News Article

Feature: Tending and Feeding Your Japanese Wii

Posted by Sean Aaron

If you're considering getting a Japanese Wii, here's some tips and suggestions on getting the most out of it.

Ever since the Japanese took over the home video game console market in the mid-80s there's been a major gulf between game releases in the consoles' country of origin and nations importing them, either because Japanese publishers lacked overseas distribution arms (now far less likely than in the past) or because there's been no perceived market for certain games outside of Japan on the part of Japanese publishers or their overseas counterparts.

This is still true today of Wii disc releases and the massive Virtual Console offering compounds the issue with dozens of titles across several older game systems which also have never been released outside of Japan. Whilst a select few have been made available via the novel Hanabi Festivals in North America and PAL territories, the large number of unreleased titles makes it unlikely we'll ever see parity in the release lists across all three territories.

In the past the usual method for playing import games was to get your console modified, either with an adapter to play imported cartridges or a microchip to bypass region-coding on the software discs for CD and DVD-based systems. The console I owned before the Wii was an original Sony Playstation that I had modded - before Sony successfully made this practice illegal - so that I could enjoy imported classic arcade collections not made available overseas like Nichibutsu Arcade Classics and Namco Museum R. Whilst today we take for granted notions of firmware upgrades, back then the concept didn't exist - though this didn't stop developers from trying to combat software piracy by putting code into their games to detect hardware mods.

It was after semi-bricking my PAL Wii trying to use a software mod to play my imported Mr. Driller Drill Land and the fact that Nintendo seemed to be making lock down of the system against software mods a priority in their firmware updates that I decided to throw in the towel on modding and buy a Japanese Wii. In addition to having my Drill Land save data work and ensuring the ability to play my import Wii disc games, the unknown quantity of the Japanese VC and WiiWare shops beckoned. During the course of acquiring my second Wii I've learned a few tips that will hopefully be of use to others who are considering diving into the wonderful world of Japanese Wii gaming.

OBTAINING YOUR JAPANESE WII

The Sony Playstation launched around the time the World Wide Web first appeared for general use. Very quickly it was used to disseminate information on the new generation of video game consoles and sell hard-to-find things like imported video games. Today the Web is over a decade old and goods can be obtained from many countries around the world, so if you're unfortunate enough to live in a country which frowns upon "grey market" importing like the UK, you should still be able to find what you're looking for online with a bit of judicious Googling.

I purchased my Japanese Wii 2nd-hand on Ebay, but choosing this path requires some patience as you're dependent upon individuals or businesses listing them for sale. If you're going the Ebay route know what you're buying: many sellers have bought Japanese systems just because they were on holiday or were early adopters, but have since chipped them or even replaced the Japanese firmware with local firmware from a different region. If you're wanting a second Wii just to play Japanese imports then you'll want to avoid anything but a vanilla system, so be sure to ask the seller if the item description isn't clear.

There are also many reputable online resellers of Japanese hardware and software, and I can personally vouch for the good folk at Play-Asia.com out of Hong Kong. Not only do they deal in legit copies of software and hardware with a variety of posting options, but they also take PayPal, so you don't need to give out your credit card information. Their prices are all in US dollars, however you can also choose to display the prices in one of over a dozen other currencies using a drop-down menu on the bottom of the home page. Their search engine could use some work, but they have a variety of pre-defined categories for easy browsing and frequently discount items. As of this writing a Japanese Wii from Play Asia runs US$329 (~UK£209 — not bad when you consider shops are selling PAL system bundles for UK£260).

INSTALLATION

Power
For historical reasons electrical voltages used around the world differ; thankfully Nintendo's Wii hardware is practically identical across all territories to aid in reducing manufacturing costs and the power supply of the Wii is external. As a result you can simply buy a Wii power supply for your territory to swap out for the Japanese one without incident. You may be tempted by cheap import power supplies from Hong Kong; I would suggest avoiding these. In the UK there have been well-publicised interceptions of import 3rd party Nintendo DS power bricks that had design flaws such as improper grounding. We're not just talking about the risk of cooking your Wii here, but a house fire, so I'd stick to official Nintendo power supplies for safety's sake.

