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Old 2004-10-17, 10:27   Link #1
GarBhaD
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Age: 31
Japanese GameCube

Hi.
I'm planning to buy a GameCube. I won't hide it: the only game I care for is Naruto 3. So I got the idea of buying a Japanse GameCube, so I won't have to use FreeLoader or other tricks to play it.
But I fear to have problems with the cables or other stuff because of incompatibilities. Note that I'm from Spain. There shouldn't be any problem in the video/audio field, 'cause all my TV's at home support both PAL and NTSC. What I fear the most is that I won't be able to use European Controllers or Memory Cards.
Another issue is the electric plug. AFAIK, the Japanese system is different of the European.
The manuals will be in Japanese. Well, more material to practice my studies .
Does anyone know of any other problems I can encounter? I'd really appreciate any info about it.
Note that I'm very ignorant in the gaming world. My last console was a Sega MegaDrive (Genesis) and since then I've been all over computers, so I don't know a damn about the last generation's consoles.
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Old 2004-10-17, 10:58   Link #2
Shift_
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just get a freeloader...they work fine...

and who needs instructions to set up a game cube? plug it in and go, all controllers and mem cards are compaitable around the world.

and if you EVER want to play any games from your area you would need toget a japanese freeloader (if they even exist) just some food for thought.
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Old 2004-10-17, 11:28   Link #3
GarBhaD
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Thanks a lot for the fast reply.
I already thought about playing PAL games, but as I said, I don't care for any other games. I heard FreeLoader works very well. But really, having to switch discs everytime you want to play is a pain in the ass. And since I won't play anything else... Maybe I'll try other games, like RE4 or Gundam Seed, but I'd buy the japanese versions anyway, so there's no problem. Having to play just Japanese games, it's easier to buy the Japanese console. Insert disc and play: That's what I look for
I like reading the instructions about everything I buy. It's an habit I got when I was learning English. It's time to learn Japanese
Now, the only remaining question is about the electric system. Is it the same than in the US?
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Old 2004-10-17, 12:31   Link #4
hooliganj
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A super duper handy site for anyone who travels or imports appliances: http://kropla.com/electric2.htm

As the chart says:
Japan - 100V, 50/60Hz, A and B plugs
US - 120V, 60Hz, A and B plugs
Spain - 230V, 60Hz, C and F plugs

Japanese outlets use the same plug as the US, but it's different enough that you'll want to be careful. Double-check the specs on whatever adapter you plan to use to make sure that the output power range goes all the way down to 100V. For preference, you also want one that's capable of outputing at either 50Hz or 60Hz, but that may be difficult to find. Check the Cube itself when it arrives to see which type is required. You're lucky that it's 230V where you live, since adapters that reduce voltage ar a lot cheaper than the ones that raise it.
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Old 2004-10-17, 13:52   Link #5
GarBhaD
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That's a very handy web page. Thanks a lot.
Tomorrow I'm going to buy the voltage converter and order my GC at Play-Asia.
Thanks again!
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Old 2004-10-17, 19:52   Link #6
sOnJoOL
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you rather pay few hundred dollar more because you dont want to switch disks?
im not rich or have alot of money, so i dont understand that.
i preordered GNT3 and FreeLoader pack. I would rather save that money to get other games.
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Old 2004-10-17, 21:24   Link #7
Necrodeath
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sOnJoOL
you rather pay few hundred dollar more because you dont want to switch disks?
im not rich or have alot of money, so i dont understand that.
i preordered GNT3 and FreeLoader pack. I would rather save that money to get other games.
How is this going to cost him a few hundred dollars more?
He doesn't have a gamecube yet, so he could very well get the japanese gamecube to get rid of the freeloader issue. Although it'll probably save him money because he doesn't have to buy a freeloader. It'll probably be drawn about even because he has to get a voltage converter.
I fail to see how it will cost him more..
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Old 2004-10-18, 03:28   Link #8
GarBhaD
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It does cost a bit more, but it's less that you would imagine. The diference in price is because of transport. But if that's the price of comfort, then so be it. Moreover, since I'm paying in Euros, it's going cost nearly the same as if I'd buy it on any shop around here.
If someday comes out a game that FreeLoader can't patch correctly (there are a couple), I won't have any problem. On the other hand, I doubt I'm going to buy any other game...
Whatever, I already decided to buy it. Going to check the converter right NOW.
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Old 2004-10-18, 07:43   Link #9
GarBhaD
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I just returned from checking a lot of shops and couldn't find a 220V to 100V converter. They only had for the US (110V) and said that this had to be custom-made (which means super-expensive). One of the clerks suggested to try it with the 110V one, but I don't want to take unnecessary risks. In the end, I'll have to buy the PAL GC and FreeLoader.
By the way, I went to a store and took a look at the GC package. If someone cares, the input is 12V 3.25A 39W
While looking at the console and it's accessories, I found an RGB cable. It was a Nintendo's Official and the prices was... 30!!!!
My god, how can a simple RGB SCART cable be so expensive? The description said that it had better image quality, specially for 60Hz games. But aren't 60Hz NTSC? And NTSC games are incompatible with the PAL GC unless you use FreeLoader, right? How can 60Hz have more quality?
To sum up: Could someone explain me what kind of rip-off is this?
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Old 2004-10-18, 15:24   Link #10
hooliganj
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Nintendo retains the patent on every standard they invent for their systems, which lets them charge whatever they want for the cables and accessories. Even so, that price seems a little steep. What's the after-market scene like over there? Here in the US, there are several companies that specialize in making adapters, controllers, memory cards and anything else but have nothing to do with Nintendo, and the competition drives down the prices. If you don't that many of these in Spain, the prices would be pretty high.

