According to Korean news site Chosun Online, Sony has ceased supplying South Korea with PS3s for the time being in order to prevent Japanese tourists from picking up the console at a cheaper price point.
"We are troubled by 'reverse-importing', which is when products exported into South Korea are flown back into Japan," said a Sony employee.
With the depreciating South Korean Won and the strong Japanese Yen, South Korea is an even more attractive shopping destination for Japanese shoppers. The PS3 prices at 448,000 won in South Korea, and it goes for around ¥39,900 in Japan.
Since Korea offers lower retail prices, the Japanese have traditionally visited the Korean Peninsula to pick up luxury items such as designer bags at "discount" prices. However, South Korea and Japan use different voltage frequencies with the nominal voltage for South Korea being 220/380 and being 100/200 for Japan. Those picking up a Korean PS3 for Japan will need a converter.
The PLAYSTATION 3 launched in South Korea on June 16, 2007. Only the 80GB version was available at launch.