not much but it does snow in South Korea (more onto the North)
as it rarely does in neighboring Japan where most of the popular game machines and portable devices originate .

thus on the first day of snow in the Capital of Seoul, it is worth mentioning the coming of a new portable hand-held gaming device in Sony PlayStation Vita .

contrary to sporatic release of cell phones and digital cameras by SamSung Electronics and regular frantic introduction of new models by Apple in iPhone and iPad
Sony’s Portable PlayStation named PSP has held its course since its introduction at the end of 2004
with minor upgrades as models 2000 and 3000 from the year 2007
and the latest “sliding” model PSP Go from late 2009 without the UMD Drive but 16GB internal memory
and turning Memory Stick Duo to Micro .


as great anticipation for Christmas 2011 a sleeker over-doubling powered PlayStation Vita will be available on December 17th in home-grown Japan .
available in Wi-Fi or 3G models just like current SmartPhones with South Korean telecommunicarriers not decided yet,
and South Korean release is expected to be January 2012 .

most portable gaming devices are priced at more-or-less W200,000 mark in South Korea currently
but this Sony PlayStation Vita will up the ante to over W300,000 .

– while the cheapest iPod Touch 4th Generation go for W260,000
and iPhone 4 beginning at W610,000 with the latest iPhone 4S a whopping W880,000 –



[ The Story of Original Japanese Gaming Companies ]

just like ah, good-ol’ Hasbro in the States, Nintendo is a home-grown synonym for ALL sorts of “games” in the island country of Japan .
it made card and board games – even a wide array of joyful magic-trick kits – since 1960’s
and started making game machines at beginning of the electronic age
where Sony of early Walkman-fame was the later contender with more complex, trend-cutting game software thus perceived as more modern of the two .

Nintendo made the first of portable hand-held gaming device as the reverable Game Boy in 1989, precursor to the modern Nintendo DS introduced in 2004 – against which Sony PSP was poised to compete .

and faithfully so, as Nintendo DS has “simpler” games of the two rivals, and the latest line in 3DS introduced in March this year is yet to be imported into South Korea early next year .

I mention this for you to get the “feel” of the companies – where their down-to-the-heart origins lay .
Nintendo is the classic game company with humble background building one block on top of another .
while Sony is the revolutional glitzy gamer that flashed pasted you with surround-sound .



Now Again, Korea Tech BLog’s Very-Own Good-Almighty
Portable Game Device FAQ (frequently asked questions)

EveryThing You Ever Wanted to Know About Portable Game Devices in South Korea
– but had to leave over-night of sudden Hak-Won legal inspection –


[Q] would this be a good time to get a used Sony PSP ?

[A] Sony PSP-3005 are currently selling pre-Christmas 2011 at around W174,000
and all previous line-ups including 1005, 2005 and this 3005 are selling used between W100,000 ~ 150,000 depending upon package such as games included, Memory Stick Micro and extra batteries .

[Q] what is the difference of older Sony PSP versions in 1000, 2000 and the latest 3000 ?

aside from commonly having USB 2.0 external connection and wireless Wi-Fi, UMD Game/Media Disc and Memory Stick Duo slots, notable changes are :

  1. “fat” 1k to “slim” 2k : actual device hardware got thinner thus slightly more compact with softly-varied color choices AND runs a bit faster,
  2. 2k to 3k : graphics display is a bit more sharper, and adds microphone capability
  3. I should add that heat temperature during extensive play deceases as model version advances,
  4. but hard core homebrew enthusiasts buying PSP to play also ripped games still look for earliest 1k models with 1.5 firmware on eBay because they have the most software available being out the longest – still the lowest memory but blah blah


[Q] should I hack or convert my PSP or not ?

[A] aside from legalities and moral values, a game software that may bring you hours to months of joy in this Post-Modern iT Globe : should be selected with prudence . however this is NOT distinguishable while trying out a few minutes at the sales counter .

know that a hacked or converted device voids Official Manufacturers Warranty and the hardware will leave a track if it halts (and thus turns into a “brick” materiel without any electronic use) to work suddenly without time for you to revert . thus it best to get it converted in one of the larger stores where you can bring it back for repair by them instead of manufacturer support centers .

a hacked or converted device plays the same games but via files that you get from various sources instead of purchased UMD Disk or downloaded from manufacturer outlets . this process requires manual relocation of files so you should be at least be somewhat computer-savvy .

[Q] would it be safe to buy compatible batteries with longer playing time ?

[A] surprisingly longer mAh batteries available a fraction of Official price from Chinese eBay sellers, but this is a disgrace to your otherwise Holy Machine and a dangerous encounter you should not invite yourself .

[Q] so how do I choose between the latest Sony PlayStation Vita and its competing Nintendo 3DS ?