I'm sure some North American readers will note that the Japanese use the same plug as they do and the home current of 110v isn't too much more than the Japanese 100v, but I would strongly suggest against simply using the Japanese Wii power supply unless its got a variable rating of 100-120v. Despite the small difference it's still possible you can fry your import Wii power supply (and potentially the Wii itself) and really it's just not worth it for the price of a local power supply. In case you're not already doing so, running your pricier electronics through surge protectors to ensure the odd power spike doesn't cook your stuff is also highly recommended.

A/V Hookup
Depending upon where you live and what kind of TV you have there's a lot to consider when it comes to hooking your new imported Wii up to your TV and Hi-Fi. If you're in North America, you're using the NTSC colour standard just like the Japanese, so whether you want to use the bundled composite video cable or get an s-video or component cable, you're okay.

If live in a PAL territory and you have a TV made in the past 10-15 years it's very likely to be a multi-standard set that's compatible with PAL and NTSC video specifications at a minimum, however it pays to check your owner's manual, because generally this is only true over RGB SCART and component connections. Wii SCART output is unique to PAL Wiis, so you won't be able to use a SCART cable with your Japanese Wii (instead the same pins are used for D-TERM: a Japanese A/V connector like SCART, though the latest generation is equivalent to HDMI in supported resolutions). That means you'll either have to ensure your TV can display an NTSC signal over composite or S-Video (if not, get an NTSC-PAL signal converter) or use a component cable (the best option, really).

If your TV lacks sufficient video inputs you'll probably want a multi-input switch-box to put between your TV and various video components. Since progressive scan DVD players have become the norm switch-boxes that support component video are easier to obtain than in the past. I would strongly suggest that you get one with isolated circuits - one that has the option to manually switch between inputs - as ones that are passive and only auto-detect signals can suffer from interference due to poor shielding or improperly detecting equipment on standby which can degrade the audio and video signal quality.

I wouldn't be too concerned about cables beyond ensuring they're from a shop where you can return them in case of poor shielding and materials, though if they're cheap enough it's not that big a loss. I would tend to avoid cables that claim to be able to connect multiple consoles to your TV as they're more likely to be cheaply made and suffer signal interference from the connected devices.

Sensor Bars and Controllers
The Wii sensor bar is only active when your Wii is on, so you'll need to use a second sensor bar with your Japanese Wii. The good thing is that the cable is long enough and the sensor bar light enough that stacking them using the sticky tape on the bottom of the bar works a treat.

Many people wonder if wiimotes purchased overseas will work with their local Wiis and vice versa; the answer is "yes." I already had three wiimotes and nunchucks and I simply synced up one of those as a second wiimote for my Japanese Wii. I also cycle between my four nunchuks and use my Classic Controller with both systems along with a Classic Linker for playing Gamecube games with the Classic Controller. I've even synchronised my UK Balance Board with my Japanese Wii on one or two occasions. No issues with external hardware compatibility to be seen.

SETUP

So you've gotten the Wii and hooked it up; now you need to get it set up on your home network. This is when you'll realise the shocking truth: everything's in Japanese, right down to the use of kanji for the words "month" and "day" in the date display on the Wii menu. It can be overwhelming, but fortunately it's not impossible to deal with. There are guides available online from when people first started importing Japanese machines because they didn't want to wait for a domestic release, however these guides tend to only cover the basic Wii configuration settings.

Thankfully the Wii setup menus are nearly identical across territories with two notable exceptions: there are no Language or Country options in the Japanese Wii Setup menu. Otherwise they're in the same order with the same options. You can simply fire up your domestic Wii to note stuff down or use the set-up manual that came with it to help you configure your Japanese system. This is also true for the changes to the Save Data menus in the 4.0 update. The only major difference is the on-screen keyboard, which defaults to hiragana (with katakana character palette also available), but you can bring up the roman character set by clicking the ABC button on the virtual keyboard.

