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XZero

Sony Exploits Brazil

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That sucks. Wouldn't it be cheaper to just import it? Uh, yeah. I'm kinda tired of ripping on Sony, but that's just weak.

Dave the thing is Brazil is one of the most crooked countries out there when it comes to importing or exporting. I think a lot of the extra cash padding comes from covering the taxes levied by Brazil, in that a lot of it is going to the govt than to the merchant.

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And producing questionable ripoffs of movies such as:

Little Cars: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tJsAuG2TR8

Tiny Robots: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k06cpG0r9eo&feature=channel

The Little Panda Fighter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeNOupmGN5g&feature=channel

Little Bee: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mp7lJ0hTc1I&feature=channel

Gladiformers 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDX42lfRzjQ&feature=channel

And my personal favorite: Ratatoing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2c1ptxw3uU&feature=channel

Basically, from what I understand, Brazil is filled with piracy and imitation, meaning business ventures are far from profitable. This isn't Sony being a dick as much as trying to cut a profit in a region that is woefully unprofitable. Same thing with China, moving production to China means that when you are not using the plant, then the plan till be used to produce ripoffs of what you were producing. Capitalism is a harsh mistress.

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Capitalism is a harsh mistress.

The problem is that there's a difference between capitalism, in the American sense, and outright piracy/theft of intellectual property in the way that the things you linked to do.

Now that said, having acquired a bit more understanding of the problems with Brazil, I'm inclined to agree that Sony is probably doing less wrong than I originally thought. I never really knew that Brazil was a haven for piracy to the extent that it actually appears to be.

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...

I don't even know how to respond to this....

Darth robot at 0:50 in Tiny Robots though.

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The problem is that there's a difference between capitalism, in the American sense, and outright piracy/theft of intellectual property in the way that the things you linked to do.

Now that said, having acquired a bit more understanding of the problems with Brazil, I'm inclined to agree that Sony is probably doing less wrong than I originally thought. I never really knew that Brazil was a haven for piracy to the extent that it actually appears to be.

Sony is doing wrong, not in the sense of "exploring us", but in the sense that doing what they did isn't a smart investment at all, given the way our "beautiful" country is.

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I'm not surprised at the jacked up pricing, but what I am suprised is that Brazil had actually been left out of the gaming scene for a good while.

Had no brazilian over there EVER imported stuff or read gaming websites? That's what I want to know.

I've seen a good number of Brazilian people playing San Andreas Multiplayer. I think it is a little out of line for Sony to charge that much for one system, when people are still buying PS2's in the US. PS3 had it rough this generation, but the PS2 is still running strong.

Better Business Bureau, anyone?

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Sony is doing wrong, not in the sense of "exploring us", but in the sense that doing what they did isn't a smart investment at all, given the way our "beautiful" country is.

Oh make no mistake, I don't condone Sony. The fact that it is "less wrong," as I phrased it before, doesn't change the simple fact that Sony is wrong, at least as far as business is concerned.

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I don't have the data specific to electronics, but Brazil's average tariff is 6.7%, which obviously doesn't explain the discrepancy. The other factors which may encourage the high price might be

a) There may be high fixed costs involved in importing the game to Brazil. Since Sony expects not to sell that many units, it needs to charge a higher price to make it worth their while.

B) The shape of Brazil's demand curve is probably very different than other countries because they have so many problems with intellectual property. At the price the system sells for now in America, something like 70% of the population cannot afford it either way and maybe another 25% of the possible market will pirate it even though they can. That remaining small portion of the market Sony probably believes is rich enough that they're going to buy it whether it costs $100 or $700. (Technically speaking, the demand curve Sony must respond to is very inelastic).

(B) is more believable than (a), and the source I'm using says that there is a certain degree of ambiguity and arbitrariness in its trade restrictions and fees that do not necessarily show up in tariffs.

In any case, this is not exploitation of a small country. Sony is doing in Brazil exactly what it does in any other country- it's trying to make the most money possible. If you dropped the (possible) trade barriers and protected intellectual property as well as other Westernized nations do, Sony would have no reason to price the system more highly in Brazil than they do anywhere else, unless there are genuine differences in cost.

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actually. the import tax you pay is 60-100% of the price of the product. and if they think you're saying you paid less than you did, there's a fine. so in the end, things end up costing a lot more than twice the original price.

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http://ps2.ign.com/articles/104/1048252p1.html

Here's the rundown. Sony's officially releasing the PS2 in Brazil, presumably for the first time ever. It's also releasing a number of excellent games, including God of War II and Gran Turismo 4. Nothing wrong with that, right?

They're charging R$ 799 (USD $445) for the system.

The games range from R$ 99 (USD $55) to R$ 119 (USD $66).

So I guess my question is twofold: wouldn't you expect most Brazillian people who wanted one to have simply imported PS2s by now, and even if they didn't, who on earth would shell out $445 USD for a console that costs $99 USD in America and is 9 years old? Never mind the ridiculous prices for the games.

You're right about the games prices.

The PS2 console system costs about R$ 500 to R$700, depending on the store you buy. Usually people in Brazil tend to mod their systems, so you have to add an extra R$70 for the mod to run pirate games.

Actually, I bought my PS2 in 2007 for R$650 (about U$ 370).

It's way cheaper buy the system in Paraguay, a neighbor country. Stuff there are usualy sold in "black market", one can easily avoid the high importation taxes in Brazil. It also depends on how strong hte Dollar is at the moment.

Well, I guess few people will buy the oficial PS2 release here. And the games...they rot in the shelves.

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actually. the import tax you pay is 60-100% of the price of the product. and if they think you're saying you paid less than you did, there's a fine. so in the end, things end up costing a lot more than twice the original price.

Can you elaborate? This was my source:

http://www.heritage.org/Index/Country/Brazil#trade-freedom

This is a very prominent think tank in America. I'd like to know if they screwed this up that badly.

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