So. Remember I was haggling with my boss the past two weeks for some awesome consumer electronics? Right, my dayjob company had, sitting in the break room, a big 47-inch panel TV and a PlayStation 3 — the discontinued 20 GB console sitting in a box for going on two years now, as unawarded sweepstakes prizes. We finally hit an agreement and I brought it all home this weekend. For all intents and purposes, this is a $US100, if not free, PS3.
Now, during our negotiations, remember how my company's CEO said they had to snake the PS3 through backchannels back in 2006? Couldn't find any because of high demand? Paid something like a grand for it? Maybe I should have looked at the PS3's box. Why, do you ask?
Oh God and baby Jesus, what is all this Japanese shit.
[8:24 pm phone call to Adam Barenblat]
Owen: Adam, you have a PS3, right?
Owen: Why do I have a message scrolling, "Sorry, Japanese language only" in my upper right hand corner?
Adam: Say what?
Owen: Also, is there some reason my web browser points to psn.jp.playstation.com?
Adam: [starts convulsing with laughter]
Owen: Look, I know it's ridiculous that anyone would surf the web with a PS3 but I need your help. Seriously.
Adam directed me to inspect the back of the box. Thank God I'd saved it. "What does it say?" Adam asked.
"Looks like a sushi menu," I replied. "It says NTSC: J. Oh, fuck, what have I bought?"
"You might need to call Bash," Adam said.
"At this hour?"
"It's noon where he is, dumbass."
I demurred. I need to save my pennies [WARNING: JOKE INCOMING]to buy a $US150 HDMI cable for this thing from Best Buy. [JOKE WARNING OVER]
"Somehow, you managed to buy a Japanese PlayStation 3," Adam advised. "This is the funniest thing I've heard all week. I don't know if the 20GB was region locked or not. You could be buying all your games overseas."
"Put in LittleBigPlanet and see if it works," Adam said.
"I don't have that," I said.
"Then put in MGS4," Adam said.
"Dude, I've gamed on nothing but Xbox for 5 years," I said. "Me playing a Sony, this is like rooting for UNC. I keep hitting square when I mean X."
"Falcon FACEPALM," Adam said. "Go to Blockbuster and rent something."
So I went to the Blockbuster in Belmont — Ralston at El Camino, for those scoring at home. I haven't been in a Blockbuster since I bought a used DRIV3R from the one in Morganton, N.C. with a gift certificate my grandmother gave me for Christmas 2004. So I had to open a new account. First I tried to rent Dead Space. Might as well right? Hey, if it works, I can follow up my feeling of relief with a warm piss stain in the front of my pants. Whoops, I brought the store display case to the front, instead of the blanks. They were all out. So I got Lego:Batman.
At home, I put it in. It worked. I downloaded the Bioshock demo. That too worked. I kept waiting to see screens rendered in Kanji, but everything seemed kosher.
Wait!!! Wait! One more test. Oh, God, what use is is this multimedia powerhouse if my
porn favourite movies are region-locked?!
"Congratulations," Adam said, "You just bought an imported PlayStation 3 for $US100."
"Yeah," I said, "But I can't wait to see what PlayStation Home is gonna look like on this thing."