Friday, June 24, 2005

The Sony PSP

So today Tim ordered a Palm Lifedrive, and Frossie picked up a Sony PSP at the mall. While I'm not really in the market for a Lifedrive, I'm more interested in picking up a HTC Universal when it's released later in the year, I'd love to get my hands on a Sony PSP.

The Sony PSP, looking good...

The Sony PSP is released in the UK on the 1st of September, but as usual it's going to cost a lot more than it does in US...

For comparison the PalmOne Lifedrive is sold on Amazon.com for $499.99, while the same product sold on Amazon.co.uk at £299.89. At todays exchange rate, of £1.00 to $1.82, that means that the Lifedrive is selling for $545.80 in the UK a whole $45.81 (or £25) more. This isn't too bad, you could probably account for the £25 by waving your hands about higher tax rates.

However looking at the Sony PSP we see that while it's $249.99 on Amazon.com the same unit is £178.99 on the UK site, and at todays exchange rate that means it's an amazing $75.77 (or £41.63) more in the UK. That means the Sony PSP costs an extra 23% in the UK, and that can't be explained by the higher tax rate...

Now this isn't just Amazon, if anything they're cheaper than the high street stores. This is industry wide, and these are fairly mild examples of the problem, I've seen many products where the exchange rate seems to have been set to be $1 to £1. Considering the rates these days, you have to wonder how stupid the industry thinks we are?

Perhaps the most interesting thing is that the PSP is €249.00 on the French and German sites which with todays exchange rate means that the European sites are selling the PSP at £164.34 (or $301.29), so that's more expensive than the US, but less expensive than the UK. Now this certainly can't be explained by different tax rates.

Does this make sense to anyone? I know it doesn't make sense to me...

Update: Presumably in an attempt to try and protect their markup on the product, Sony is moving to stop grey imports of the PSP into the UK. If they didn't want grey imports, they probably should have released it into the UK during March as they initially promised...

Update: Looks like Sony is preparing to take further action against grey importers in the UK.

Update: I ended up getting an HTC Universal...