Also, for the power adapter, you could try just ignoring the Japanese power cable and getting a box that would convert the 230V in the wall directly into the 12V your Cube would need. 3.25A is really high, but you could probably find a laptop or camcorder adapter that would give you the right output.

The US Gamecube I have here has the same power ratings, so if the Japanese version is the same, you could also import a Japanese Cube and buy a replacement power adapter for a European Cube. They should be compatible.
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Old 2004-10-18, 17:21   Link #11
GarBhaD
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Thanks for the advice.
There are 3rd companies here that sell accesories, too. Joypads, memory cards, cables... for all consoles. Still, Nintendo's prices are high. The only exception are cables which I only could find 3rd party AV cables available for XboX and PS2. By the way, it's cheaper to buy the Nintendo Official's imported from Play-Asia than acquiring'em here. The only exception is the console itself, which is 99,95 and incluedes some old Zelda games, 1 controller, AV cable and power supply (duh!).

But I feel like they're swindling people with the "better quality" statement. Aren't Scart cables standard? I know there are cables with gold pins and special shields (you know, rubber sheath) to enchance connection and protect from interference signals. But that cable had nothing special. It was just a plain Scart cable for GC which claimed to have higher quality with 60Hz games. Absurd isn't it? Why a 60Hz image should have higher quality than a 50Hz one, anyway? AFAIK, NTSC is a pretty bad standard. While PAL isn't great either, it has better quality because of the higher resolution and not-so-weird framerate. Well, all of this applies to the movie and dvd world, so I'm not sure if it's the same for videogames.
On second thought, consoles are just small PC's. Which means that they could output whatever standard they want, just like S-Video output that most video cards feature nowadays. For example, my video card allows me to output in lots of formats, most of them I didn't know they even exist! Why don't they do the same with consoles? They could make a region system like with DVD's if they're afraid of piracy...

About buying a replacement power adapter, it must be a Nintendo Official and I'm scared of how high the price can be I'm willing to pay a certain amount for comfort, but if it's to high, I can put up with freeloader. Since there's still a month before Naruto 3 comes out, I'll try to get it.
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Old 2004-10-18, 17:35   Link #12
sOnJoOL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Necrodeath
How is this going to cost him a few hundred dollars more?
He doesn't have a gamecube yet, so he could very well get the japanese gamecube to get rid of the freeloader issue. Although it'll probably save him money because he doesn't have to buy a freeloader. It'll probably be drawn about even because he has to get a voltage converter.
I fail to see how it will cost him more..
my bad, theres cheaper ones, when i saw it few days ago, they only had 300 dollars one minimum.
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Old 2004-10-18, 17:49   Link #13
Necrodeath
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sOnJoOL
my bad, theres cheaper ones, when i saw it few days ago, they only had 300 dollars one minimum.
I see, I understand now ^_^
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Old 2004-10-20, 14:57   Link #14
GarBhaD
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After serching a bit, I found a couple of interesting facts. First, the japanese GC has the same electric specifications than EUR and US versions (12V 3.25A). I saw it here.
Second, some of the newer GC models (spice orange, silver/platinum, etc) include a 110V adapter (lucky bastards...).

