Issues of Import – PSN Accounts

There’s been an outcry lately with regards to the latest PlayStation Vita update locking memory cards to PSN accounts. Is this a big deal? Unless you have multiple PSN accounts and just one Vita memory card… no. Supposedly, some people out there were backing up their trophies, deactivating their system, factory resetting it, going through all the options and Vita intro malarkey, logging in to their other account, then reactivating the system just to play games on their other account. This firmware update is practically a non-issue though; it’s still possible to have multiple accounts on one system – you just need to add another memory card into the mix for each PSN account you have.

No need to switch stores if you love 50Hz borders on your Vitas folks!

I used to complain about the PSP’s region-switching system that merely involved having to log in to your other region’s PSN account each time you wanted to play a game from that store. That was too much for me. It just never made any sense to me that if I can play every PSone, PS2, PS3 and PSN game I’ve ever bought digitally on any of my four accounts (British, American, Japanese and Hong Kong Chinese) while I’m logged in to my British account without issue – even when I factor in trophies – then why should I have to go through such a rigmarole for the PSP or Vita? It defies logic.

Sony have been decent enough to make all three of their current systems region-free for physical games, but in an age of DLC it means we’re still missing out on the full experience. While I have easy access to the physical copy of Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F here in Japan, it’s impossible for me to have any of the inevitable DLC that’ll be coming out if I want to link the trophies to my British account.

Well, you can always use your PS3’s PS2 backwards-compatibility to play it! Oh, wait…

Some of you might be wondering why people care about having multiple accounts at all. Well, there are plenty of reasons to care. The libraries for PSN, PSP, Vita, PSone, PS2 and digital distribution versions of full PS3 titles are different across the three main stores (UK, America and Japan). Fancy playing the digital PS2 versions of Psychonauts, Persona 3:FES or Dead or Alive 2? You’ll need American and Japanese accounts. PC Engine games? Ditto. What do we have in the UK store to make our pals across the pond jealous? Breath of Fire III? Yeah, that’s about it.

As if it wasn’t enough of a slap in the face for the European PSN Stores missing out on the healthy Japanese and American PSN catalogues, what we have PSone-wise is downright appalling. We currently have 140-odd PSone games on our store compared to 190 in the US and 685 (685!!) in Japan. Not only that, but almost all the PSone games on our store are 50Hz, running 16.7% slower than NTSC counterparts and with ugly borders that squish or cut the full picture. The only exceptions are the American 60Hz versions of Resident Evil 2 & 3 (as Virgin originally published the games in Europe) and a small selection of US and Japan-exclusive games released by Monkey Paw Games. That’s right – a small, third-party publisher can do what SCEE can’t.

If it weren’t for our PSN usernames being locked, I’d have become an American PSN citizen a long time ago.

At least we have Breath of Fire III, right? Right?

Keep on importing!







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