Playstation 2: It's out there

— 3:17 PM on March 6, 2000

Well, only if you're in Japan, but hey... If you want some extremely comprehensive info. on the PSX 2 (I was gonna say PS2, but brings a certain IBM debacle to mind ), the best place I've found so far is At the time of this writing, they have no fewer than seventeen stories about the Playstation 2 launch in Japan. Of course, calling some of them stories is being a bit generous; there's one about what comes in the PS2 box, for instance. Another story consists of pictures of the way different stores stacked up the PS2 boxes for decoration. Do these guys get paid by the story or what?

At any rate, it looks like people are just flat going nuts over the thing, which I'm sure is a big relief for Sony. An interesting note (no pun intended) is that there's a note (I said no pun intended) on the back of the PS2 box telling you that it's illegal to export it without the permission of the Minister of International Trade and Industry. Heavy. Some claim this is to stop the pirates (not that it's working, apparently, as they interviewed one PS2 buyer from Taiwan or Hong Kong, who said he was going to take it back home and start working on a mod chip).

Another possible explanation is that Japanese PS2's play only Japanese games. Between the language barrier and the higher import software cost, that means PS2's exported to the U.S., for example, will probably sell fewer software titles. Now every console maker loses money on the initial hardware sales to get it back later in software, of course, but I'm sure that's even more true with the PS2 than most other consoles. Perhaps the notice is Sony's way of trying to cut down on the number of exported systems, knowing that exported systems typically don't sell as much software as systems that stay in the country.

At any rate, if you're curious about the latest console on the block, pop on over there and check it out. Then you too will know the answer to the burning question, "What accessories come with a new Playstation 2?"

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