European Laws Complicate PSP Launch

Sony Europe top cat says PSP will be released in over 100 countries

European Laws Complicate PSP Launch

Top Sony executive David Reeves has explained some of the reasons behind the company's decision to delay PSP's European launch until September.

"At Sony Europe we plan to be launching PSP in 106 countries," he told a games conference in London. Sony's European arm handles business throughout the European continent - from Portugal in the west to the old Soviet block countries such as Hungary and Bulgaria in the east - as well as other territories such as Australia and New Zealand. One issue arising from such a complex launch plan is that there are loads of different laws to be met.

"For the main 16 European countries, we have to deal with 84 safety laws, 76 languages as well as different environmental laws, packaging and recycling legislation and others aspects such as electrical plugs. We even have to print the manual in 28 language," Reeves explained. One casualty of this complexity has been the decision to not give away a free version of the Spider-Man 2 movie within the PSP box as happened in the US. Instead, early buyers will have to register online to get their specific language versions of the movie sent to them. "We can't launch Spider-Man 2 in Europe in the box because we'd have to stick 16 language stickers on the UMD," Reeves said. "That's more stickers than there's space available."

It's for such reasons Reeves said he's pleased Sony Europe launches hardware such as PSP months after it's been out in Japan and the US. "I like going last," he boasted. "We get all the bugs fixed, a better software line-up, less returns because of faulty hardware and it reduces our marketing costs as well."

One of the problems arising however is the temptation for European retailers to sell US versions of PSP - the so-called grey import issue. Sony is starting to get aggressive in its action to stop this occurring. Its lawyers have sent letters to all UK importers warning them that they will be taken to court if they continue. Most have stopped, although a few have said they will go to court because they don't believe their actions are illegal. Reeves also revealed Sony was dealing with imports through eBay and had sent out 600 letters to eBay PSP sellers telling them to stop.

Jon Jordan
Jon Jordan
A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon can turn his hand to anything except hand turning. He is editor-at-large at which means he can arrive anywhere in the world, acting like a slightly confused uncle looking for the way out. He likes letters, cameras, imaginary numbers and legumes.