Britain Too Eager For Sony PSP

    June 3, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

A burgeoning grey market for the PlayStation Portable game device in the UK ahead of the official September 1 launch has Sony angry.

While US and Japanese gamers have been enjoying the hot little gaming gadget, British fans have to wait for the PlayStation Portable (PSP) to come to its shores in nearly three months.

But as in all places, there are plenty of early adopters who don’t want to wait, and have the cash on hand to get a neat new bit of technology into their hands ahead of the masses. While that demand exists, there will be suppliers eager to profit from that demand.

Sony has not been amused by this activity, which it sees as hurting launch sales in September. The massive electronics firm has been doling out cease and desist letters to firms engaging in what may be called parallel import sales.

One firm in England, ElectricBirdLand, rejected Sony’s claim that they are infringing on the PSP trademark and their parallel importing is unlawful under international trade law.

The firm has not backed down, and the PSP and games for it may be found online for British buyers. And this situation wouldn’t be an issue had Sony not decided to push back the European launch dates for the PSP several times.

Wanting to serve their home market and the US market first, Sony adjusted the release dates for the PSP in Europe in order to have enough PSPs available for those debuts. Doing so created a supply and demand situation in Europe that third parties were delighted to service.

A spokesman for ElectricBirdLand told Reuters that the company has sold several hundred PSPs already.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.