few games out now that we won’t be getting in a while.

Michibiku has a great guide to what games are out on the Japanese store, so if you want to grab Blaster Master Zero or Voez tomorrow, complete with English options, instead of waiting a week, you certainly have that option. Arcade Archives: Neo Geo is also out now in Japan and Europe, and you can also pick up Puyo Puyo Tetris tomorrow on your American system if you don’t mind the (reportedly minimal) language barrier.