How to Play PS NTSC-J Games on a PS2 or PS3

Written by eric pederson
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How to Play PS NTSC-J Games on a PS2 or PS3
Enjoying games from around the world is becoming easier. (Video Game Gear image by Alhazm Salemi from Fotolia.com)

Japan has produced many video games for the PlayStation that have did not reach the market in North America. Many of those games, such as Metal Gear Solid Integral, have received critical acclaim. For years, North American gamers have been importing such Japanese PlayStation systems and games. Now, with the recent release of the PS2 and PS3, playing these authentic Japanese PlayStation games has become easier.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • NTSC-J Games
  • Initial Launch Model PS3 system ( 20gb, 60gb, 80gb) or a PlayStation 2 system with Swap Magic DVD.
  • Magic Switch Pro or Slide Tool

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Instructions

  1. 1

    In 2006, Sony released the highly anticipated PlayStation 3. This system followed suit with the PlayStation 2 and offered full backward compatibility of the PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2 library. However, the newest feature of the system was the inclusion of region free game playing. This meant that the system could play any PS1 and PS2 games from any of the video game regions: PAL, NTSC, and NTSC-J.

    Unfortunately, Sony soon discontinued the production of the 20gb, 60gb and 80gb models. Region free gaming remained, but only for PS3 titles.

    The only way to play NTSC-J games on a PS3 is to purchase an initial launch model PS3. As of 2010, these systems are still fairly easy to track down for a reasonable price, albeit a bit higher than the newer models due to the inclusion of backward compatibility.

  2. 2

    Track down and purchase a used 20gb, 60gb or 80gb PS3 system.

  3. 3

    Import NTSC-J games. These games are very rarely found in local pawn shops or used game stores, so importing is a far better option.

  4. 4

    Insert the NTSC-J game into the backward compatible/region free PS3.

  1. 1

    If the appropriate PS3 model is out of your price range or you are unable to track one down, there is still another option available. This option requires any model of a PlayStation 2 system and the DVD Swap Magic disc. The PS2 cannot play NTSC-J games as it is. Swap Magic is a program that will boot on the PS2 and allow you to insert an NTSC-J game without powering off the system.

    Note: This is not an illegal modification and will not void any system warranties.

  2. 2

    Purchase the appropriate set of DVD Swap Magic Discs. One place to find discs is at http://www.swapmagic3.com/. This product is not available in stores.

  3. 3

    Purchase any of the necessary tools according to the model of PS2 you have. If you have the PS2 Slim, it is highly recommended that you use the Magic Switch Pro tool. This tool does not require any console modification or case adjustments that would void your warranty.

    If you have any other model of PS2 besides the Slim, you will need the Slide Tool.

  1. 1

    Remove the front cover of the disc tray before powering on the system. This can be done by opening the system tray while it is powered on and unclipping the front cover. This can easily be reattached in the future.

  2. 2

    Turn the system on and insert the correct Swap Magic Disc. Wait until the screen displays "Insert Disc."

    If you are trying to play a CD based NTSC-J game then insert the Swap Magic CD-R disc. If you are trying to play a DVD based NTSC-J game then insert the Swap Magic DVD-R.

  3. 3

    Run the Slide Tool gently beneath the disc tray from the left to the right. The tray will pop out.

  4. 4

    Insert the game you wish to play.

  1. 1

    Before installing the Magic Switch Pro, familiarise yourself with the diagram that is included with the Switch. There are only three parts that need to be installed and each are clearly labelled A, B and C.

  2. 2

    Open the disc cover and install the three pieces.

    A: Place this piece into the slot just behind the Power/Reset button.

    B: Slide the disk reader all the way to the right and gently place this piece just below the reader into a slot on the right.

    C: Set this piece into a slot on the left side of the disc tray just below the spring that opens the cover.

  3. 3

    Turn the system on and insert the correct Swap Magic Disc. Wait until the screen displays "Insert Disc."

    If you are trying to play a CD based NTSC-J game then insert the Swap Magic CD-R disc. If you are trying to play a DVD based NTSC-J game then insert the Swap Magic DVD-R.

  4. 4

    Insert the NTSC-J game you wish to play.

Tips and warnings

  • Put the disc cover tray in a safe location so that you can put it back on later.
  • The Magic Switch Pro can easily be undone by removing the three pieces in the order that they were installed.
  • Do not do anything to your system that will void the warranty such as case modifications. Never open your system as this will void any warranties remaining.
  • Disconnect all power cords when installing the Magic Switch Pro.

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