[A] do not let others have your splendid joy of time spent in selecting among available electronic hardware and software in this incredible age on Planet Earth ! and do not waste over-time advising others for they will choose their own liking no matter what . choosing is half the fun so do your initial search of Official information and early user testaments then try one yourself at one of the electronics districts I mention on this BLog .

you really cannot go completely wrong there-after buying a popular model, for if you do not like the product you can sell it with minor price adjustment . virtual flee market is very active in a country where everyone is connected when they are awake and some running even in sleep 0o0

still, the rule-of-thumb is if your mind is limited to simple or physically (I mean moving your own whole body) active : stick to Nintendo
and should your mind be deep~ in virtual 3D strategy war – Sony .

[Q] how do these portable game devices compare to game apps on Apple iPod Touch or iPhone and then iPad and even Android platform ?

[A] yes, no doubt smartphones and tablets have come to bear an incredible slack of amazing-but-tiny game apps . but as you get deeper into the Game category you will notice drags and stills for phones are or initially meant to be phones and tablets : portable readers or viewers .

even with the advance of mobile technology, if you are much into games you should get a game machine .


[Q] OK WHERE can I buy or purchase the latest Sony PlayStation Vita earliest and a good deal for the lowest price in Seoul or Busan or Pusan ?

[A] in the most Virtually-connected nation in the whole World : on-Line internet shopping malls would have the cutting-throat discount price – delivered the next day or even the same day with an extra W10,000 within Seoul limits .

off-Line in the Real World : with aspiring, partly SCAM shopping center Real Estate developments : most larger shopping block will have an electronics area of their own but affionados and hard-core gamers only buy in key game areas of (my translation) Ghost Market in YongSan Electronics Market District and upper gaming levels of international Center Building at Seoul Subway Line 3 NamBu Bus Terminal Station Exit 3, all introduced on top menu of this BLog .

in the South-Eastern Port city of Busan or Pusan there are 3 although smaller electronic districts or rather dedicated buildings : (in the order of still-larger scale)

  1. (Central-West) Gaya Electronics Market : two whole 2-story buildings near the bustling fashion mecca of SeoMyon – between DongEuiDae and GaeGeum Subway Stations, across HomePlus Supermart to the North,
  2. (North) Busan Electronics Market : upper levels of one tall building near the major Lotte Department Store DongRae Branch – MyungRyoon Subway Station Exit 3 and cross the over-path, then the building behind OutBack SteakHouse, yummy
  3. (Central-North) HanChang Electronics Market : parts of one tall building amidst Busan’s adult entertainment district – YeonSanDong Subway Station Exit 10 walk straight uphill and turn Left on the second alley atop the hill, and on the next block North behind the large Busan BroadCasting Station building, ask for directions for this is not on a major intersection -_-

if you are in any other area – probably teaching English in a remote area : spend the time to go to a nearest supermart like eMart, HomePlus or LotteMart – the most friendly and dependable shopping choice for Expatriates (this explained extensively on my Shopping BLog)


[Q] would it be better to buy Sony products at an Official Sony Store ?

[A] all the large ‘Sony’ mark you see at department stores and electronic districts or dedicated buildings merely mean they sell Sony, for the real Official Sony Stores have been shrinking by the year and as of Fall 2011 there are only TWO in Seoul – both in the posh district of KangNam, literally translated as South of the Han River which dissects the Capital of Seoul just as London and Paris .

one at the fashion brand-name mecca of ApGuJeong – on the same road dubbed “Rodeo” (yeah, right) where awaits Canon and Panasonic showrooms also – and a larger at COEX Exhibition Complex . for Sony die-hard fans it is a Paradise showroom where all for sale within South Korea can be tried .

however they sell at Official retail price only, although they add 10% membership points to be used later BUT their rules change and the last time I checked it cannot be used for notebook or laptop purchases .

price-wise, better to order from a conglomerate-run on-Line internet Shopping Mall where they have much more lenient exchange and refund policies .


to be updated,
– Korea Tech BLog, December 2011 –

( January 27th 2012 UpDate )
Sony PS Vita Wi-Fi will start selling in South Korea February 11th for W368,000

+ Accessory Pack with Case, LCD Film, Memory Case and Strap for W34,800
or PS Vita UnCharted Value Pack with Wi-Fi, Accessory Pack, UnCharted Game and 4GB Memory for W468,000


along with 7 Vita Games also to start selling February 11th
of which only UnCharted comes with Korean subtitles

then 10 more PS Vita Games to start selling February 22nd mostly in English


( January 13th 2012 Update )
aLas Sony PS Vita has finally launched upon South Korea !

note while Silicon Valleyist launch sleek Apples directly from CEO swiping earning Woo’s and Wow’s from professional enthusiasts
Post-Millennium Japanese tech corp.had to launch its latest portable gaming device with another girl-group, the latest Korean fad in Japan following HanRyu melo-dramas .. yawn