GOING SHOPPING

As with the Wii setup and data menus the Wii Shop is more or less the same the world over with a couple of small differences. The Japanese shop has extra options to allow you to purchase points via one of several mobile networks, however you'll see familiar icons and the top-level menu has everything in the same place as the Wii Shop in other territories.

Of course you may rightly wonder "can I buy Wii points with my credit card?" When I first got my Japanese Wii I was assured by people in forums that this was not the case: you need a card issued by a Japanese bank to buy points online through the shop. As a result I tracked down an online purveyor of points for all systems based in the UK which sold Japanese Wii points in amounts of 3000 at a time and accepted PayPal payment. Basically they had recorded the numbers off of imported points cards into a database and set up a clever delivery system. It worked great, but then one day they didn't have any more points cards available and they didn't respond to email! I decided to research the foreign credit card situation and pretty much everything I found suggested I was out of luck and would have to import points cards. I decided to take a chance and lo and behold my UK debit card worked fine! It appears that people with Visa/MasterCard from countries where Wiis are normally sold should be fine, but if you're from somewhere like the Philippines you're out of luck. If the latter is true for you then you can still import Japanese Nintendo Points cards from places like play-asia.com - this might even give you better control over your spending habits!

PLAYING THE GAMES

Of course the reason you've bought this machine is to play Japanese games, whether disc-based or online, but there's something obvious that you should consider before you get too happy about playing games like Captain Rainbow, Fragile or Famicom Wars: these games are in Japanese. That means that unless you can actually comprehend written and spoken Japanese you're necessarily missing out on a lot of the story; in fact the game may be practically unplayable or not a lot of fun.

Considering that barring discounts you're probably going to be paying US$50-70 for a single import disc release it's worth thinking about. A game like Fragile may look cool and even be somewhat playable, but consider that the cutscenes are in spoken Japanese and that much of the story is in the form of graffiti written in Japanese text on the walls you walk past. I don't know about you, but I know a lot more French than I do Japanese and I wouldn't watch a film in that language without subtitles much less try reading a book written in it!

Thankfully there are also many games worth playing that don't require language knowledge like arcade games on the Virtual Console and WiiWare titles. I'd also suggest learning traditional board games like mahjong or shogi which are well-represented with WiiWare and disc releases and work fine with high latency networks for online gaming (even with 15Mbps ADSL2 the best I can get to Tokyo-based servers is 1.3Mbps, which probably won't cut it for a modern FPS!).

Even if you don't want to learn the Japanese language, learning to read Japanese text for simple pronunciation will make your life as an importer a lot easier. I've used "Let's Learn Hiragana" and "Let's Learn Katakana" to learn the two primary syllabic alphabet systems used in Japan. Katakana in particular is used to write words of foreign origin and often you'll find game options with labels in katakana which when sounded out can be recognised as being English words. Being able to read the names of games in their native form will also help when checking the shop for releases that you may have come across in web searches using languages other than Japanese.

Hopefully future home consoles will finally dispense with region-coding (like Sony has done with the PS3) and separate online shops, so that even if some Japanese games aren't localised people who are interested will be able to freely purchase and play them. Until then importing a Japanese console is an option many should consider if they can afford it.

Hopefully this article and the large numbers of Japanese releases reported on sites like Nintendo Life have provided the justification!

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User Comments (39)

MarkyVigoroth

#1

MarkyVigoroth said:

"There you go fellah, a nice mahjong disc, eat up!"
"Despite the small difference it's still possible you can fry your import Wii power supply (and potentially the Wii itself) and really it's just not worth it for the price of a local power supply. In case you're not already doing so, running your pricier electronics through surge protectors to ensure the odd power spike doesn't cook your stuff is also highly recommended."

