Sony ceases South Korean PS3 supply to thwart tourists

According to a Korean news site, Sony has cut off South Korean shipments of the PS3 in an attempt to prevent Japanese tourists picking up a cheap gaming deal on their travels.  The shopping loophole has widened as the Japanese Yen strengthens against the South Korean Won: the PS3 costs the equivalent of $321.66 in South Korea, but $414.16 in Japan.

That has been leaving Japanese buyers a considerable saving, enough to pick up the required voltage converter in order for the South Korean console to run in their home country with cash to spare.  A quote attributed to a Sony employee suggests that the company is "troubled by 'reverse-importing', which is when products exported into South Korea are flown back into Japan".

It's unclear how long Sony intend to maintain the stock blockade against South Korea.  It seems unlikely that Japanese tourists will stop visiting the country – there is apparently a long history of traveling there and picking up cheaper designer goods, not just PS3 consoles – so in the end the people who will really suffer are the South Koreans unable to get their gaming fix.

[via Kotaku; image via]