Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I've been getting quite a bit of e-mail about this (thanks Slashdot Games):
Lik-Sang is Out of Business
"Thanks to Sony's heavy handed tactics, popular game importer Lik-Sang is closing its doors. All Lik-Sang customers are having their orders cancelled and refunded. Any attempt to place a new order redirects your web browser to the news of Lik-Sang's demise."

In case you've never heard of Lik-Sang, they're a grey market importer of all kinds of gaming products--consoles, games, accessories. They sell from all regions to all regions, basically (I'm probably oversimplifying that). I've used them before and always received very good service.

Sony sued Lik-Sang (again, I may be oversimplifying) because they sold PSP's from the Asian region to European consumers. Lik-Sang included a voltage adapter with cross-region hardware orders, but no matter--Sony claimed it was a "safety" issue. And in a bit of irony, the voltage adapters Lik-Sang included were--you guessed it--Sony.

There are several interesting things at play here. One, it reminds me that we have these wonderful things now called "auto sensing" power supplies that automatically supply the right voltage. Why in the world doesn't someone make a console with an auto-sensing power supply and no region codes for software? Wouldn't that make it much, much easier to respond to geographic shifts in consumer demand?

Two, Sony, once again, is advancing their new corporate strategy, which is to alienate every $*#damn person in the entire world. Lik-Sang only existed because Sony didn't service consumer demand efficiently.

Three, here's the twist: Lik-Sang also shut down in 2002. Microsoft sued them for selling Xbox mod chips. Within a month, they had re-opened (no longer selling mod chips).

I wouldn't be surprised at all to see a "new" Lik-Sang open within two or three months, either under a different legal name or without the Sony grey market products. And given that Lik-Sang apparently didn't even try to fight the Sony lawsuit, it makes me suspect that they have something up their sleeve.

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