Pilot Light

Inferno is a PR consultancy. This is not. This is Inferno’s blog.

Posts Tagged ‘Gaming

Illicit Innovations

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The GunBoy Double Super Joy

I do not own a games console and have not done since I had a Sega Mega Drive with its expensive and insultingly useless CD-ROM attachment. The trouble for me with games today is not only do they seem expensive but are too good, too immersive. I just want to jump around, blow things up, race, fight or compete for a few minutes in a non-committal way. A friend of mine has an XBOX 360 and no games except those he rents (and probably Gears of War) which seems a wise choice.


What I do have are two joysticks with built in old games – one that is a Commodore 64 with 30 titles (and the nice analogue synth sounds) and another that is 5 old Namco games including the peerless Galaga and Ms. Pac-Man. These things were a hot retro gift a while back and it took a while for me to catch on. In fact, one of the big aspects of the Wii is that it has the ability to play old school console games as well as the new guff.


This was yet another tech market pioneered by the illicit innovations of the grey market and various legally dubious chancers. PCs have had wildly popular arcade and console emulators for a very, very long time. These rely on the usual indifference of games publishers to old IP and dodgy downloading by punters. The idea of sticking a bunch of old games in a cheap, simple device that plugs into a TV directly is also not new. PRC pirates copied and shrunk the innards of a Nintendo Entertainment System to just a single illegal chip ages ago. Thus third world markets have long been flooded with the comical ‘Gunboy’, ‘PolyStation III’ et al. There are hundreds of variants. For the kids that get these, piracy will be further regularised and contact with the brands that need to reach them as they become more affluent will be limited. This seems like a wasted opportunity to me.


The lesson for tech and content companies is simple – just watch what the grey and black markets are doing if some new ideas are needed. Don’t be afraid – copy them back.



Written by pilotlight

22/05/2007 at 5:00 pm

Posted in Gaming, Tech

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