A while ago, Sony was asked if the PS4 was region locked. They answered that it simply wasn’t, but soon after questions swirled if it were true. According to the PlayStation FAQ, there is some region locks on it as it states : “From the view point of each region’s safety standards and to guarantee operation, please purchase the PS4 console and the games that are sold in your area. There’s the possibility that the titles of some software developers could be region locked. In addition to that, you may no longer eligible for support if you use a an overseas model of the PS4 in Japan.”
Yoshida-san has stated numerous times that the console is region free, but we couldn’t help but to test some things. Upon getting our new PS4, we tried using a Japanese account on the console. The console will transform itself into Japanese, but upon entering the PlayStation Store you are greeted with “This service cannot be used in your country.” This obviously tells us there is some region issue here, why isn’t it using the store already availible?
Also scanning the PS4 box, and games, you can see that NA has a region code of 1 on it. This is similar to the PS3. So technically speaking, the PS4 is region free in terms of software console wise, but the developers can choose to lock them out if they want. As for PSN, is it due to the service simply not being up in Japan? Or will PSN have harsh restrictions on it based on region?
Vita TV seems to be going through a similar boat. Vita TV has yet to be announced for most regions, which is causing peopl to start importing it elsewhere. This is an issue as the Vita TV currently only functions with a Japanese PSN account. Trying to use an account from a different region brings up an error of “this service is not availible in your region.” The issue here seems to be the fact it uses Vita cards and these have harsh PSN restrictions.
Another reason for it is that Sony implemented a “Vita TV” section of the store, and the Vita TV looks for this when going to the store. Obviously only Japan has this section so far, so other regions will be unable to find it. A simple work around so far seems to be utilizing an actual Vita to download and play games, then putting the memory stick into the Vita to play the game. However this idea seems spotty at best.
Overall I’m sure once these consoles hit all regions there will be less restriction, but as it stands you are better off not importing them just yet. If you have a Japanese account, you will be unable to use some of the main assets of the PS4 until the region lock is lifted, or the service goes online.