Declining dollar makes importing (relatively) cheaper

By Spencer . March 21, 2008 . 8:13am

bos.jpgStrange, but true fact: If you live in the USA importing games from Play-Asia is actually cheaper than buying them in Japan, if you include currency exchange. It’s been a long time coming, but the Yen to US dollar exchange rate has dipped below the comforting 100 yen for $1 ratio since last week.


Here is an example. Bangai-O Spirits costs 5,040 yen ($51) in Japan. Play-Asia sells it for $48.90. NCSX is a tiny bit cheaper with a $46.90 price tag. Of course, if you include shipping imported games probably will run a tad more, but this is still an unbelievable case due to the declining American dollar. The real kicker, in the case of Bangai-O Spirits, is D3 Publisher announced it for North America and it will cost at most $30. My guess is D3 will sell it at a more competitive price like $20.


An imbalance like this cannot last forever. If the dollar doesn’t rise soon Play-Asia and other retailers will have to increase their price per game due to tighter profit margins. Hopefully, that won’t happen though. I’m sure I’m not the only one who won’t be thrilled to spend $60 for an import DS game.

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  • Pedro Silva

    I noticed, hence why I am currently bankrupt :p

    Imported a japanese sealed PSP crisis core edition (retailing at play-asia’s launch price), Tales of Destiny Remake collectors edition and NiGHTS into Dreams with Dream pack.

    The two games alone were 1.5 KGs

  • Aoshi00

    Yesasia raised their price about 10% a month or two ago, and they’re still rather competitive. Eg, Jpn Wii console was $299 w/ free shipping, now $329 w/ free shipping.

    Not to mention inflation in the US and less buying power w/ the $US, meaning less money to buy games as it is. Not good at all.

    However, I always wait to import DS games from the bargain bin, save for the ones I must play on day 1.

  • “Makes relatively importing cheaper”?


  • Shin

    Pedro Silva>awesome choice on ToD DC LE, really great game.

    well importing is all really worth is for us in europe… for example, la psp game is 39.99$ in the us (25€) our psp games are 50€ :|
    even patapon which is 12€ in the us is 40€ in here…

    DS lite ? 129.99$ are 85€… our DS is stuck at 149€ :x

    60Gb PS3 (software backward compatibility) was at 800$ at launch in Europe.

    you have to either be ridiculously rich to play video games in europe, or play 3games a year.

    (I’m importing a PS3MGS4 american pack on june 12th, that’s for sure.)

  • Mikael

    Well yeah the decline has made it great for us Europeans to import, so taking advantage of that situation..

    I noticed even for me (as a norwegian) the british pounds has lost its worth more..

  • HCK

    Man, when I STARTED buying import games wayyyyyy back in 1995 PC Engine games cost around US$75 each and Super Famicom games were US$100+ each usually! It’s only since the internet and more people having access to places like NCS and the like that the price has come down a bit. Back in the day there were really only two or three places to get games, NCS (and they didn’t have a website – you had to call), Buy Rite (now out of business), and Tommo (I have no idea).

    Now, class, turn in your books to page 48….

  • Pedro Silva

    ^ awwww, and I thought I was old for having used Lik-Sang!

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