Rei Cho Aniki, the latest horizontal shooter in the obscure Cho Aniki series, came out in Japan last month care of GungHo Games. I didn’t think this game would get an international release, but shockingly it just did. Even though many Japanese games come to Hong Kong with English inserts, Rei Cho Aniki was not distributed this way.
Instead, Sony Computer Entertainment Hong Kong is selling Rei Cho Aniki as a downloadable PSP game on their PlayStation Store. Rei Cho Aniki was sold only as a retail title in Japan for 6,040 yen ($60). The downloadable version in the Hong Kong Store, priced at $220 HKD ($30), costs half of that. Rei Cho Aniki is your first downloadable import from Japan and it’s cheap.
You might not be interested in this particular title (no need to explain!), but consider the thought of other publishers releasing PSP games they have no plans on localizing as PlayStation Network downloads. The PlayStation Store could be a home of downloadable imports. Sure, this might not happen in North America, but it is happening in Hong Kong.
And it’s a good thing that it’s happening in Hong Kong. This may not be widely known so I’ll say it: you don’t need to import PlayStation Tickets to purchase stuff from the Hong Kong Store, a regular credit card from any country works fine. In other words if an import PSP game shows up in Hong Kong’s PlayStation Store you can get it without much hassle. Awesome?
Update: Multiple commenters have noted the loophole is closed. Bummer.