Bootleg PSP Composite Cable on Amazon - Full Report
AVOID THE ABOVE CABLE. IT IS A BOOTLEG. The listing passes itself off as being a genuine Sony cable, albeit Japanese in region and OEM. This led me to believe that it was going to come with no packaging and instructions. That's how a lot of PC OEM stuff I've bought is packaged. In addition, zoom in on the item image on the page up there. It has copyright information from Sony. Here it is below in case they change it. I already have the entire page saved.
Also note that while the publisher field is credited to "Mycarryingcase" it is literally sold by Amazon. That field is not an Amazon Marketplace identifier. Go look up Metal Gear Solid 4 or something on Amazon, and you'll see Konami in that field. I thought Mycarryingcase got a hold of a bunch of cables from Sony Japan on the cheap and saw a business opportunity in it, but it turns out they are actually supplying Amazon with bootleg cables.
Even the hard drive in the very computer I'm using to make this report was an OEM version. For a few bucks less, I got no box, no manual, and all hard drive. Just a hard drive in a static safe baggie.
So, imagine my surprise when I saw this in my Amazon box.
It's an apparent knockoff. The PSP logo is not the official (and worldwide) PSP logo. This is not a regional difference. It's bootleggers doing their best. You'll see one of the plugs rests low in the packaging. That is because the plugs are shorter than official PSP plugs. More information on that later. The official Sony and PSP logos do not appear anywhere on the packaging. The back of the packaging has a sticker that says "Japanese Version O.E.M. Package." Very bootleggish. Look closer at the text on the back of the package, and you'll see that a bunch of the registered copyright symbols next to where the acronym PSP is located have been blanked out. That's classic bootlegging.
I made my complaint to Amazon. I don't think they actually read it because they sent me another one. The replacement actually turned out to be more bootleggish than the first bootleg.
The first one Amazon sent me is on the left.
The differences here are more subtle but also more interesting. They look much the same in the first picture, but have a look at the second picture. The left one says "SonyComputer Entertainment Inc." Notice the lack of space between Sony and Computer. The second one doesn't even have that. The bootleggers probably forgot to remove it and removed it from a second production run, which is what the one on the right is probably from. And on the third picture, the false OEM sticker setup is different.
After a phone call, I got a full refund on the cable I paid for and was told to not bother shipping back the first one. The customer service representative said the listing would be removed from the website, but after discussing the situation with me and viewing my pictures, he was actually fooled by the bootleggers and determined that this was a Japanese region difference and not a bootleg. He made this determination with no experience or evidence and 100% gut feeling. He even admitted to it. I have your evidence right here.
This is an entire page of recently released and upcoming releases of official Japanese PSP product. Notice the proper PSP logo.
Still don't believe me? Going to call me out on the fact that the PS3 logo changed over time so maybe the PSP logo changed over in Japan? You would still be wrong. Here is a page of PSP logos from the launch of the PSP in Japan.
Way back in 2004, the logo was the same old familiar thing.
By the way, I was originally told that I would be charged if I didn't return my first bootleg cable. I did not agree to or authorize that, and I think that's quite bad to make a charge on my card like that when I didn't agree to it or even agree to sending it back. I was told on the phone that this charge would no longer be made. If I still end up getting charged, you will know about it.
Fast forward a few days, and I decided to order cables from Amazon that were from listings that were more US official in nature. I made sure that the cables were coming from Amazon themselves and not a Marketplace seller. I got both composite and component cables this time because money was no longer an object. I wanted to rip the lid open on this now.
You may need to go into the "X new" page and find the listing where Amazon is selling it themselves. It's more expensive than the featured seller that you might see, but I used Amazon themselves
I got the official cables a few days ago, and this is what I got. From left to right, the second bootleg, the official component, and the official composite. You'll notice that they changed the packaging on the official composite cables to reflect the PSP 3000.
Admittedly, this is a bit of an apples to oranges comparison. I'm comparing something that's purportedly an official Japanese product with confirmed official American product. However, the differences are apparent. Official Sony and Playstation logos. Copyright R symbol things. The big bootleg PSP logo is gone and the familiar PSP logo is in.
Second bootleg left, official component middle, official composite right
This is where the singular cable that connects to the console splits into the multiple cables that plug into your TV. Notice the rubbing out of official Sony company logos. Perhaps the bootleg is copied from a different product revision, but perhaps the little box is just some generic thing that the bootleggers used in place of copying the official box. It's a different size from both the official cables, and the lack of texture is apparent.
Bootleg 2 left, official composite right
The silver plugs on the bootleg are shorter than the official product.
Bootleg 2 left, official composite right
The plug for the PSP handheld is larger on the bootleg than it is on the official one. Interestingly, the size of the plug on the bootleg is rather close to the official component cable, but that's more of an apples to oranges comparison than I'm willing to live with in this report.
Why do I believe it's a bootleg? It's certainly not unheard of for the US versions of gaming products to differ from their Japanese counterparts. The original US SEGA Saturn pad got bulked up considerably from the Japanese original, and look at what American market needs did to transform the Famicom into the NES. However, the bootleg cable I purchased from Amazon has the typical hallmarks of a bootleg. Rubbed out PSP and Sony company logos on the product. Blanked out copyright information. The PSP logo on the bottom front of the package looks similar to the official logo but not quite the same.
I am hoping this report makes a difference. Hopefully this report shoots up in Google search results, and hopefully I can get Sony to take notice of it. If anybody has any suggestions on good ways to get a hold of Sony America, I'd appreciate it. I've been told that they would be very appreciative of this information.