New consoles to be a pricey game [National, The (United Arab Emirates)]
(National, The (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) DUBAI // Gamers eager to be the first in the UAE to play the next-generation PlayStation and Xbox consoles have been warned to expect to pay huge premiums on grey-market imports.
Online importers said they expected to get launch-day units about 24 hours after their release in the United States.
The Sony PlayStation 4 will be released on November 15, while Microsoft's Xbox One is due out seven days later.
"We are seeing interest from UAE customers, particularly for the Xbox One at the moment, and we are planning to get units between 24 and 48 hours after the US launch," said Sheriff Rizwan, chief executive at the online electronics retailer ALshop.com.
"Supply is going to be limited, particularly in the first few days after the launch so there will be a premium."
In previous years, prices for grey market iPhones at launch often hit double the retail price, with some higher memory versions costing more than Dh10,000.
The PlayStation 4 costs Dh1,465 and the Xbox One is priced at Dh1,832 in the US.
"We will begin pre-orders on our website in the next few days, along with the new iPads and MacBook Pros that have just been announced by Apple," said Mr Rizwan.
"Although we have had more interest for new Xboxes, we expect demand to grow for the new PlayStation in the coming days as we get closer to the launch. At this stage we don't know what the price will be but it will be high until we get more supplies in."
However, retailers advised gamers to wait until the consoles were officially launched in the UAE before parting with cash.
"Customers need to be careful about buying gaming consoles on the grey market because they will most likely not be covered by a warranty," said Omar Abushaban, operations manager for Plug-Ins. "The prices are going to be astronomical, but I don't think that will put people off as we see a lot of people buying imported iPhones at premium prices when they launch."
Plug-Ins has a pre-order scheme for the PlayStation 4 and has advised customers that it would probably be launched near the end of the year.
"Distributors have a much tighter grip on import market consoles and they will check if one has been bought on the grey market," Mr Abushaban said. "It will mean you will not be able to get it checked at service centres if something goes wrong, which can happen to launch consoles.
"Gamers are really looking forward to these consoles and they are excited about being the first to get them, but I would advise people to wait until they are launched officially.
"Although we haven't had a confirmed launch date for the UAE, we expect them to be in stores by the end of the year."
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