View Full Version : Play.com halts sales of US PSPs as imports soar

May 11th, 2005, 21:45
Major UK online retailer Play.com has announced that it is suspending sales of imported US PlayStation Portables, pending discussions with SCEE, but imports of the console are believed to be reaching unprecedented levels.

The new handheld system will not be launched in the UK until September 1st, but has already been available for five months in Japan, and since late March in the United States.

"We have decided to suspend the sale of US PSPs on Play.com until we have had chance to discuss the UK import situation with SCEE and see what plans they have for the launch of the European version," Play.com's Simon Perrée explained in a statement today.

"The internet makes the games market a global industry, we have been aware for some time that many other e-tailers are supplying US PSP consoles and software to UK consumers," he continued. "We fully support the UK software industry, and have taken this decision to demonstrate our position, and hope that other e-tailers follow suit."

Like Nintendo's handheld consoles, the PSP has no region lock on its games, and the device ships with a universal power pack that works with European power supplies - while favourable exchange rates mean that some importers are now offering the console to consumers here for little more than it will retail for in September.

As a result, import sales of the console into the UK - especially over the internet - are believed to be at levels previously unseen for any new hardware launch.

Online importers contacted by GamesIndustry.biz were unwilling to discuss exact figures or provide named quotes, but the message from most was clear - PSP is doing more business for them than any other console has done, with even some of the more established firms having difficulty keeping up with demand.

"We're seeing a snowball effect," one e-tailer told us this week. "One customer buys a PSP, and then we see several of his friends making orders over the following weeks. It's a really desirable piece of kit, and people don't want to wait - lots of our orders now are from people who've never imported anything before in their lives."

With three and a half months still to go before the system arrives in Europe, it seems likely that SCEE - who were unavailable to comment on this story at the time of publication - will seek to stifle the flow of import devices into the region, but with many of the leading importers are located outside the EU, the company's options in this regard could well be somewhat limited.

May 11th, 2005, 22:27
this just proves that sony should have released it at the same time for everyone, why should people in other countries ie us in the uk have to wait 6 months longer than the US and even longer for japan, there was no way i was going to wait that long and the same that goes for every other person that had their's imported, plus by the time it comes out over here most of the games will be out of date.

So in the long term uk stores are going to lose out because by september there is going to be a huge second hand market for the games out now which stores will be selling at full price as new games


May 11th, 2005, 23:35
it was a stupid desicion to release in the UK so long after fair enough Japs First but US/UK should of been at the same time hell even korea got it before us..

When i seen the announcment of 1st september and £179.99 i thought sod that

So ive got a US PSP with Spiderman and a UK adapter for £170 hmmm thanks sony

May 12th, 2005, 00:58
See I totally believe in delayed dates for games and systems that need it.
PSP in some ways was one and in others wasnt.

Pros for waiting
Better manfacturing(remember flying umd's and broken square buttons? you shouldnt have those by time there out in the UK)
A larger selections of games(You should have all the Second wave games too because they're already in english and region free they just have to design a box)
Chance to improve the firmware to support more features)

It's a region free system you can important alot of the US versions of the UK launch titles for about $25 by that time
Nothing really special to set the UK launch appart from the US, in fact you have to go threw extra effort to get your spiderman 2 movie.
It's actually cheaper to import even after paying the cost for shipping and handling. Which was a totally bad move.

May 12th, 2005, 08:19
I am certainly glad I bought an imported machine.

6 months is far too long to wait!