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Sony's "region-free" PSN Store is frustrating

Feb 22, 2011
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I just beat Kingdom Hearts Final Mix HD and got a message saying I could download a free theme.

Cool, right?

Fuck me. It isn't.

I beat the game with my main account (USA) and a PAL physical game.

Guess what? I can't get the extra stuff because the Store it tries to connect ain't the same as the game's region.

Why the hell are DLC or any goodies locked with other region games?

This is so much easier with Xbox accounts. You only need one account to get any marketplace. I dunno how many PSN accounts I have.

Not that I care about these themes, but for example, I had to buy The Old Hunters DLC on another account because my Bloodborne game wasn't from USA.

Jeez...
 

TI82

Banned
Aug 28, 2014
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What situation has you buying games from different regions like this? Travel a lot for work?
 

SubAdictos

Banned
Mar 30, 2013
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I just beat Kingdom Hearts Final Mix HD and got a message saying I could download a free theme.

Cool, right?

Fuck me. It isn't.

I beat the game with my main account (USA) and a PAL physical game.

Guess what? I can't get the extra stuff because the Store it tries to connect ain't the same as the game's region.

Why the hell are DLC or any goodies locked with other region games?

This is so much easier with Xbox accounts. You only need one account to get any marketplace. I dunno how many PSN accounts I have.

Not that I care about these themes, but for example, I had to buy The Old Hunters DLC on another account because my Bloodborne game wasn't from USA.

Jeez...
Make an european account. Problem solved.
 

lucebuce12

Member
Dec 7, 2013
22,395
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420
What situation has you buying games from different regions like this? Travel a lot for work?
Can't speak for the OP but I live in a country where games aren't officially sold (Pakistan).

Most of the physical copies that get here are Region 2 from Dubai. There are Region 1/Region All copies too but they're usually more expensive. I personally have a US account which is the one I primarily use.

I've adapted to it myself, by having both a UK account and a US account but problems like what the OP mentions do arise sometimes.
 

univbee

Member
Dec 10, 2015
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Believe it or not this is what the companies want, and the Xbox model is actually partially responsible for some games not showing up there. It has to do with things like language assets, and wonky situations like where a game has a different publisher in different countries (e.g. Square Enix publishes Activision's games in Japan, and those aren't on Xbox), and I know Bandai Namco got pretty pissed about Dark Souls III being playable in English with the earlier Japanese Xbox copies and I could see them cutting Xbox off going forward.

To be clear, I agree with you that it sucks and it shouldn't be that way, but companies are incredibly petty and concessions have to be made.
 

muteki

Member
Sep 6, 2013
6,577
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"Region Free" is a pretty broad term and I think at least at one point meant that at a minimum you didn't need to open your device and solder stuff to it to play a game from a different region.

Today with online, DLC, season pass, etc things are a lot more complicated.
 

Salty Rice

Member
Feb 1, 2016
5,292
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Well technically you are not really supposed to buy from other stores from other countries so just be happy you can and nobody really cares about it.

That getting reward from the game is just bad luck and a rare situation.


Edit: Wish myself it will be universal region-free because i buy games from other countries and have to look up what stores i need to purchase the DLC.

But it is like it is.
 

Sayad

Member
Feb 24, 2014
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OP, it's actually better this way so you would not pick up DLC from different regions, imagine if your EU game took you to the game's US store and you picked up some DLC from there only to find they're not compatible with your game!

But yea, PSN regions can be frustrating.
 
Feb 22, 2011
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OP, it's actually better this way so you would not pick up DLC from different regions, imagine if your EU game took you to the game's US store and you picked up some DLC from there only to find they're not compatible with your game!
So fuck region free, basically.
 

Strangelove77

Member
Mar 12, 2015
11,040
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The game is looking for something that doesn't exist in the region you're logged into. It's not an unlock from the game as much as permission to download it from the PSN store associated with the game's region. It's just an honest mistake.
Everything is separated at its core when you log into an account - trophies, save files, downloads, patches, etc. Those things aren't all melded together.

