November 16th, 2009, 21:39 Posted By: wraggster
The great Xbox 360 banning recently continued by Microsoft brings me to an unusual conundrum. I desperately want to play the latest first-person shooter, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which is available for the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. Being an avowed Mac person, having a PC is out of the question (I don't want to fight off viruses all the time!!!), and I took my Windows partition off my Mac (courtesy of Apple's Bootcamp) once I finished playing Left4Dead.
The first alternative for me was the Xbox, which, despite being made by the Evil Empire (my ire against Bill Gates professionally goes way back, although personally I think he's a nice guy, thanks to his foundation), it is a great gaming machine, and is targeted for guys like me (first-generation gamer, hardcore and FPS tactical sniper).
The Xbox Live component is also pretty popular despite the fact that the console is NOT OFFICIALLY SOLD in Indonesia. Xbox Live allows players to play against each other over the Internet, which brings the game to a new level, thanks to the unpredictable human mind in a crisis situation.
Alas, now that many Xbox consoles in Indonesia have been banned, a chilling effect came over me just as I was about to make my first foray into next-generation console gaming (I still have a PS2 from ages ago). As most, if not all, the Xbox 360 consoles in Indonesia are parallel imports or unofficial gray market products, practically all of them are "mod chipped", which allows people to purchase and use bootleg/pirated games. In fact, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was out long before the official US release here in Jakarta--I saw one myself a few days before launch.
The only way to get an official and potentially non-banned console would be to handcarry it from Singapore (which can bring on other issues, especially with customs).
So who might be the winners here? Interestingly enough, it could be the PS3. Despite Indonesia's rampant software piracy, Sony a few months back officially launched the PSP Slim and the PS3 to the Indonesian market. Thus, gamers can officially buy the console and games locally, which is probably helped by the fact that the PS3 is one of the harder consoles to mod (or crack).
Plus, Modern Warfare 2 is also available on the PS3. Price-wise, the console is slightly more expensive and the games must all be "oris" or originals that follow the US pricing (which annoys many gamers who wonder why brands never offer "local" rates in line with the market).
What to do? I am sure many Indonesians would gladly pay original game prices to play online. Besides, we have a pretty large market, too... much larger than Singapore, which amazingly is a pretty Xbox-heavy place. So will Sony win here in Indonesia?
Tell you after I buy one of the two...
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