I know, it sounds like a bad joke, but it's serious.
Sony is holding a press conference here in Brazil and just announced that now they'll produce the PS3 inside our country, which will lower the price of the console to R$ 1099,00 (which converted to dollars is U$ 600,00). Seriously.
The reason for this? There's more than one actually. But I'm tired and no one wants to read that much about foreign tax policy, so let's make it simple.
Brazilian taxes are fucked up. We pay SO MUCH in taxes that we should have a public healthcare/transportation/school system as awesome as Canada but that's not what happens. Those, here, truly, really suck. Most of our taxes go to the politicians, who are not interested in changing this at all, of course. And why don't people vote for new politicians? Because the biggest part of the population barely has electricity and clean water, and votes on whoever promises them FOOD. It's not their fault, it's a system built to keep the corrupt in power.
That system, specially the tax policy, states that foreign products must pay some pretty absurd taxes, to "protect our market". Makes sense, right? But when you try to open your own industry, you pay almost the same amount of taxes. Why? Because fuck you, that's why. (Because the system was built some centuries ago, and instead of erasing the current one and building a new one, they keep implementing new taxes, so the politicians can keep their huge salaries). And if you try to buy software/parts/technology/anything from other countries to help your factory? Well, you pay both taxes, fuck you very much.
So what happens when Sony tries to avoid the import taxes by building a new factory here? Well, they're subject to the national taxes. Even if they truly built the whole console here (which I doubt that happens, I'd bet they bring the parts and just assemble it here, and it wouldn't be weird if THAT was the cheaper option) it wouldn't be much cheaper than importing it whole.
It's actually a bit more complicated, but I won't get in the taxes details, the main thing is, gaming in Brazil is fucking expensive, and around the world too. I don't want pity from anyone and I don't mean "you shouldn't complain you pay U$ 60,00 for a game", what I want to point out is that, if the richest countries in the world ain't ready for always online consoles, imagine the rest (even Brazil being a 3rd world country is still one of the best ones). My point is this industry is being ruled by a bunch of motherfuckers and I hope they break soon. I don't give a fuck if I don't see a new CoD or Battlefield or Ass's Creed ever again. If they don't care about the customer they don't deserve the money.
If you're curious, yes most of the people who play games here pirate it to the max. I play on PC because, believe it or not, it was cheaper to buy a gaming PC than a PS3 (it's easier to traffick computer parts than a whole console, so I bough part by part from some shady dudes, which is the common thing to do around here, sorry). I buy mostly from Steam for 2 reasons: 1. We don't have to pay import taxes on their digital store (a politician tried to implement those tho, and failed. He got to Amazon tho, which makes an import Ebook as expensive as a real one around here. Yeah, I know). 2 I buy mostly indie games, which are cheap and because I like to support those dudes. Yes, I'm one of those people that pirate an AAA game and buy it if I like it later on a Steam sale. Sorry, I truly do that.
Also, a friend of mine said that Sony is probably just trying to make back the money they lost with the PS Vita because they know there ARE people here who CAN and WILL pay all that for a PS3. There truly ARE, but the thing is those people already got one. If Sony really wanted to make money, they would sell it for a decent price and sell a lot more units...the thing is I believe they have no way to lower the price, given our tax policy.
Thanks for reading, sorry for any grammar errors, I'm willing to hear your corrections, I learned english by myself playing games and listening to music so my basic verbal grammar knowledge is kinda fucked up. And you wouldn't even believe if I told you guys how much cars cost around here. THAT is TRULY outrageous.