It truly is Christmas in the ROK when people are queuing up at the electronics market in Yongsan, eagerly shelling out their cash on various electronic goodies. My post about where to buy a PS4 is one of my most popular posts. I usually get a few questions or comments a month and would just like to share a few of them before divulging into the latest prices.
How to get there (Yongsan Electronic Market): It doesn’t take a genius to get there, but at the same time it can be a little tricky. You need to go to Yongsan station, as the Electronic Market is near the station. Depart from exit 2 and head across the street. Now you are going to see a bunch of buildings connected, including Yongsan station right in the middle. Head to the building on your right, as you are facing the three buildings from across the street. Thankfully, there is lots of signage in English to help guide your way.
How to get to Video Game Alley: Although it’s not much of a secret, it’s still not in the open. This is mainly because a lot of these places are cash only… uhh if you know what I mean. Anyway, the easiest way to get there is to travel by subway. Go to Sinyongsan Station (Line 4) and depart from Exit 5. Now you are going to walk through a large tunnel.
As JP put it, you don’t want to get stuck here in a zombie apocalypse. Anyway, you are going to walk through these tunnels for about 250 meters. Once you exit the tunnel, you’ll need to cross the street to your left. Look for the large Playstation advertisement. If you turn around, off in the distance you will see the IPark mall and Yongsan Station.
Finally, you should be near. If you see a little outdoor food stall selling various street meats and drinks, it is right behind it. Look for the giant red letters spelling “게임 전문 상가” which translates to “Specialist Game Shop”.
FAQ 1: Are the games in English?
For the most part yes. Granted, there are some games that are produced in Korea or Japan that will probably not be in English. However, those are for the hardcore gamers whom are looking for a niche market. However, mainstream games such as GTA5, Madden, NHL 20XX and various other games produced in America are all in English. I have bought many game here and not once have I had to return a game because it wasn’t in English. If you are unsure, most of the vendors at the Yongsan Electronic Market and Video Game Alley speak a little English and will inform you if the game is in English or not. They deal with foreigners all day.
FAQ 2: Will PS4 games I purchase in Korea play on my North American system?
Yes! Playstation is global and not regionally restricted. Although I bought my PS3 here in Seoul, many of my friends brought their systems over from North America and have purchased games here. On the flip side, I have bought games in the USA and played them on my Korean PS3.
FAQ 3: Will XBOX games I purchase in Korea play on my XBOX 360 or XBOX 1?
To be honest, I don’t know about this one. I am a Playstation guy and I lost all faith in XBOX when it had more red rings of death than a Brazilian prostitute during World Cup. Now that image is in your head, I’ve heard of two conflicting incidents. A close friend of mine moved to Jeju and desperately wanted to play GTA 5, so I picked him up a copy from Yongsan. He bought his XBOX from the states and had no problems with the game. However, I’ve heard horror stories of people purchasing the games and having them restricted. My advice would be to ask the vendor and get his information (business card and receipt will work). If there are any problems, you can return the game.
Updated Prices (December 2014)
PS4: Yongsan Market and Video Game Alley
At the Yongsan Market, I actually found a great deal. The PS4 was going for a reasonable 399,000KRW if you pay cash. There was a little haggling, as I walked from vendor to vendor trying to get the lowest price. There is a picture of the vendor below (4th floor Yongsan market). If you are going to go the credit card route its going to cost 435,000KRW.
At Video Game Alley, the prices remained the same as the market. Finally, they have learned! A PS4 was retailing at 410,000KRW if you pay with cash or 460,000KRW with credit card.
The Wii, for those whom long remember their old Nintendo days was retailing for 160,000KRW. I’ve always been a big Nintendo fan. My wife still has her original NES and it still works to this day. Name me another electronic that works for 20+ years flawlessly.
Finally, if you are going to go the XBOX1 way, first I would like to say “good luck”. The retail price of the XBOX 1 was going for 420,000KRW cash.