Khaled rambles technology, tea/coffee, consumer rights and other interest from Saudi Arabia

February 27, 2009

Nintendo’s piracy list is missing Saudi Arabia

Filed under: Saudigamer — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 1:52 am

Nintendo documents the worst countries in the world in terms of rampant Nintendo game piracy every year. And send the report the US trade representative. The countries include China, Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Spain and Paraguay.

Missing from the list in my opinion Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Middle East. Let’s be honest, software/game/movie piracy is still high here, in fact, I found this report (pdf) by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA). Let’s see what they say under “Entertainment Software”:

Pirated copies are sold openly everywhere. Businesses engaged in the sale of legitimate video game product are severely undermined by the ready availability of pirated game product in the market. Licensees report that there is a marked contrast between sales of entertainment software for platforms that have been hacked and those platforms that, to date, remain impervious to hacking attempts.

Hacked platforms include the Nintendo Wii and the Microsoft Xbox 360. Almost every Nintendo Wii sold in Saudi Arabia already includes a mod chip that allows you to play pirated Wii games. They are sold for usually 10-30SR ($3-8).

The Nintendo Wii systems sold in Saudi Arabia are either American or Japanese. There is no Nintendo “authorized dealer” in Saudi Arabia or the Middle East! Checking Nintendo’s list of distributors, Saudi Arabia links to Nintendo of Europe GmbH (a German only website!). I have tried to contact them, asking about their Wii distributor in Saudi Arabia. Their answer was:

Dear Mr. A., Thank you for your eMail which reached the German Communication Center. First we have to inform you that the Nintendo distributors in the different countries are the responsible contact for the consumers of their country. Unfortunately there is no special Nintendo distributor in your country at the moment. So we only can recommend you to inform you in the shops which sell video games. We are sorry that we cannot give you any better information. Kind regards, Marco Marrero

“So we only can recommend you to inform you in the shops which sell video games” That didn’t even make sense! The high amount of Nintendo Wii/DS piracy in Saudi Arabia is Nintendo’s fault! The lack of an official Nintendo distributor in Saudi Arabia is only supporting the gray market and is not good for Nintendo!

Go ahead to Nintendo’s Anti-Piracy site and contact them. Or just send an email to piracyscene@noa.nintendo.com and tell them that their lack of official distributors in Saudi Arabia is not helping them.

February 26, 2009

Square Enix games on the Steam service

Filed under: Saudigamer — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 6:33 pm

Valve and Square Enix announced a partnership to bring Square Enix games to the PC using the Steam service. It will start with The Last Remnant on 9 April 2009.

Square Enix president and CEO, John Yamamoto, said of the deal, “We are excited to offer the millions of Steam customers online access to Square Enix titles beginning with our major action RPG, The Last Remnant,” adding that, “Square Enix is committed to delivering the best quality titles to PC gamers and distribution on Steam is one of the many steps we are taking to increase accessibility for fans in North America and PAL territories.”

Via Joystiq.

Many gamers in Saudi Arabia are Square Enix fans so I thought I would share this piece of news.

October 15, 2008

World of Warcraft 3.0.2

Filed under: Saudigamer — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 4:31 pm

Blizzard finally released World of Warcraft patch 3.0.2 also known as “The Echoes of Doom”. The patch is 1.62GB and prepares players for the upcoming expansion “Wrath of the Lich King” which will be released November the 13th.

The update will add new talent points, achievements, inscriptions, hair cuts and many improvements. You can check out WoW Insider’s coverage of WoW 3.0.2.

October 12, 2008

BlizzCon 2008 coverage part 3

Filed under: Saudigamer — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 11:05 am

Covering the second and last day of BlizzCon 2008. To be honest I was expecting more from Blizzard at this event. At least a major announcement other than a Diablo 3 Class.

