It is no secret that buying games, software, online services and electrical goods overseas in the US can cost considerably less than it does if you purchase in Australia. However there are some misconceptions about doing so.
Is the Playstation 4 region locked?
First things first, the Playstation 4 console is NOT region locked. This means games from anywhere in the world will work on the Playstation 4 regardless of where you bought your console or games. This is however not the case for movies which are sometimes region locked, but who seriously buys physical forms of movies anyway?
Can I plug a US bought Playstation 4 into an Australian wall socked?
Yes. Most electronic devices these days have multi-voltage power supplies, the Playstation 4 is no exception. The only difference between worldwide Playstation 4 consoles is the cord. It would not make economical sense for a company to have multiple variants of one power supply.
The first thing you will want to do is replace the power cord with that of an Australian adaptor figure–8 or shotgun connector cable. This is the kind of cable that you probably already have lying about for a set-top box, camera charger or a million other devices. In-fact if you own a Slim/Super Slim PS3 or PS Vita, the cord will work on your Playstation 4.
Can I play Australian bought games on a US bought Playstation 4?
Yes. Always check the disc box to ensure the game is not region locked (most games are not, but I have heard cases where a developer has locked the region). There is however a DLC catch which is explained next…
How does DLC work for purchased games?
There is a slight caveat with purchasing DLC for your games. The DLC purchased for the game must be done so through the store for the country you bought the game in. This is because DLC is mostly always region locked. Confused?
If you bought Battlefield 4 from the USA for your console for example, when EA releases DLC for Battlefield 4, you need to have a US Playstation Network account to buy the DLC for the game. An Australian PSN account will NOT allow you to buy DLC for a US bought game (or so in my experience).
Playstation Network accounts
If you choose to setup a US PSN account, there is another caveat. Most Australian credit cards will NOT work on a US PSN account. You have to weigh up if cheaper games and earlier DLC appeal to you. That said, there is no disadvantage of having a US PSN account in Australia.
To top up you can purchase codes off of Amazon to circumvent the geolocking issue of needing a US issued credit card and address to match which is what most people do.
You have to weigh up if forgoing any kind of warranty is a problem for you. For me, I figured a year after the PS4 was released, my chances are quite low of actually running into issues and on the rare occasion something happens, I will have to pay to ship it back.
The benefit of buying in Australia and paying $100 more (after conversion at current rates it is most likely a saving of around $60) is that we have some of the best consumer rights laws in the world. If it breaks, you are entitled to a replacement or refund within the first two years. Some would argue the warranty is worth the extra $60 or so.
Overall there is not much else to say about the experience. The Playstation 4 being region free means you can buy one from anywhere, the PSN account issue can be annoying, but it is hardly a deal breaker.