Maybe I Shouldn't Import the PlayStation Vita
Posted on Monday, September 19 @ 10:19:28 PST by Anthony Severino
As soon as Sony confirmed that the PlayStation Vita was region-free, everyone turned and looked at me. Mainly because I've got a few screws loose, and I can't stand waiting for new gadgetry. You see, I'm the type of guy who upgrades his phone every six months and has to have the newest version of everything.
New TV? I went out and bought a 3DTV right away. New tablet? I sold my old one to get the new one. I've even developed the perfect strategy. As soon as the newer model is announced, I sell my current model. That way the value is still high enough to where I can put the money I get to knock a solid chunk off of the new one's price. It's just what I do. I've got it down to a science.
Part of it is because I love gadgets—a category that the PlayStation Vita falls into. The other part is because I'm impatient, and I can't stand the thought of other people getting things before me, I'm a spoiled brat like that. Knowing that the Japanese public will get the Vita before me... doesn't sit well with me.
I'm no stranger to importing video game products, either. The last thing I imported was a few years back now. It was the original PSP. I picked one up because they ran 1.00 firmware instead of the 1.50 firmware on US PSPs. I won't get into the reasons why I did that (though I will say I've never pirated a game in my life).
However, that PSP taught me that even the smallest, seemingly insignificant changes between different regions can affect you. Which is why when Sony's Shuhei Yoshida—the same guy who confirmed the Vita to be region free—said he didn't recommend importing the Vita, I had to agree.
Yoshida cites minor "nuisances" or inconsistencies between the two region's hardware, namely the actions of the X and O buttons being swapped. This may not seem like a big deal, but I experienced this first-hand with my imported PSP. It just plain sucks. In Japan, circle means "yes" and X means "no", hence the swap. I found myself instinctively press X for "yes", which would take me back a screen or cancel whatever action I wanted. I couldn't get used to it. No matter how hard I tried to pay attention, years of pressing it "the right way" was burned into my brain, and there was nothing I could do about it. You just can't forget something like that. It's like learning how to ride a bike, then being forced to pedal backwards instead. It just doesn't work.
So, think twice about importing a PlayStation Vita. You may regret it, and it ain't a cheap purchase to have to regret down the line. Especially when Yoshida promised an updated launch date for other regions "soon".
Now, if I can only talk myself into taking my own advice. I'm a stubborn prick, and I'll probably still end up importing, then regretting it.
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