Pirates rule the Philippine seas
Posted May 14th 2007 8:00PM by Eric Caoili
Filed under: News, Imports
After a tour of the country last year, Indian President Abdul Kalam described the Philippines as a "smiling republic." Wherever he went, Kalam was met with smiling faces. Well, you'd be grinning too if you saw how cheap their games are. Thanks to the black market, popular Nintendo Wii titles are priced as low as $5 in some shops. Piracy has become so widespread in the Southeast Asian country, even Sony admits that most of its Playstation software sold in the Philippines are bootlegged copies.
Filipino site GameOPS found that many stores also offer modchip installations. For about $51, you can have your system hacked to play these counterfeit games at the local mall or market. Furthermore, some shops advertise console bundles, selling imported and modded US Wiis with five copied games of your choice for around $450. Similar deals for chipped Xbox 360 systems with 10 pirated titles are actually cheaper at $388.
With such a high level of piracy already in place, Nintendo will have a lot to work against when -- or if -- it decides to finally launch the Wii in the Philippines.