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Wednesday, December 26, 2007
SG Huh Part 3: PSP ftw in Singapore?

Being mainly a DS fan, (i do have a PSP myself), i was quite surprised to see the high market penetration of the PSP/PSP Slim in Singapore. I was expecting a rather balanced market, as was experienced in Seoul, but that wasn't the case, at least from my observations.

Whenever i took the MRT trains, i could easily see 3-5 PSP systems being played. Sometimes, as i go from one station to another, i saw over 15 of them.

There was also an interesting encounter where i saw a malay guy in Yio Chu Kang MRT station probably selling two modified PSPs to two poly students that study nearby. I heard them asking questions like compatibility, downloads etc, which were clear indicators of using modified PSP systems.

I myself might have contributed to two PSP systems in Singapore. One for the babies' father as a present, and another one for my colleague's son. I bought the systems here in USA, and brought them back to their new masters, as i got them slightly cheaper here than in Singapore.

I wonder why i do not see DS/DS Lites in a higher number. Sometimes, i am the only one that i see that was playing the DS system in the trains and walking along the shopping malls.

Three potential reasons that might be the case.

1) The kiddy image of the Nintendo handhelds might still persist in Singapore. The rare appearances of the DS Lite systems were usually in the hands of kids. I think i only saw one single adult (other than myself) that was playing the DS Lite in Orchard.

2) Prices of the DS games are on the high side in Singapore. Even taking into the currency exchange rates, i think the original games are at least 5-10 USD more than in USA. Worse still is the fact that there's rare price reduction as the games get older, unlike here, where prices can drop from 29 dollars to 9 dollars in a matter of months.

In terms of comparing apples to apples, a typical DS game at around 30 USD is worth about 3 typical lunch meals here, while a typical DS game in Singapore at 50 SGD, though might be reasonable just looking at the exchange rate, is worth easily 7-8 typical lunch meals (i think). That makes the games very much a luxury item.

Interestingly, the PSP games seems to be cheaper than US prices for the most part. I wonder why that's the case.

3) The extensive unofficial third-party ecosystem for the PSP system. Over here, everything, well.. at least in the retail stores, is licensed and official, while i saw tons of variety of accessories, case modifications, and peripherals that are just so easily available literally everywhere i go.

The typical mobile phone shop has at least a small corner of inventory that are catered to the PSP. Multiply that by the tons of such shops in Singapore and that create a very lively and vivid environment for the PSP market to grow. Whether this is at the benefit of Sony or not is another thing though.

posted by Jonathan at 4:24 PM | Permalink |


At 7:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous

maybe it has smth to do with nintendo being a japanese company (ie. ww2 politics) and sony being american