We've been wanting to put this post together for a while but always lacked the image to do it justice, so imagine our glee at spotting the advertisement at right while strolling through London's Soho district.
When the Xbox 360 launched in Japan, certain English-speaking bloggers jumped all over photographs like this one to support their claims that the Xbox 360 had been marked down to about $170 USD because retailers were desparate to rid themselves of inventory. At the time, we refused to blog about this, because we knew that retailers were not, in fact, discounting the Xbox 360 but were bundling it with a cell phone contract. Editorially, we felt that any site that picked up the story was doing its readers a disservice.
One site even used the photograph to support the following dramatic lead sentence, "The train wreck that is the 360 Japan Launch continues."In fact, the photograph had nothing to do with the volume of Xbox 360 sales.
Fast forward to today. By that same (faulty) logic, some Japanese blogger visiting London this month will go back home and breathlessly report that PSPs are in such low demand in the UK that they're being given away totally and completely free of charge. (This is of course patently false, as a cell phone contract is very lucrative. Baiting customers with an attractive consumer electronics device is a tactic used the world over.)
The point is that the advert at right tells us nothing about how the PSP is faring in Europe. This isn't a post about the PSP at all. It's a post about English bloggers in Japan who mislead their readership about the state of affairs in Japan. The mere fact that retailers consider the PSP (or Xbox 360) to be good bait for a lucrative cellular contract is actually a positive indicator that implies that both devices are attractive to consumers.
[Update 1: reworked the post, as I did a horrible job getting my point across the first time.]
[Update 2: even more rewording. Dang.]
[Update 3: It's SoHo in NYC, but Soho in London. Got it!]