Sony send in the men in black

Written by Wil Harris

June 28, 2005 // 10:51 a.m.

Tags: #lawsuit #sony-psp

For those readers not in the UK, you might wonder what the heck all the fuss is about.

Here's the context. Sony isn't releasing the PSP here until September - 10 months after the Japanese launch, and 6 months after the US launch.

There are two unsurprising consequences of this. The first is that there are loads of UK gamers dying to get their hands on the device. The second is that a mini-industry has sprung up around the importation and onward selling of these devices.

One of the biggest suppliers of import PSPs to the UK has been Electric Bird Land (no, we don't know what it means either).

Sony has taken EBL to court to try to prevent them selling PSPs before the September 1 streetdate. According to Eurogamer, Sony said that the importing of PSPs would "Very significantly impact the excitement and anticipation of the market and the way we can exploit that in the run-up to the September launch." In other words, the longer the UK is made to wait, the more consoles Sony will sell.

The full trial is going to take place next month, but in the meantime, EBL can't even replace broken PSPs. PSPs that have been sold by EBL and turn out to be faulty will be sent to Sony and replaced after September 1. Consumer rights, they've heard of them.

Aside from the dubious arguments Sony presented, the corker is undoubtedly this nuggett. Dan Morelle, the proprietor of EBL, complained that "Men in dark glasses" had been sent to deliver documents directly to his house, intimidating his pregnant wife - Sony had no plausible excuse as to why they couldn't just use UPS like everyone else, and was ordered to stop sending round the men in suits.

So there you go - Sony likes to screw UK gamers and intimidate pregnant women. Aren't you just dying to get your hands on a PSP?

Full text at Eurogamer and discussion here.
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