Let’s start with Podcasts and other audio recordings:

Ripten have uploaded videos from some of the panels at BlizzCon:

And finally, some more news:

October 11, 2008

BlizzCon 2008 coverage part 2

Filed under: Saudigamer — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 9:30 am

Welcome to the second part of my collection of BlizzCon 2008 news! Let’s start with Podcasts:

Next, news and photos:

And finally, videos:

October 10, 2008

BlizzCon 2008 coverage part 1

Filed under: Saudigamer — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 4:50 pm

As a World of Warcraft player I am looking forward to Blizzard’s BlizzCon 2008. I will link to almost every update I can find online! Hope you enjoy it like I will!

Let’s start with podcasts:

And now, some pre-BlizzCon news:

WoW Radio will also offer free and live streaming of the BlizzCon keynotes. But with our unstable Internet (Thanks STC!!!) listening to a live stream might not be the best choice for most players in Saudi Arabia. Hopefully WoW Radio will offer downloadable content as well. I will post the links as I find them.

September 12, 2008

Blizzard allows PVE to PVP paid realm transfers

Filed under: Saudigamer — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 5:19 pm

Via the Blizzard Forums:

Why are you now allowing character transfers from PvE realms to PvP realms? Because World of Warcraft has matured significantly since the inception of Paid Character Transfers, we don’t feel that PvE-to-PvP transfers will have the negative impact on the game that we initially wanted to avoid when we started the service in 2006. This change will provide more mobility and freedom for players to experience the game with friends or play in the type of environment they’re looking for. So I can transfer any character to any PvP realm of my choosing now? Yes, as long as there are no other existing restrictions that would prevent the transfer from taking place, such as trying to transfer a Horde character to a PvP realm where you already play an Alliance character. Please see the Paid Character Transfer FAQ for more details and restrictions.

It’s about time Blizzard finally removed that restriction, now I can transfer my character off that slow PVE realm.

September 9, 2008

Restricted World of Warcraft services to Saudi Arabia subscribers

Filed under: Saudigamer — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 12:08 am

I have been a World of Warcraft subscriber since 2005, probably one of my favorite games and I switched from Final Fantasy XI Online.

I am not sure of how many players in Saudi Arabia or the Middle East do play it though. But I am aware of a huge player base in Dubai, UAE and montada.com, one of the biggest Arabic speaking gaming forums, have an entire forum dedicated to World of Warcraft. People there still openly talk about buying gold and private servers though (which are against the rules of the game).

You can buy the game (and monthly game cards) locally from Jarir bookstore… yeah, not just a bookstore, silly slogan.

My issue with Blizzard is that the extra features available to most subscribers are inaccessible for subscribers in Saudi Arabia. For example, a service for reinventing former world of warcraft subscribers, “Scroll of Resurrection” is inaccessible because of “Your account is not allowed to access to this page because of its country”. Same goes to the Recruit-a-Friend program where you get this error “Not all accounts are eligible to recruit a friend. For a full list of restrictions, please see the FAQ. Contacting Blizzard support is useless since they reply with no information at all, and it sounded like an automated response anyway.

I do not want Blizzard to open local Middle East servers or have an Arabic localized World of Warcraft client, I just want access to those services which are easy to implement.

February 14, 2008

Crippled Xbox360 content, another reason not to buy it

Filed under: Saudigamer — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 5:06 pm

ChrunchGear reporting a replaced Xbox360 doesn’t access owner’s Xbox Live content.

Microsoft sent Kevin a different console. When he tried to access his Xbox Live content on this different Xbox, he found that it didn’t work on profiles that weren’t the purchasing profile. When you buy something on XBL, it can be accessed by every profile on the console and not just the one that did the purchasing. Not so with the new Xbox.

This is bad on so many ways in our market. For starters, Microsoft Saudi Arabia is not handling the Xbox360 distribution here. So no one except the really honest stores will help you with the ring of death, and they are few. So if you buy an Xbox360, you might as well forget about using Xbox live.

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