The PS Vita, thank the heavens, is region free when it comes to physical media. That means, for those out there importing Sony’s new handheld, that you’ll be able to play physical games from Japan when your device and the software you imported arrives. In fact, any user with any PS Vita will be able to play any physical copy of any game from anywhere in the world (any, any, any, any, any!).
However, for digital content that can be purchased through the PlayStation Store on the device, the PS Vita is region locked. The PlayStation Store associates users with their sign-in accounts. In order to access the North American flavor of the PlayStation Store on your PlayStation 3 or PSP, you’ll need to sign in with an account registered on the North American PSN. Repeat the process for European or Japanese content across both devices. Each region tends to get exclusive content, so gamers that want to experience each and every thing that comes to their systems are used to this process.
The PS Vita, bummer time, only supports one PSN account at a time. You can switch PSN accounts, but that requires doing a factory reset on the device. Of course, that means you’ll be erasing all of your personal settings and locally stored data every time sweet content drops in the Japanese version of the PlayStation Store that you want.
Can it be done? Yes. But, it looks like it’ll be a pain. This is where we’d like to point out that we just want to see region-free stores and networks. So much great content comes out all around the world; it sucks that we are restricted from seeing it whenever we want.
If you’re considering the act of importing a PS Vita and you want digital content, time to double up on PSN accounts.