• How to Play Imported Games on your Console

    This guide was written by Jez Overton (and added to by charlesr) to show the different methods available for each console to circumvent the region protection on imported games. In this guide we will be asking four questions for each of the main consoles.

    1. Is there a boot disc or other device available?

    See our software FAQ for more information on boot discs and other devices

    2. Can the console be modified to play imports?

    Some (not all) consoles can be modified so that the region protection is bypassed. Sometimes this will allow consoles to play all regions, in other cases just certain regions (For example, a Japanese Gamecube can be modified to play US games, but not UK games).

    Modifying involves opening up the machine and tweaking the insides in some way. Often this is a relatively simple process and can simply involve removing a few chunks of plastic to allow different size cartridges to fit. Most modifications require a basic knowledge of electronics, involving a small addition of solder to the right wires or the introduction of a simple switch. Those with no knowledge of electronics should consider paying for a specialised modification service, rather than potentially breaking the machine.

    Consoles can also be modified in other ways, not just to break the region protection. An imported N64 can be modified to output RGB (a superior image than the standard composite or S-video signal). Other modifications can be simply aesthetic. Like the sound of changing the light on your XBox from green to blue? It can be done, although aesthetic modifications are not covered in this guide.

    3. Can the console be chipped to play imports?

    Chipping a console means inserting a third party chip into the machine that gets around the issue of region protection. Chipping is usually very successful, but it can bring about other issues. The important ones are considered under each console.

    The difficulty of chipping a console depends on the machine. PlayStation 2s are notoriously difficult to chip and most people will seek a professional service for such a job. However, some like the PS3 are region free as standard.

    4. Are there advantages in importing a machine?

    Sometimes it is best to use an imported machine over a UK model. Sometimes there is no option, as the console was never released in the UK (as with the PC Engine). Note that this question only addresses the technical issues and does not address the limited edition consoles that are available in other parts of the world. If you want a Spice coloured Gamecube, then the only option is to import a Japanese model. This guide does not also consider that some Japanese consoles are my desirable from a collectors point of view than their UK brothers.

    And so onto the consoles:

    Gamecube

    Is there a boot disc or other device available?

    Yes, a disc called Freeloader by Datel. This works with many imports. An imported machine can use Freeloader to play UK games too.

    Can the console be modified to play imports?

    A US machine can be modified to play Japanese imports and vice versa. A switch is inserted on the back of the machine to switch between the different regions. The modification is reasonably easy for those familiar with soldering.

    A UK machine cannot be modified to play imports.

    Can the console be chipped to play imports?

    A Quoob chip is available for the Gamecube.

    Are there advantages in importing a machine?

    Yes. Freeloader is a boot disc and any boot discs are slightly cumbersome. Also freeloader does not work with all games, whereas a switched cube will work with all US and Japan games.

    Xbox

    Is there a boot disc or other device available?

    Kind of. There is a bug in the EA game James Bond: Agent Under Fire that can be exploited to play region protected import games.

    Can the console be modified to play imports?

    Not physically, but it can be "soft" modified which brings many of the advantages of a chipped machine but without the need to open it.

    Can the console be chipped to play imports?

    Yes. A number of chips are available and they are very popular. A chipped console will play games from any region. Because the Xbox includes a hard drive, chipping a console allows much more than simply the ability to play imports. The Xbox can be transformed into a complete media centre with the right chip installed.

    Be warned though. A chipped console will be banned permanently from Xbox Live if connected. The chips can be fitted with a switch to turn the chip off whilst connected to Live. The chip can be used to change the region of the console from UK to US or Japan and then be switched off so that imported Live games can be played online without fear of being banned (Note: Live servers on the original Xbox has now been turned off completely since this guide was originally written).

    Are there advantages in importing a machine?

    Not really, most importers buy a PAL Xbox and have it chipped. This might be an option if Live is your main reason for owning an Xbox and you are concerned about leaving the chip running whilst online and being banned (Note: Live servers on the original Xbox has now been turned off completely since this guide was originally written).

    PlayStation 2

    Is there a boot disc or other device available?

    There is a boot disc, however it requires the PlayStation 2 to be fitted with a new case that changes the DVD drive from a front loader to a top loader. Details of this can be found at XXX

    Can the console be modified to play imports?

    No.

    Can the console be chipped to play imports?

    Yes. Like the Xbox, there are a number of chips available. A chipped console will play most games from any region.

    Be warned that some online games will not work with a chipped console, including FFXI.

