Dark Souls 3 is still two weeks away from release in Europe and America, but the Japanese release date was today (March 24).
If you can’t wait to get your hands on the game, it turns out there are some neat tricks you can use to play it now.
I should point out that these loopholes could well be closed at any time, so if you get home from work/school to try this and it doesn’t work for you, just remember I warned you. Okay? Let’s continue.
Of course, the first option is that you can import the Japanese version – but that requires more waiting, and unless you’re willing to fork out for express shipping there’s a chance the Western release date will have arrived before your Japanese copy does – and then everyone will laugh at you.
A more expedient method is to download digitally. It works different on PlayStation and Xbox, so let’s start with PlayStation.
First, you need to create a Japanese PSN account, which can be done from here. Use Chrome’s auto-translate option to navigate around, if you don’t speak Japanese.
In the address field, put whatever you want (I’d reccomend a hotel or something). Obviously this isn’t free, so you’ll need to buy digital PSN credit in YEN from online stores like Play-Asia
Finally, log in to your PS4 using the new account, redeem the code, buy and download the game – but before switching back to your main account, be sure to set the PS4 as your home console for the JP account.
Complicated, yes, but if you wanna give it a shot that’s how you do it.
Just remember that this would technically be an import, so menus, item descriptions, and the majority of text will be in Japanese. Voice acting, background chat, and all that jazz will be in English
Things are a little easier on Xbox One. Plus, if you don’t mind a few performance issues, you can actually end up with the English version.
First, create a dummy Xbox Live account, (or use your existing one if you want). You’ll then need to go to Xbox.com, navigate to the bottom of the page and switch the region to Japan.
Once again, you still have to pay for the game (don’t be that guy). Buy Xbox credit in YEN from the Microsoft Store, then redeem the code and buy the game.
Use any Japanese address to finish off, then when you turn your console back on it should be in the Ready to Install Section. I’m sure you can work out the rest.
One final note: If the Xbox version begins downloading automatically, that’ll be the Japanese version. For the English version you’d need to cancel that, reset the Xbox and start the download yourself (with the console set to your region).
As I say, it’s not clear how long this trick will work for – but if you really can’t wait two weeks you may as well give it a shot.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.