When buying Japanaese Wii Consoles overseas, the objective is feed or be fed!

Anyways, I not only (at least partially) support the idea of an international vendor, but, giving the globalization of franchises, such concept can eventually be inevitable. (The question is... "Which of the 3 Mayor Gaming Companies will bring out a fully-international downloadable software shop first?"

Machu

#2

Machu said:

Good article Sean. I plan on getting a JPWii later in the consoles life, I have saved this page and will refer back to it, as and when required.
Infotastic, thanks.

EDIT: Does mahjong utilize the wii-pointer? I freakin love mahjong!

Atlantis1982

#3

Atlantis1982 said:

Much I like to get all those nice Japanese goodies, let alone the 5-6 channels we are far behind, I will stick with the NA region Wii and just gripe and complain about NoA lack of common sense. :D

Nonetheless, this was a good read.

JohnshiBRPG

#4

JohnshiBRPG said:

Soon, the companies would have to create a console that supports all regional formats that perfectly works with all features and maybe create an additional charge for international downloads.

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#5

Philip_J_Reed said:

It's not that the Wii "doesn't support" all regional formats. A regional format is a single digit of code, and that's all.

The regional restrictions are a choice they are making, not a limitation. In a purely technical sense, it'd be simpler for every Wii to read every Wii disc. They've decided not to let this happen for the same reason that DVD companies have decided not to let it happen.

It's down to rights issues (paying for distribution rights in a single region are much less complicated/expensive than paying for them globally) and ratings issues (if you wanted your game to be playable in all regions, you'd need a certification from all regions, which costs money and time that the developer might not be interested or able to spend).

It's not a technological issue and it's not a magical play-all console that needs to be developed. The limitations are in place because they simplify other issues for the developers.

Sean_Aaron

#7

Sean_Aaron said:

Yes, you should Super Sonic.

Chicken has hit the nail on the head. For disc releases allowing region-free play isn't that big a deal; basically it would be up to the individual to grey-market import or not and publishers would have incentive to localise as long as there's high street retailers to stock product or translations are demanded by consumers.

Downloads is where the real problem lies and the issue that people seem to have the greatest visibility of. In order to have a piece of software available for download to any territory you need to clear rights for that territory and despite the efforts of the USA to force a one-size-fits-all regime of IP laws upon everyone in the world that hasn't actually happened yet.

This and local games ratings boards means that even if language issues weren't relevant (as is the case with many 8/16-bit and arcade titles as well as WiiWare), you still couldn't have a region-free online shoppe without ruffling the feathers of some state agency or other in one of the territories.

A planetary rights clearing house and more simplified intellectual property laws would probably make all of this a lot easier.

@Machu: it depends on what you mean by "mahjong": proper mahjong, i.e. the 4-player game as traditionally played with physical tiles, does not support the pointer in the games I've played, but rather uses the wiimote NES-style. This seems to be traditional for console versions of the game (you can read reviews of a couple of mahjong games on my blog: one is Nintendo's WiiWare game with online play, the other the disc game in the photo: Majong Taikai Wii from Koei).

The Shanghai ("mahjong solitaire," a tile matching game played with virtual mahjong tiles created for computer play in the late 1980s) games from Sunsoft (one disc, which I own and have reviewed on my blog and one on WiiWare I've yet to check out) do use the pointer to great effect.

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#8

Philip_J_Reed said:

@Sean Aaron:
"A planetary rights clearing house and more simplified intellectual property laws would probably make all of this a lot easier."

Bingo.

