All About Japan

Amazon Lets You Buy Japanese Games Overseas

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While Amazon Japan has been more than happy to ship DVDs, Blu-rays, books, and CDs internationally, until now the company hasn’t allowed orders for video games with a delivery address outside of the country. Not only has this frustrated would-be buyers of Japanese games, it’s even given anime fans headaches at times. Over the last few years, a number of Blu-rays in the Macross franchise have had mini PlayStation 3 games in their bonus content, which caused Amazon Japan to classify them as video games and reject international orders.

But it looks like this problem is going to become—for many shoppers—a thing of the past. With no fanfare from Amazon itself, has started shipping games internationally.

However, this still doesn’t mean that the gates have been thrown open to everything listed on Currently, it’s only games that are directly sold by Amazon Japan that overseas shipping is allowed for. Orders that are merely fulfilled by Amazon Japan, with the actual seller being a separate entity, are still only for buyers in Japan.

Nevertheless, if Amazon Japan’s new, laxer shipping policy is here to stay, this could mark a massive change to the import gaming marketplace. It could also be the birth of a huge challenge for smaller, game-specific import companies that are unlikely to be able to match Amazon Japan’s ability to sell at lower prices and make up the difference in high volume, or to fill orders as quickly and efficiently with far less infrastructure and logistical capability than the online giant.

It’s also uncertain how the potential influx of demand will affect prices and availability of popular titles on So if you’ve had your eye on a Japanese game that got passed over for Western release, you might want to put that preorder in sooner rather than later.

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