“7,750?” I asked. “7,795 po”, the saleswoman corrected me, the tone of her voice proud, as if they were selling the deal of the century. Indeed, Datablitz’s price is one of the lowest, compared to around 9,500 pesos in the toy shops of the large malls like SM Toy Kingdom, Toys R Us, and that toy store in Landmark Trinoma. If only people knew that they were actually selling the WiiFit more than 200% of its real price. At Yodobashi in Japan, the Wii Fit sells for 8,360 yen or about 4,180 pesos. And it would have been even lower if it wasn’t for the bad foreign exchange right now, and since Yodobashi is like a huge chain of super stores, you could find an even better deal if you bought from other smaller stores. An imported Japanese DSi would set you back 17,800 pesos here. It’s SRP? 18,800 yen (9,400 pesos). A Wii console costs 22,000 pesos. It sells for 25,000 yen anywhere in Japan. And good luck looking for a Y30,000 Xbox 360 Premium. You’d be lucky to get it here for 20,000 pesos (Y40,000). Apparently, I’m not the only one being miffed by this whole situation; this situation has been going on since the PSX and is not likely to abate any time soon.
Sadly the state of gaming here in the Philippines isn’t limited to overpricing. Piracy is so rampant that the ones who would dare buy *gasp!* original games/software are considered weird! Not rich. weird. Rich peope here still buy pirated games. And establishments “for the masses” like SM don’t help the situation at all with their overpricing. I don’t quite understand it. Some say that this is a third-world country, and people simply can’t afford buying original. Yet, these same people can afford DVD players, PSPs, DSs and Playstation consoles?
Their response? “Well, it’s because we save our money to buy that PSP. But that’s it, we can’t afford to shell out for an original game every month”. Read that again, I urge you, and tell me there’s nothing wrong here. It’s not that people can’t afford it. It isn’t frugality or a sense of economy. Rather, it’s because people here are too cheap, piracy has become the norm, and you can practically hack your PSP at the nearest convenience store.
My Tips To Stay Pirate-Free:
- Buy online. Datablitz is good, but you’ll find great deals on forums like Pinoy-N, Pinoy XBox, or your favorite local gaming forum. You can buy new original games from P2,000 all the way down to P1,000 sometimes. Plus you get to meet new people.
- Set aside money for 1 game a month. If you followed #1, you will only have to set aside P50-P100 each allowance/working day to do this.
- Actually TRY TO FINISH all games that you buy. Try this, and it will make #2 even easier. When you buy pirated, you get tons of games, and maybe play for a good 10 minutes and that’s it. Not only did you bring the value of the game down by pirating it, you also bring it down by not playing it through.
- Get your siblings to pitch in. If you’re like most families, you’ll have at least one. If they don’t like it, they don’t play. Simple as that.
- Buy 2nd hand games. Come on, don’t be stupid. This isn’t a car or computer, this is a piece of software. Unless he sells you something that looks like it was scratched by a paper shredder, it’s still worth it (especially when you can get one near-mint condition for P500! Oh yeah!)
Hey, if you have any more tips that we all could use, hit the comments!;)