Shiryu

#9

Shiryu said:

Very good read. I really wish Nintendo would stop being so fussy with their region locks, it's truly only thing I really deslike on my Wii. I have two japanese import games ('Tatsunoko vs Capcom' and 'The Sky Crawlers: innocent Aces') and i really love both. I will surely pick up the western version of both (TvsC already confirmed, but 'SkyCrawlers' still cloudy). To think that a single offcial firmware upgrade could unlock all Wiis regional lockouts is truly a goal worth persuing. I wish Nintendo would consider this, I'ts the number #1 reason people I know are installing the Hombrew Channel. We are not pirates (I own over 100 original Wii games), were passionate gamers. And after this sad spectacle of Sony buying out the publishing right to 'Ghostbusters' in Europe, I will have no choice but to import it this week from the US. It's hard to be a European gamer... again, great article, Sean. v _

Machu

#10

Machu said:

@Sean
Mahjong solitaire with pointer control would be real nice, thanks for pointing me in the direction of your review. Once the list of JPonly games (that i want) grows, I'm gonna start thinking about it seriously. I've been looking for an excuse to learn some Japanese. :)

Mach-X

#11

Mach-X said:

@Chicken THANK YOU for putting that in such a concise manner. I've tried to explain those concepts to people before, and failed miserably. I'm sick of people blaming sony/microsoft/nintendo when it's differing laws between countries/regions. And as far as a 'planetary clearing house' or 'more simplified ip laws' you are forgetting that every country has differing cultures, and they have the RIGHT to their own culture. For one game to be cleared for every region, it would have to be so vanilla that people would be screaming about that. "WHERES THE BLOOD? WHERES THE PROFANITY? THEY WRECKED THE GAME WAAAAAAAAAAA"

@Shiryu this is precisely WHY Nintendo has region locks. It's the only way to keep certified/rated content in its appropriate region. If they just 'uncorked' it they would face loads of fines/lawsuits from different regions. Heh, it's funny too cause even here in Canada, we use the same region consoles/dvd players as the US, but because our rating system is more lax than that of the US (believe it or not) we have movies that normally are rated 'R' in the US, and they get released up here with a little 'A' sticker placed over top of the 'R' XD. you can peel them off and see the 'R' underneath.

thewiirocks

#12

thewiirocks said:

As a result you can simply buy a Wii power supply for your territory to swap out for the Japanese one without incident.

Wouldn't a power converter be easier and just as effective?

You could be playing this right now!

Hey, isn't that Cho Ani-- OMG! MY EYES! MY EYES! IT BURNS! MAKE IT STOP! MAKE IT STOP!

Sean_Aaron

#14

Sean_Aaron said:

@thewiirocks: you could use a power converter, but I prefer to use a native solution with as few workarounds as possible myself. Given the choice between a local official power supply and a 3rd party intermediary device, I'll take the official power supply every time.

Objection

#15

Objection said:

Very helpful. I'll be sticking to good ol' English for now, but someday I hope to learn some Japanese so I can do more importing! (for anime as well as games.)

MarkyVigoroth

#16

MarkyVigoroth said:

"WHERES THE BLOOD? WHERES THE PROFANITY? THEY WRECKED THE GAME WAAAAAAAAAAA"
For me, that would be SAVING the game.

Starwolf_UK

#17

Starwolf_UK said:

The best thing about an official power supply is if you already own a Wii from your region you have one. If you don't you can phone Nintendo to obtain one. I doubt there is much difference in price between that and a voltage converter.

but there's something obvious that you should consider before you get too happy about playing games like Captain Rainbow, Fragile or Famicom Wars: these games are in Japanese
Why would you want to import Famicom Wars vs? It is Battalion Wars 2 with Japanese menus and text (not voices, those are still English...which should make the language barrier smaller)

Unless of course you were refering to Famicom Wars on the Virtual Console...

Nanaki

#18

Nanaki said:

Sean, the feeling I have towards you is closely approaching love. I'll be getting a black Japanese Wii soon(ish) so that I can have one from each region ^^

SmaMan

#19

SmaMan said:

I think I'll stick with my US Wii with HBC and Gecko. Of course, Sean, said you semi bricked your Wii using a software hack? What were you using? I suppose BootMii would save me from anything like that, but I'm thinking of importing Disaster: Day of Crisis and I could see the PAL to NTSC causing a few problems perhaps. I dunno. Is there anything I should be wary of importing PAL to the US?