The only way this would work is if you beat it with the appropriate account. There's no work around.

But have you tried logging into the account from the region the game is from? You might be able to load the same save file and download the theme that way. That way you could use the theme on your other account since that stuff is usable on any account. I doubt it, but it's worth trying.
 

univbee

Member
Dec 10, 2015
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Make a EU account. Themes are shared between all accounts.
The theme is claimed from the game's UI (it takes you to a store page that isn't normally accessible) so he'd also have to beat the game again on his EU account.

The only "faster" solution which is unlikely but not impossible to work would be to borrow/get an NA copy of the game and hope its saves are compatible; it's unlikely they would be, but it does work for some games.
 

disappeared

Banned
Sep 14, 2006
26,837
2
1,120
PS is only region free with content from the same region. You can't mix content from regions sadly.
Does that include multimedia like themes, etc? I remember downloading free stuff on my JPN account and it working on my CDN account on the PS3.
 

SmartWaffles

Member
Aug 29, 2014
7,141
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A TON of games are not digitally on the Asian/HK PSN store, and probably never will because PS Asia is a fucking incompetent mess in the digital front. I have multiple games purchased on my HK account but I play on my main US account, but because of the way primary PS4 work I can't play these games at work. Also I had a cheap Asian copy of Driveclub, I bought the season pass with my US account, and then finds out they are not compatible. It is super frustrating.
 

Animagne

Member
Jun 10, 2016
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There's very few region issues like that on psn really, besides Vita. The biggest offender most likely is capcom, where you can only use SF V dlc on the account that bought it. Otherwise system works and doesn't require significant change. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you can't change your xbox region whenever you want (there was a time limit to it) and xbox 360 still has download restrictions when you buy games in other regions. So I vastly prefer the way psn does it and I'm glad switch works the same way.
 

lucebuce12

Member
Dec 7, 2013
22,395
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Wait so if I have an R3 game and an R1 account they're not compatible?
You can certainly play it on your R1 account.

But if you want to use any DLC, then it HAS to be purchased on a R3 account as a R1 account isn't the same region.

Though with the way sharing works, you can just make a R3 account, buy the DLC and then use the game+DLC on your R1 account.
 

Mr. Nice_Guy

Member
Jun 25, 2014
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I agree OP. I've gotten themes for games I've bought from different regions before that I can't use it's needlessly frustrating. The extra step of having to login to a separate account anytime I want to play Super Robot Wars V because the DLC will be removed from my game if I don't is also a needless step I could do without.
 

Caayn

Member
Mar 10, 2013
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700
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Does that include multimedia like themes, etc? I remember downloading free stuff on my JPN account and it working on my CDN account on the PS3.
A USA account can't access a store page on the EU store, that's what's happening to the OP.
You also can't use DLC from region X with a game from region Y.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but you can't change your xbox region whenever you want (there was a time limit to it) and xbox 360 still has download restrictions when you buy games in other regions. So I vastly prefer the way psn does it and I'm glad switch works the same way.
They overhauled the region system with XB1. Now you can switch on the fly and you can also mix and match however you'd like on XB1. With the exception being China.
 

SolidChamp

Banned
Feb 13, 2013
6,748
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Always, ALWAYS count on Sony first-party digital content to be region-specific. Start there.

As an expat who's been living abroad in Asia for ten years now, I've come to learn a thing or two about how this works and what to expect. A lot of expats make the sorry mistake of making their primary PSN account that of the country they live in (so in this case, Taiwan or Korea, for example), instead of their country of origin. Bad move.

The biggest problem with this system is that it's never consistent or 100% transparent, and publishers STILL aren't including this info in the digital fine print, which is a fucking shady business practice, if you ask me. Some publishers are fairly lax on region-restrictions (2K), some are inconsistent (Square Enix, Warner Bros), and others are always going to have you buying DLC or redeeming premium bonus codes from the same region PSN store as where the disc was bought (again, Sony).

