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JustLikeBuck avatar 4:55 AM on 07.29.2008  (server time)
Wisdom from the Rising Sun

Whilst most of you will scratch your heads, shrug, and return to not-caring, I am back from Japan. Tokyo more precisely.

It's a fantastic City, as busy as London or New York, but at the same time calmer. I love the place, even if I can only manage the odd Arrigato, Gomen Desai, or Des'. And I'm sorry, I should have offered to buy some TGS tickets whilst I was there.

But I had some much more exciting news to me personally. Over there I was annoyed and frustrated that even Tokyo (often mistakenly believed to be one of the most expensive places on earth) get games cheaper than us in the UK.

Take WiiFit. I've said I'd get it if it were reasonably priced, and it was... in Japan. £44 over there, £70 here. I saw it for £39 in Akihabara, but I'd be damned if I had to lug 4KG of that back to my hotel in Ginza. Now yes, it's in Japanese, but for the cost of a Japanese WiiFit, and getting my Wii chipped to play a Backup (no, really) Disk in English, I could have bought a WiiFit in the UK.

This is where I think Nintendo, and many other companies are going wrong. Instead of wondering WHY people might want to copy games, they're far too busy wondering HOW people copy them. If the prices were fairer (and release dates synchronised), there would be even less of a reason to import from another region, or to pirate.

Mario Kart is another example. Over here you'd still be lucky to get a copy, you'd be a miracle man if you can still get it for the £35 I've seen in Supermarkets. Over there, brand new, £20 pounds. I don't mind it in Japanese because most of it is either in plain English, or in Katakana. So as long as I'm willing to learn another alphabet, it's not an issue.

Using the Homebrew Channel (which comes with the Region Free Geko thing), they play fine. And now I'll probably get most of my Wii Games from the States, where they'll be released 6 months earlier, and half has expensive.

Boom Blox, Blast Works for £10 (currently at each in the US of A? £20 and £30 pounds over here, and BW won't be released until late September.

I think Nintendo have made the decision for me.

Bah, I want to go back to Tokyo. I didn't know what the hell everyone was saying, but they were polite; and except for the odd stabbing, it's still about a 100 less stabbings than here. Here the only thing that's cheaper, it seems, is someone's life :(

EDIT: Amazon's Boom Blox is now back to $50, or £25 quid... still, the offers are out there.

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