Muzer

#20

Muzer said:

Although homebrew does allow you to play out-of-region disc games (woot!), there is currently no way to use the out-of-region shop channel (there used to be, but Nintendo locked it out, so don't try it). So people not wanting to buy another Wii have to resort to piracy to play out-of-region downloadables (not me though, in fact, I haven't touched my Wii lately, I just haven't had the time).

KoKoO_Psy

#21

KoKoO_Psy said:

Bah, Homebrew channel is both easier, and less of a hassle, oh, cheaper too. VC wise, i don't mind waiting. Now, back to my Tatsunoko VS Capcom!

Starwolf_UK

#22

Starwolf_UK said:

@SmaMan. re:Disaster: Day of Crisis. I can tell you the PAL version can run in 480p so if can you use component leads you'll have no troubles. If you are extrememly paranoid you could always get a Japanese version (the voice acting is all in English...a few lines are different though since the Japanese version uses the English script pre-NOA changes^1).

^1-About a month ago one of the voice actors said NOA decided to re-do parts of the script to make the game more appealing to Americans making the non-release in America more the baffling.

Chatham

#23

Chatham said:

Great article... But importing systems always seemed like a pain to me.

As much as I hate it, it sounds easier to homebrew.

SmaMan

#24

SmaMan said:

@StarWolf_UK
By component leads you mean the ones that came with the system or those special ones you can find at electronics stores and such?

Also, does any one know about how much 28.89 Euros would be in US dollars?

SR388

#25

SR388 said:

Master Card and Visa can be used to buy Wii points online off a Japanese Wii.

hamispink

#26

hamispink said:

on my ps3, I have an account that lives in happy valley, hong kong.
I can buy all the japanese downloadable games, but I havn't gotten any yet, I just can't tell what they are saying :P

Kim_Jong-Il

#27

Kim_Jong-Il said:

I don't really think censorship and licensing is an issue for region freeness. There has been no uproar in the West about Doki Doki Majo Shinpan, nor have the western anime companies (although "butchers" is a better term) complained about Jump Ultimate Stars. I think it has more to do with Nintendo charging PAL gamers more.

Starwolf_UK

#28

Starwolf_UK said:

By component leads you mean the ones that came with the system or those special ones you can find at electronics stores and such?
The ones with 5 bits to them (red,green,blue,white and red). If your TV accepts them buy them since the images being sent over 3 cables rather than compressed into one improves the quality greately. Plus 480p.

Composite (ones that come with system) might also work but I think the TV needs to support PAL60 (which is basically NTSC with PAL colour coding) or the game needs to have NTSC support left in it.

I think S-Video leads is when you really start to run into problems with PAL though^1 since the Wii will try to output RGB though the S-video unless the game supports NTSC resulting in something like a green and blak picture (also the oppose is true for PAL gamers using NTSC games which don't support PAL60 thouse will try to output S-video through a RGB scart lead resulting in a Red and Black picture)

^1- Excluding games which don't support PAL60 (which are thankfully few in number but do include Little King's Story, Madworld and Mario Party 8)

Sean_Aaron

#29

Sean_Aaron said:

@Starwolf_UK: I was indeed referring to the original Famicom Wars currently available on the Japanese VC. Also, does 480p necessarily mean there's not going to be a colour problem for our PAL-importing North American friends? I had thought 480p just indicated the screen resolution and had nothing to do with the colour system, but I'm hopelessly out of date with the whole HD thing.

@Nanaki: Cheers, though I'm a happily married man!

@SmaMan: I was running AnyRegionChanger (now defunct since recent updates) through the Twilight Hack (ditto) and didn't realise the change I was making would survive a reboot or affect Wii game playback (I changed the Game Region to Japan, leaving everything else intact -- I could play Japanese GC games on my Wii, but that was it!).