hooliganj, I followed your advice and contacted Nintendo of Spain to ask for a "new" AC adapter (I said I lost mine ). Then they told me that they'd send me a new adapter for the low price of 24. I replied "I had to think about it first".
And that marks the end of my oddysey. I'm already paying a bid deal to have a jap GC plus the transport expenses and now this. It's too much money. I can put up with Freeloader.
What angers me most is the fact that in the Nintendo of America Online Store, you can buy a US adapter for 10$ :P
Well, I hope that at least all my efforts can be of use for anybody who thinks of buying a japanese GameCube.
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Old 2004-10-22, 06:46   Link #15
GarBhaD
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By the way Shift_, Freeloader DOES work with Japanese GameCubes. So if you by a Jap GC, you can use Freeloader to play Euro and US games on it.
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Old 2004-10-23, 21:51   Link #16
CalamitiesEnd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarBhaD
By the way Shift_, Freeloader DOES work with Japanese GameCubes. So if you by a Jap GC, you can use Freeloader to play Euro and US games on it.
My game cube can play games from both the sates and japan without additional softwar/hardware/mods on it. I just press the little button behind the cude to change the regions The only thing that becomes a problem is that you can't use the same mem card of both regions, you have to have seperate ones for them.
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Old 2004-10-24, 05:27   Link #17
GarBhaD
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Since when is there a switch to change regions on GameCube?
Take a look here. Now tell me, where's that damn button?
Sorry if I sound a bit sarcastic, but it's difficult to believe that such a thing exists by default in a console (at least, nowadays). If you really have it, it must be some kind of mod.

I already read that Japanese and US/Europe games use different saving systems, so you can't use the same memory card to store the saves from both kind of games.
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Old 2004-10-24, 13:31   Link #18
hooliganj
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Apparently, the current version of the freeloader lets you get away with saving both types on the same card, but it's safest to have a seperate card for your Japanese saves, just in case. It's not like memory cards cost much. Of course, you said you aren't planning on playing any non-import games, so I guess it isn't an issue.
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Old 2004-10-25, 11:02   Link #19
Blaat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarBhaD
Since when is there a switch to change regions on GameCube?
Take a look here. Now tell me, where's that damn button?
Sorry if I sound a bit sarcastic, but it's difficult to believe that such a thing exists by default in a console (at least, nowadays). If you really have it, it must be some kind of mod.
He modded his GameCube, I don't suggest you do it unless you plan on only playing imported games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GarBhaD
While looking at the console and it's accessories, I found an RGB cable. It was a Nintendo's Official and the prices was... 30!!!!
My god, how can a simple RGB SCART cable be so expensive? The description said that it had better image quality, specially for 60Hz games. But aren't 60Hz NTSC? And NTSC games are incompatible with the PAL GC unless you use FreeLoader, right? How can 60Hz have more quality?
To sum up: Could someone explain me what kind of rip-off is this?
All PAL gameconsole of this generation feature the ability to play the game in both 50hz (classic, if your TV can't handle it) or 60Hz(which is basicly PAL at NTSC speed I believe). So technically speaking its not a rip off.
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Old 2004-10-25, 11:42   Link #20
hooliganj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaat
All PAL gameconsole of this generation feature the ability to play the game in both 50hz (classic, if your TV can't handle it) or 60Hz(which is basicly PAL at NTSC speed I believe). So technically speaking its not a rip off.
RGB cables (or any cable type, for that matter) don't care what frequency or signal they carry. You just have to make sure that the appliance is sending the same type of signal at the same frequency that your TV is expecting at the other end. Even coaxial cable, which is frequency dependant, can handle the difference between 50 and 60 without any problems. I know this because I've tried it - you can get caught up in some weird experiments working at a RadioShack.

If it was actually an RGB cable though, with the unique Gamecube video plug at the other end, then that would be the adapter for Hi-Def picture, in which case 30 euros is not a bad deal. But if you don't have a Hi-Def TV, then you should find a RWY, more commonly known as an RCA or phono cable in the US, although PAL TVs sometimes use BNC plugs for the inputs.

In summary, it's not a rip-off, but 50 or 60Hz has nothing to do with it.
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