    Are there advantages in importing a machine?

    There are some. Firstly some online games will not work on a chipped console. A US copy of FFXI with the hard drive requires an un-chipped US machine to run.

    Also, chipped UK machines run some imported games lightly out of sync. This is most noticeable with dancing games like Konamiís Dance Dance Revolution. This can be corrected using a Game Genie device. A chipped Japanese or US machine will not have these problems.


    Gameboy/Gameboy Advance

    There is no need for any modification, chips or other devices here, all Gameboys to date are multi-region and will play games from anywhere. Note though that some games will not work via link up if they are different regions. For example, a US copy of Zelda Four Swords will not connect with a UK copy.

    Are there advantages in importing a machine?

    No, although there are some rather fabulous limited edition import GBAís available.

    Dreamcast

    Is there a boot disc or other device available?

    Yes. There are a number of boot discs, but the best is the DC-X. You might be able to find this on amazon or ebay

    Attachment 17088

    Can the console be modified to play imports?

    No.

    Can the console be chipped to play imports?

    Yes. Be warned though that some chips will only play imports at 50hz with a 17% slow down in speed and borders at the top and bottom. This is good news if your TV is old does not support 60 Hz, but everyone else should get a chip that displays at 60 Hz

    Are there advantages in importing a machine?

    Not over a chipped UK machine.

    N64

    Is there a boot disc or other device available?

    There are numerous adapters available to enable imports to be played. The internals of US/Japanese machines are mostly identical, but the cartridges are slightly different shapes to stop one fitting in another. Some people use a bridge adapter that lifts the cartridge clear of the cartridge slot.

    For UK machines or UK games on imported consoles, a more complex adapter is required that fools the machine into thinking the cartridge is from the same region like the N64 Passport.

    Can the console be modified to play imports?

    A US or Japanese machine can have the plastic tabs removed from the cartridge slot so that games from both regions will fit.

    Older NTSC models can also be modified to output RGB, or an RGB video chip can be added.

    PAL consoles cannot be modified easily.

    Can the console be chipped to play imports?

    No.

    Are there advantages in importing a machine?

    Several. Besides the ability to play imports without worrying about adapters, the earlier imported machines can be modified to output RGB that drastically improves the N64ís image and allows it to work with most TVs.

    PSone

    Is there a boot disc or other device available?

    Older models can use a disc swap trick. This is done by making the console think the lid is still open by jamming a pen in the disc lock, partially loading a UK game and then changing to an imported game. Itís a messy process and one that can break the machine after prolonged use.

    There are also devices hat plug into the back of older machines and allow imports to be played.

    Can the console be modified to play imports?

    No

    Can the console be chipped to play imports?

    Yes. PSone chips are available.

    Are there advantages in importing a machine?

    Not over a chipped machine.

    Saturn

    Is there a boot disc or other device available?

    No

    Can the console be modified to play imports?

    Yes. This is a very simple process

    Can the console be chipped to play imports?

    No

    Are there advantages in importing a machine?

    No

    Xbox 360

    Is there a boot disc or other device available?

    No

    Can the console be modified to play imports?

    Older versions of the OS can be modified. It's not easy.

    Can the console be chipped to play imports?

    No

    Are there advantages in importing a machine?

    Yes. Although many games are region free, many more are not. If you are into traditional 2D shooters, then the Japan Xbox 360 is worth a purchase, espcially now that 360s seem to be more reliable than the old models.

    PS3

    Is there a boot disc or other device available?

    No

    Can the console be modified to play imports?

    It is region free as standard for PS3 games

    Can the console be chipped to play imports?

    No

    Are there advantages in importing a machine?

    Yes, if you want to play Japan PS2 games, although unless you have one of the original Japan machines with hardware emulation, BC support will be hit and miss anyway. Best to just grab a Japan PS2.

    Wii

    Is there a boot disc or other device available?

    No

    Can the console be modified to play imports?

    Older versions of the OS can be modified quite easily.

    Can the console be chipped to play imports?

    Yes

    Are there advantages in importing a machine?

    Yes, Nintendo lock out their online services unless you install the OS updates which often block modifications.
  • Ebay Spotlight

    chipsgravy

    Various gaming items

    Thread Starter: chipsgravy

    Hi,

    I'm having a bit of a clearout.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/chipsgrav...p2047675.l2562

    Last Post By: chipsgravy 30-07-2017, 12:50 PM Go to last post