While India remains a top priority market for most tech brands, not every high-profile device can be purchased in India on the first day of its launch. There is a whole set of reasons, including limited supply, logistics issues and average revenue per user, that explain why certain over-hyped products take months to reach Indian shores. Due to the unavailability, often such items are sold at the grey market that attracts the highest prices and are considered the most desirable among early adopters and collectors.
Here are five devices, from the PlayStation 5, Surface Duo to OnePlus 8T Cyberpunk 2077 Limited Edition that we wish were available in India.
If there is one product that has created more buzz in the tech world this year, it has to be the PlayStation 5. The PS5 was expected to do well but no one knew the demand for the next-generation game console would be so high. In fact, the recent statement by Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan saying the PS5 is absolutely” sold out worldwide indicates the supply shortage will continue for months. We wouldn’t be terribly surprised to see Sony delaying the launch of the PS5 in India until the company solves supply constraints. The PlayStation 5 went on sale in the US and Europe earlier this month, and despite its $500/€500 price tag, the console sold out in minutes. According to some unconfirmed reports, the PS5 sold between 2.1 and 2.5 million units worldwide on day one, making it Sony’s biggest console launch ever.
OnePlus 8T Cyberpunk 2077 Limited Edition
OnePlus has a new phone but it isn’t the upcoming OnePlus 9 but a futuristic-looking Cyberpunk 2077-themed OnePlus 8T. This limited-edition phone carries a Cyberpunk 2077 theme, an action role-playing game that been in the making for seven years. With the hype around Cyberpunk 2077 at an all-time high ahead of its December 10 release, it is natural to expect the craze for the special edition of OnePlus 8T that has striking yellow accents and a Cyberpunk 2077 logo on the bottom of the device. From the packaging to the phone’s giant camera module, the limited edition Cyberpunk 2077 version of OnePlus 8T is the widest phone we’ve seen in years. The phone’s specs remain the same: a 120Hz OLED display, Snapdragon 865 chip, 12GB of RAM and 256GB storage. It’s a pity that this collector’s item is limited to China, where it retails for CNY 3,999 (or approx Rs 44,790).
Nintendo Game & Watch
The 80s was the era of disco music, the arrival of Madonna in the global music scene, and the Game & Watch, Nintendo’s first portable game console. After 40 long years, Nintendo has brought back its iconic handheld console for those who weren’t born back then. The new Game & Watch adopts the same design as the original, this time it has a colour LCD screen along with a rechargeable battery and USB connection. It is capable of playing three games: “Super Mario Bros,” “Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels” and “Ball, with only the latter game playable in black and white. And like the original Game & Watch, the new version doubles as an alarm clock. The new Game & Watch is seen as a collector’s item for diehard Nintendo fans, perhaps why the device will only be produced until March next year. Since the handheld console has a nostalgic value attached to it, scalpers are already selling the $50 Game & Watch for well over its standard price on eBay.
Microsoft Surface Duo
One device that we thought should be on this list is the dual-screen Surface Duo. Named one of Time Magazine’s best inventions of 2020, the Surface Duo is a niche product that gives a peek into the future of a pocketable multitasking device. The Duo isn’t a smartphone with a foldable screen. It’s a new type of device that folds and has two screens. Maybe it’s less ambitious than foldables from Samsung and Huawei, but it does a lot of things right from the software point of view. It allows you to run different apps on each of the two screens, or you can run the same app across both screens at the same time. Although reviewers weren’t kind to the Surface Duo, the $1400 dual-screen does manage to put Microsoft back in the spotlight for trying something new. Disappointingly, though, the Surface Duo is only on sale in the US at the moment.
Amazon Echo Frames (2nd gen)
Would you want to put a computer on your face? Maybe you are not ready for it but Amazon does see smart glasses as the next big thing in consumer tech. Its second-generation Alexa-enabled Echo Frames, which will go on sale in the US on December 10 for $250, is ready for mass consumption. They look just like the original Echo Frames that were introduced as a “Day One Edition” invitation-only product, but the second-gen model includes increased battery life by 40 per cent, better sound quality and more. And while the Echo Frames seem light enough for everyday use, it would take years for people to get used to smart glasses.