If you've ever wanted to import a Japanese game or gaming accessory not available in the United States, you're probably familiar with Lik-Sang. The "gray market" Taiwanese import/export firm (in the case not apparently used as a cover for clandestine operations) made their livelihood selling, among other things, Japanese versions of consoles like the PSP to customers in the US and Europe.
Yesterday, a British court handed down the decision that Lik-Sang couldn't sell Japanese PSP's in the UK due to intellectual property and safety concerns —the ruling also would also seem to establish precedent for the forthcoming PS3, a certain blow to European gamers, for whom the PS3 has been delayed several months. A Sony spokesman had this to say:
"Ultimately, we're trying to protect consumers from being sold hardware that does not conform to strict EU or UK consumer safety standards, due to voltage supply differences et cetera; is not - in PS3's case - backwards compatible with either PS1 or PS2 software; will not play European Blu-Ray movies or DVDs; and will not be covered by warranty."
Meanwhile, Lik-Sang took the news pretty hard, announcing that they were shutting down for good and refunding all unfilled orders. They made no bones about the cause of the shuttering, pointing the finger squarely at Sony and alleging that a number of Sony Europe executives actually bought their PSPs via Lik-Sang.
Is news of the retailer's demise greatly exaggerated, or will importers have to look elsewhere for their gaming fix? Sony is a heavy hitter, but popular support seems to be on Lik-Sang's side. I doubt we've heard the last word on it.
[via Ars Technica ]