I've sometimes rolled the dice on this shit, gambled, and lost.
 

killatopak

Member
Aug 29, 2013
12,467
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470
wherever there's a bed
You can certainly play it on your R1 account.

But if you want to use any DLC, then it HAS to be purchased on a R3 account as a R1 account isn't the same region.

Though with the way sharing works, you can just make a R3 account, buy the DLC and then use the game+DLC on your R1 account.
Any bought DLC on the same region as the game is usable on the R1 account? Nice.

Edit: what about the pre-order codes or those of the like? Does activating them on an r3 account allow it to be played on the r1 account as well?
 

univbee

Member
Dec 10, 2015
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Can't he pass the save data through USB to the other account? I thought I heard that was possible.
PS4 saves are extremely heavily encrypted and account-bound to prevent the possibility of using them for cheating and softmod exploits, so no unfortunately.
 

Caayn

Member
Mar 10, 2013
12,369
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Can't he pass the save data through USB to the other account? I thought I heard that was possible.
I think that this trick only works for digital and physical copies of the same game, not sure if they work with copies from a different region. You can't transfer saves between accounts. You can thank trophies and leaderboards for that.
 

sangreal

Member
May 19, 2005
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Believe it or not this is what the companies want, and the Xbox model is actually partially responsible for some games not showing up there. It has to do with things like language assets, and wonky situations like where a game has a different publisher in different countries (e.g. Square Enix publishes Activision's games in Japan, and those aren't on Xbox), and I know Bandai Namco got pretty pissed about Dark Souls III being playable in English with the earlier Japanese Xbox copies and I could see them cutting Xbox off going forward.

To be clear, I agree with you that it sucks and it shouldn't be that way, but companies are incredibly petty and concessions have to be made.
Source? It seems more likely that those games don't show up in japan because xbox is dead in japan

and the DS3 situation has nothing to do with the OP's scenario, which is related to mixing and matching DLC regions. DS3's issue was caused by having the english version available for preloading, combined with the region free license that lets you use any version. Aside from that, Namco was clearly so pissed that they published Ashes Of Ariandel early too
 

Sangetsu-II

Member
Dec 5, 2014
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PS4 saves are extremely heavily encrypted and account-bound to prevent the possibility of using them for cheating and softmod exploits, so no unfortunately.
I think that this trick only works for digital and physical copies of the same game, not sure if they work with copies from a different region. You can't transfer saves between accounts. You can thank trophies and leaderboards for that.
Oh, gotcha! Thanks
 

univbee

Member
Dec 10, 2015
985
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Source? It seems more likely that those games don't show up in japan because xbox is dead in japan

and the DS3 situation has nothing to do with the OP's scenario, which is related to mixing and matching DLC regions. DS3's issue was caused by having the english version available for preloading, combined with the region free license that lets you use any version. Aside from that, Namco was clearly so pissed that they published Ashes Of Ariandel early too
Inertia is certainly a thing with business deals, the DS3 DLC was probably a set-in-stone business arrangement.

And you're probably right about Xbox being dead in Japan being a more significant factor, but believe me, Japanese companies can get super-controlling about their IP and things like controlling the ability to watch a movie or play a game in straight Japanese so that's restricted to Japan only, stuff like that.
 

ksdixon

Member
Jul 31, 2010
2,304
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I'm not seeing an issue.

Buy game and dlc from same region, on an account uses the PS4 as it's primary ps4.

Play on normal account from a different region to keep trophies together.

As long as you can get games cheaper through sales or currency conversions, play dlc, play on the account you want verses needing to play as the one that bought it... Who cares about themes?
 

lucebuce12

Member
Dec 7, 2013
22,395
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Any bought DLC on the same region as the game is usable on the R1 account? Nice.

Edit: what about the pre-order codes or those of the like? Does activating them on an r3 account allow it to be played on the r1 account as well?
Yes.