With regard to ease vs. Homebrew, well, that depends on your comfort level with BooMii replacing your Wii's default boot loader. Installing the Homebrew Channel is one thing, but that's a leap too far for me; I'm already reading about people bricking their systems trying to install that. I only have two NA Gamecube games I run using GeckoOS (actually only one of them works), so no thanks.

I find buying a Japanese machine and running everything legit a lot easier and there's only a handful of disc games I want (and outside of one Gamecube modchip with specific firmware loaded, no HBC workaround will allow you to save a Mr. Driller Drill Land game that I'm aware of), so the downloads alone are worth it to me. I appreciate the optimism behind thinking everything on the VC will eventually be released elsewhere, but I don't share it.

SmaMan

#30

SmaMan said:

Well I got BootMii up and running fine on my end. Of course if you have a Wii bought mid-2008, then it won't work because they changed boot1 and boot2 up a bit. But yes, only install BootMii, if you're confident and know a bit about programming. If it works, you can make a dump of your Wii's Internal Memory (NAND) onto an SD card and restore it if your Wii gets bricked. And yes, you can still go to the normal Wii system menu from it (or if you take out your SD card with the files on it, it'll just go to that) But enough rambling about that...

Actually, I made a little mistake in my last post. I found a copy of Disaster: Day of Crisis for 28.89 pounds but in Euros it's 34.99. Does anyone about how much that would be in US dollar$.

JoeDiddley

#31

JoeDiddley said:

Great article Sean. I would love to get a Japanese wii. I would want the vc and wiiware that you can't get on homebrew. Of course there is Taiko No Tatsujin wii!
At least my ds lite is region free :)

Ruzai

#33

Ruzai said:

Hello Sean...I don't know if you still check this thread or not...but I had a question for you.

I was planning on buying an imported (black) Wii but I was told Japanese Wiis won't connect to the internet outside of the region. I was also told if I Wii Update outside of Japan that my Wii will be bricked...

I have a feeling the answers I'm receiving are from modded Japanese Wii users and are therefore not reliable for me as the Wii I'll be purchasing will be completely clean and "naturally" Japanese.

xD I hope you can get to this question of mine...I made an account here just so I could ask you, Hahah! Nintendo of America had no clue and said I can buy one at my own risk. ^^;; Mind helping me out?

Ratengo

#34

Ratengo said:

@Sean: I didn't know there was an article about obtaining a Japanese Wii prior to today so I want to laude you for the good writing! I bought mine while visiting Kyoto last year and I am so happy and satisfied that I don't want to return to my old European one. Probably never! :)

@Ruzai: It's of course no problem to connect to the Internet at all and sometimes update the Wii when available. You will also be able to buy exclusive games from the Shop Channel (the payment is easier if you have a credit card) and watch interesting videos in the 'Wii no Ma' channel, for example. I can only say: 'Go for it!' and wish you the best of luck to import your new Wii! :)

Sean_Aaron

#36

Sean_Aaron said:

@foxhound: Sorry I haven't checked this in quite some time. If there are questions about the specifics you've got better odds of getting a reply by mailing me direct (click my profile) or posting in the Wii forum.

With regards to your question, no, there are no language options on the Japanese Wii other than Japanese. The romaji character pallet is available via the on-screen keyboard for messaging and the like, but not for instructions or configuration screens. You just need to feel your way around that.

Sylverstone

#37

Sylverstone said:

Great read, makes me wanna import now but alas, the pockets be empty :(

Oh well, better start saving up! :)

(And hopefully if I get a Rosetta Stone for Japanese, I'll be in luck! _)

JohnWalrus

#38

JohnWalrus said:

If I ever get enough money to splurge on this, I would. Partly for the benefit of covering both regions as far as news, channels, and games (both disc and online), but mostly for the opportunity to brag to my friend.

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