Sony and Namco are stupid useless fucking cunts

So there I was, putting together The Definitive Xevious – Deluxe Edition for WoS viewers this weekend, and discovered that there was a new Xevious game, Xevious Resurrection, on the PS3 as part of the Namco Museum Essentials download compilation. (Which features the all-new Xevious, plus the original and the same old versions of Dig Dug, Pac-Man, Galaga and Dragon Spirit that Namco have already milked about fifty times.)

Namco Museum Essentials came out in Japan and the USA in June 2009, but still hasn't shown up in the UK Playstation Store, despite already being in English (with the manual also in French, Spanish, Italian and German) and clearly, as a digital download, requiring no translation or adaptation of any sort or new packaging or anything. Still, WoSblog has a US PS3 account, so with a price of $9.99 it should be a fairly straightforward business to buy some US PS Store credit and pick the game up for the current-exchange-rate price of £6.50, right?

Ha ha! Man, you're one amusing reader!

The first smack in the face comes from the adorable ("Enterprising entrepreneurs" – Ed) who are selling US PSN cards to UK customers, but at a whopping markup of 40%. The standard rate seems to be £8.99 for a $10 card, which is a bit hefty for a download-only Xevious sequel, but hey ho – when you're the sort of old-fashioned writer who likes to get the job done properly by actually playing the stuff he reviews, that's the price you pay.

It's not, of course.

Sneakily, the US Playstation Store prices don't include tax, which bumps the $9.99 price up to $10.70. Alert viewers will have noticed that this is more than $10, which is the smallest units PSN cards come in – this, of course, being a situation entirely in line with Sony's cynical e-wallet funding policy, whereby in most circumstances you have to put more (non-refundable) money into your wallet than you need to actually buy something, forcing you to buy more stuff you might not want just to avoid the extra being wasted. So you have to buy TWO $10 cards, or a single $20 one, either way resulting in a total outlay of £17.98 to play a game notionally priced at £6.50.

(As for the merits of the game itself, incidentally, if it ever finishes downloading down the two tin cans and a piece of fucking string Sony has the sheer brass neck to describe as a network I'll be sure to let you know. It's currently 29% done, and is showing an estimated remaining time of 363 minutes. My 20MB internet connection is not presently being used for anything else, other than writing this blog post.)

There is, of course, no earthly sane reason for any of this to be the case. There's no good reason for ANY game in the US Store not to be available to UK purchasers. There's no good reason for it not to be in the UK Store in the first place. There's no good reason why it shouldn't be possible to translate wallet balances between PS Stores at the real exchange rate. There's no good reason why a game that's a digital download should be region-locked.

(And to anyone planning to whine about "licensing issues", fuck right off. It is NOT beyond the multinational corporate might of Namco and Sony to pull their fingers out of their arseholes for five minutes and sort out the worldwide licensing rights from the off when releasing a game for digital download. And – and here's the kicker – they clearly HAVE done that, because if you log out of your US account and log back into your UK one, YOU'RE ALLOWED TO PLAY THE US-BOUGHT GAME FROM YOUR UK ACCOUNT. So why can't we just fucking buy it here in the first place, you lazy, incompetent shower of fucking cock-biters?)

So there it is: global-market capitalism at its finest, viewers. Thanks, Namco. Thanks, Sony. You useless, stupid fucking cunts.

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6 Responses to “Sony and Namco are stupid useless fucking cunts”

  1. Major sympathies, man. I can't speak on most of this downright cuntery, but on the sales tax – what address did you put in for the US PSN? If you're masochistic enough to want to do this again, I'd suggest an address in Oregon, as there's no sales tax there and you *shouldn't* get charged any (sales tax is state based in the US and is to do with where the transaction takes place).

    • Cheers. I have no idea what address I used initially – probably whatever one was on the website explaining how to set up the US account. But I shall look into changing it, or setting up an alternative Oregon-based one.

  2. For an online purchase I don't think they're allowed to charge tax unless you registered in the same state as Sony is registered in, which appears to be New York.  Sales tax is levied at a state level, and if you're not in that state you should be exempt.

  3. It probably was New York. I have a vague recollection that it was a big hotel there or something.

  4. As long as we're on the subject of Namco compilations, I noticed in the linked breakdown of all the various releases over the years that Pac-Man World 2 (Gamecube, PS2, Xbox) is missing. The game includes an arcade where Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Attack, and Pac-Mania can all be unlocked by  collecting arcade tokens scattered throughout the main game. They're the same versions included in the regular Namco Museum release for the same systems. Wouldn't have bothered to mention it, but with Tekken 5 is on there for the included bonus arcade games then this should be as well.
    Pac-Man 2 on the SNES and Genesis/Mega Drive also had a version of Pac-Man, and a port of Ms. Pac-Man on the SNES version while the Sega one featured an original (and still exclusive) game called Pac Jr. that plays pretty much like Ms. Pac-Man according to Wikipedia.
    The Japanese version of Star Fox: Assault for Gamecube also includes versions of Star Luster and Xevious, with just Xevious making it across the ocean, presumably due to Star Luster never coming out in the West originally.

  5. I'm not sure what Tekken is doing in that list of mine, to be honest. I'm aware of the many other instances of bonus games in Namco stuff (the Starfox Assault thing is mentioned in The Definitive Xevious which I published last week for subscribers), but the list is only meant to include what are explicitly primary retro releases.

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