When Nintendo announced that their new console would be “region free” many people were delighted. This meant it would be possible to import niche games available in only certain countries and play them in our own console at home. However, what we were not expecting was that Nintendo Switch would really break most barriers to purchases across regions, allowing users to simply create an account from another country in order to have access to their eShop.
Shortly after taking their shiny new hybrid-consoles home, Nintendo Switch’s early owners started exploring all its possibilities. Some were overjoyed with the seamliness with which the new console changes from docked mode to portable mode. Others had some issues with their joy-con connections or the image on their screens. But a few others really went the extra mile to figure out all what their new console could do, and they tried to access other region’s eShops.
What they discovered is that Nintendo Switch barely presents any barriers to international purchases. Users are completely free to either change the country of their main account or create a new one specifically to download games from another region, and they will be able to access other countries’ eShops and download their games, DLC and any other content.
For example, let’s say we live in the United States and have created a US account. If we wanted to check out the games available in Japan, we would just need to either change the country of our account to Japan, or create a new account and select the region that we want, and we will have access to the Japanese eShop. It’s just that easy.
Now, in order to purchase games from other countries we might have to introduce a foreign address, and some credit cards might not accept the payment or present extra fees, but most users are not having any issues with the process. After that, we can even play Japanese games from our main North American or European account. We just need to remember that every DLC must come from the same region of the original game.
What can we do with this absolute freedom? Well, in Japan for example there are some games that are still not available in the West, like Dragon Quest Heroes I-II or Puyo Puyo Tetris. We could buy them or just try out their free demos. You can do whatever you want, and that’s why this is such an exciting feature.