Buying a PS2 in Shanghai
29 Jul 2005
I went to my local video game shop last weekend. I took a look at the PlayStation 2 prices. I’m pretty sure this is what they were:
– Imported PS2 with mod chip installed + 1 locally manufactured controller + 10 free games: 1399 RMB
– Imported PS2 with mod chip installed + 1 imported controller + 10 free games: 1499 RMB
– Locally manufactured PS2 with mod chip installed + 1 locally manufactured controller + 10 free games: 1599 RMB
– Locally manufactured PS2 with mod chip installed + 1 imported controller + 10 free games: 1699 RMB
– imported 8 MB memory cards: 149 RMB
– imported controllers: 149 rmb
That’s right, the PS2’s manufactured in China cost more, and according to the owner the quality isn’t as good. I asked the owner why. The conversation went something like this:
> Me: Why are the ones made in China more expensive? Shouldn’t they be cheaper?
> Owner: Sony is Japanese! The Japanese always do this! They make good stuff and sell it to the USA, then they sell all the crappy electronics in China, for higher prices than the good stuff sells for in the USA! Why do you think we hate the Japanese?
> Me: Ummm, I thought that had something to do with historical events…
> Owner: No, this is why!
A very “Shanghai moment,” that.
The imported controllers are more expensive than locally manufactured ones, though. The owner highly recommends them, as the locally manufactured ones break/wear out too easily.
In that shop, pirated PS2 games go for 5 RMB each! I remember when I was a teenager I had to mow quite a few lawns to earn the money I needed to buy the NES cartridges I was dying to have. Nowadays, kids in Shanghai can get the newest video games for pocket change. The cost of the system itself is a bit prohibitive, though.
While I was in the shop, there was a high school boy in there seeking out the owner with all the anxiety of a parent going to visit a sick child in the hospital. It seems his mom got so fed up with his excessive game playing that she picked up his PS2 and smashed it against the ground. The owner said he could actually fix it! Meanwhile, the kid, in desperate need of his video game fix, was returning to the shop every few hours to inquire about the status of his precious PS2.
One of the games the owner was recommending was God of War. Now, I pretty much outgrew video games in college (except for the occasional game of StarCraft or original Alien Hominid), but this game had the magic to draw me completely back in. At least for a little while. There’s just one word for this game: stunning. (Also shockingly violent — not for the kiddies!) Greek mythology has never been so fun (even if it is a bit off).
If you know me, you surely know about my staunch anti-piracy stance. All this rampant piracy in China should not be supported.
But yeah, I’ve been playing quite a bit of PS2 lately.