I can confirm, I bought a day one edition of MKX that was Region 2 and included a code for Goro. I redeemed the code on my R2 account and my US account had access to both the game and Goro.

Pre-order codes and the like are treated almost the same as DLC, the method for acquiring them is just slightly different.
 

Gaminar

Banned
Dec 19, 2016
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Can't speak for the OP but I live in a country where games aren't officially sold (Pakistan).

Most of the physical copies that get here are Region 2 from Dubai. There are Region 1/Region All copies too but they're usually more expensive. I personally have a US account which is the one I primarily use.

I've adapted to it myself, by having both a UK account and a US account but problems like what the OP mentions do arise sometimes.
Hello fellow Pakistani. Yea I remember these problems but I'm a complete Region 1 whore.
 

2blackcats

Member
May 6, 2014
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I bought a disc copy of Fallout 4 in Mexico but then never started it because I realised I wouldn't be able to buy the dlc in my Irish account. Well I'd be able to buy it, I just wouldn't be able to play it.
 

wapplew

Member
Mar 1, 2012
13,776
3
450
I didn't know PSN regional policy is so backward until I got a Switch.
Difference version of games for different languages, force you to double dip. Can't use CC from different country etc.
 

horkrux

Member
Mar 11, 2016
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OP, it's actually better this way so you would not pick up DLC from different regions, imagine if your EU game took you to the game's US store and you picked up some DLC from there only to find they're not compatible with your game!
No, it's not better. It's wrong. Ideally the DLC should work with either version of the game, since they are essentially identical. More often than not they don't for completely arbitrary reasons. It's just bad design.
 

Catdaddy

Member
Mar 27, 2014
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I bought a disc copy of Fallout 4 in Mexico but then never started it because I realised I wouldn't be able to buy the dlc in my Irish account. Well I'd be able to buy it, I just wouldn't be able to play it.
Create a NA account and buy/download it from there?
 

FrozenCell

Member
Apr 28, 2006
1,368
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970
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PSN Store is not region free

not even all EU member states are allowed to sign up it

that's how digital Sony is 4 years after PS4 launch
 

Benjamin1981

Member
Oct 13, 2006
2,115
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Hamburg, Germany
The real question is this: Why would you even buy EU/Pal games if your main account is an US account? If you are from EU region, you should have made EU account in the first place. DLC region locks are in place since 2006. If you are from the US region and buying EU discs - what's wrong with you?;) And if you are from the US region living in EU region, you have every right to be upset. Sony should allow country migration for accounts.
 

John Caboose

Member
May 15, 2013
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Well looks like there is indeed a defense force for everything, including needing to make separate accounts for separate regions and having games not be completely region free.

Hail Corporate.
 

GameAddict411

Member
Aug 4, 2013
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I wish they would introduce a way to change the region of the ps account at least temporarily. That way if someone moved they can access the local store. There is also the fact that we can't change our gamertags either. They can introduce a paywall to avoid abuse by the user, but these two features should be at the top of Sony list to add. I have had my own share of problems with using the wrong store to buy digital stuff.
 

2blackcats

Member
May 6, 2014
2,933
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Create a NA account and buy/download it from there?
Really? I assumed I would have to create a Mexican account and try to traverse the store in Spanish.

Edit :it's weird because all my Irish discs say region 2 where as the Mexican disc says 'all'.
 

yatesl

Member
Jun 3, 2012
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Yeah, different product codes for Playstation games in different regions is super annoying.

360 had it right where, in most cases, DLC was universal.
 

Candescence

Member
Oct 3, 2013
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Oh, hey, something Nintendo is beating Sony at for once. Granted, you still need multiple Switch accounts for regions (mainly Japan, US, EU/AU), but the lack of achievements/trophies makes it easier to be more flexible with using accounts and you can just select the right account the moment you start up a game or the eShop. Not sure about other specifics, but still, it's only a bit less convenient than what MS is doing.