Nintendo may have forsaken India when it comes to Miitomo and The Pokemon Company may have ignored the country for Pokemon Go, but that hasn’t stopped local game sites from listing Pokemon Sun and Moon for the Nintendo 3DS.
Amazon India and Games The Shop have the hotly awaited duo of Pokemon games up for pre-order. Both sites have them listed for Rs. 4,099 each. Amazon India’s listing shows Sameo - a brand by which Mumbai-based distributor Sunder Electronics operates under, as the supplier, and promises a November 18 release date, in line with what it is internationally. To put it into perspective, Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby cost Rs. 3,799 a piece at launch.
Nonetheless, it’s extremely steep a price considering that the games are available for $40 (around Rs. 2,666) in the US. More so when other games priced at $40 globally - like Recore - are for Rs. 3,299.
We've been given to understand that the reason for the high price has to do with the customs duty levied on games that have been officially imported. It's something local retailers are also aware of, and the more enterprising of these have made their own arrangements, unofficially of course.
What makes matters even more complicated is that the grey market will have these games available day and date for considerably less, in the range of Rs. 2,700 to Rs. 3,200.
Or if you're fine with a digital copy, you can create a Nintendo eShop account with a US address and purchase eShop cards from a site like Play Asia or Maximus Cards. Then you can buy it digitally from your 3DS, for approximately Rs. 2,700.
Much like Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby, until Nintendo decides to take India seriously, those interested in what the House of Mario has to offer will have to go through the hoops to get their games as compared to those who prefer what Sony and Microsoft bring to the table. Or simply do without. Considering how well the company's games have been selling unofficially, it's evident that legalities mean very little for the Pokemon-starved Indian.