Stroppy Sony of Europe is throwing its weight around once again this week, in its crusade to crush all websites that aim to supply European gamers with a PSP ahead of its September release in the region. When Sony recently brought the full force of its crack legal attack squad to bear against European sites like Electric Bird Land and Nuplayer – with varied success – it found itself in a firestorm of negative publicity. The aggressive SCEE press releases gave the impression to many keen gamers that Sony wanted to confiscate all PSPs that had made their way into the country, even ones they had already bought. This hurtful misunderstanding was so widespread that it had to be set right with further press statements.
Since then Sony has turned its attention to the Honk Kong-based websites that offer imported PSPs to European would-be consumers. Recently Play-Asia bowed to pressure and agreed to stop shipping the handhelds to European addresses. But import gamers’ favourites Lik-Sang is being a little more stubborn about things. After receiving a court order from Sony asking it to stop selling PSPs to Europeans, Lik-sang responded equally aggressively, calling the action nothing less than a "cynical attempt to disrupt the successful online business again, gain total market control, and garner publicity" The Hong Kong website also pointed out that import gaming has been an accepted fact in European gaming culture since time immemorial, saying "a very active part of the gaming community has been enjoying Japanese gaming culture for over two decades, and that's what the Empire is now willing to destroy".
We would suggest that Japanese gaming enthusiasts are perfectly entitled to purchase Japanese systems so that they can enjoy the titles that do not make it over here. And cynics might be tempted to suggest that any domestic sales lost to importers are a result of the PSP’s extremely tardy European release date. In any case, it doesn’t look like Sony is going to lose out too much, with most UK retailers reporting that they have already filled their pre-order allocations. You know what you can do with your opinions on this; stick ‘em... in the forum below.