Sorry, The Xbox 360 Doesn’t Have “Imports on Demand”

By Spencer . August 12, 2009 . 12:13pm


While it was unlikely, I hoped Games on Demand would open the floodgates for import friendly Xbox 360 games from Japan. There isn’t much online that isn’t available in North America other than The [email protected] so I tried to download it.


The first barrier you need to pass (and the one that will stop many) is you need to pay for the game with a Japanese credit card or Microsoft Points registered in Japan. The [email protected] and so far all of the downloadable Xbox 360 games in Japan cost 2,000 Microsoft Points. Even if your account is loaded you’re blocked from downloading games since the “content is not available in your region.”


This could have been a quick fix to circumvent region coding, but unless you have a proxy pointing to Japan you won’t be able to download gems like Deathsmiles or Shooting Love 20XX if they ever show up online.

Read more stories about & & & on Siliconera.

  • thaKingRocka

    not unexpected, but still sad.

  • geosafer

    This is truly the biggest turn off for me about the wii and 360. hopefully they both get it right next gen and add region free bc to make up for it.

    • Aoshi00

      I thought I was all set after getting a black Wii, so now I have access to Wii shops on both sides and don’t need to worry about region locking. And I am still screwed because I can’t transfer a couple of gamecube RPG save files (Symphonia, Baten Kaitos 1 & 2) because the gamecube memory cards need to be formatted according to different regions. So I still can’t throw away that GC freeloader disc :(…

    • The Wii has an pretty elegant work around. If you’re brave enough to dabble in homebrew there is a region free solution. I think it’s Gecko or something like that. The system doesn’t give you access to the Japanese store, but it’s how many importers play Japanese games without purchasing two systems.

      • malek86

        There is also a way to access the japanese shop on a different region console, but I advice against it. It’s a lot less elegant than GeckoOS, and you can end up screwing yourself over. I did when I got an update for the WM+ to work. In order to be able to access the shop again, I had to delete my previous shop account, together with all the games i had bought. Good for me that I didn’t buy many games, but still. No way I’m going to do it again.

        GeckoOS is much easier to use, and doesn’t have any long-term issues.

  • This doesn’t hold true for all content on the J-Market Place does it? I haven’t bought anything online on my J360 in months but would be saddened if it blocks non-japanese regions for everything.

    • malek86

      Well, I think game demos do indeed work, but i don’t know what else.

      • Aoshi00

        If the game demos work, chances are the full games would too. BUT, it would probably only work w/ your Jpn gamertag, because I bought Bionic Commando Rearmed on the Jpn marketplace, I used to be able to play the game w/ my US gamertag but not anymore.

    • You can still download demos, but I haven’t bought any paid content off Japan’s marketplace for awhile. I’m saving my precious points for an XBLA game that’s only released there and happens to be awesome. The day hasn’t come yet though. Hahaha.

  • superdry

    If you associate a new gamerstag to Japan and buy Japanese MS points would that allow one to download Japanese games on demand?

    Of course, one wonders if the games on demand are also region coded.

    • Nope. That’s pretty much what I have set up. You get locked out because of your internet connection. The same thing happens when you try to download video content from America overseas, even if you purchased a video in the USA.

      • superdry

        That sucks. So, you definitely need a Japanese proxy of some sort. But, even then, the downloaded game might be region locked, right?

        I’d like to buy a Japanese 360 to play some of the imports, but I’m worried about it RRODing on me or some other user unfixable problem occurs.

  • mirumu

    I really hate region coding. It’s my biggest complaint with the 360 by far. I do have access to a Japanese proxy though so if Deathsmiles shows up I’m going to give it a try.

  • Jirin

    I hate it when companies micromanage their content with crap like regional coding.

    Hey, developers! It’s your job to produce games. Let the free market decide who plays them.

  • Aoshi00

    So if you have a Japanese 360 system and enough MS points in your account, would they still detect you’re trying to d/l from the US? I already have both Idolmaster, so there’s nothing that I can try at this point.

    I had d/led games before no problem, like the Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey DLC, and Bionic Commando Rearmed, but BC was later stupidly locked from my US gamertag and was only available to be played when signing on w/ the Jpn gamertag.

    Hopefully the d/l on demand would still work w/ a Jpn system in the US, it would be great to be able to get Deathsmiles and other shoot ’em ups at a more affordable price. I finally plunged down $70 for the LE of Mamoru-kun wa Norowarete Shimatta, hope it would be worth it, reminds me of Kiki KaiKai ( Pocky & Rocky).

    • I think so. I ran into a problem like yours when I was in Asia and I tried to re-download some of the videos I deleted to save space. Even though I own a US Xbox 360 and purchased the content in the States I couldn’t get access to it anymore.

      You can still get DLC though, it’s just Games on Demand and Xbox Classics that are blocked.

      Enjoy Mamoru-kun! I played it really briefly in an arcade maybe half a year ago. I wish I could buy that too.

    • Too bad DLing on the Japanese 360 won’t make a difference for IP detection. I know my Puyo Puyo Fever themes won’t work unless I’m on my Japanese account, but I think that’s only because my original US 360 was traded in for an Elite so the hardware doesn’t match anymore. Now I should check if my Japanese Culdcept Saga content can be loaded on my Japanese 360 while on my normal gamertag. How lame is this getting?

      @Aoshi00: So your DLed game you paid for was locked from the US Tag? That’s lame, not that achievements matter all that much but you can’t earn them under your normal tag. Not a big deal but still an unnecessar hassle. I was thinking of picking up Mamoru-kun as well. Let me know how it is! I usually buy every shooter anyway.

      These companies are sure to come up with the perfect way to force all of us importing fanatics into homebrewing pirates one day. Maybe they’ll be happy then when we’re simply DLing these games for free online and playing them instead of purchasing their stuff with actually money because they have blocked every other path outside of moving to said countries… …

      • Aoshi00

        I know, that’s the lamest thing ever when I found out BC Rearmaed was locked from my US tag. Yep, achievement wasn’t that big a deal (it’s not like I could get most of them either since they’re really hard), the thing is I haven’t beat the game yet and was stuck in the last stage. So after several months I thought I would give it another go, pick up from where I left off and finally finish it, and only the “demo” is available, I was like “what the hell?” Then I tried signing on w/ the Jpn tag and realized what happened. And now I really don’t feel like playing the game all over again, because the progress saved was associated w/ my US tag only :(…

        You’re definitely right, these restriction and hassles are totally unnecessary, and we, who import every thing the legit way, buy systems from both regions, and actually import Jpn games instead of bootleg, get played around.. And Sony is doing the right thing for the first time, region free games and Blu-ray (same region for Jpn/US anyway).

        I’ll let you know if Mamoru-kun is fun. I got the LE so it has an extra disc documenting videos from expert players, so that would be a nifty guide. I’ll see if it’s fun enough to warrant purchasing DLC chars.

  • Could you try one via a proxy and see if it plays?

  • garuda1

    Well there is a way to download the games on demand via the xbox website (japanese one of course), or at least buy them to “unlock” the download for your console, idk if the same “region lock” problem would occur this way too.

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos