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Thread: Counterfeit Gaming Merchandise (Not Dialup Friendly. LOTS of Screenshots).

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    Senior Member zborgerd's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
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    Counterfeit Gaming Merchandise (Not Dialup Friendly. LOTS of Screenshots).

    Seems that every day we hear about all sorts of game bootlegs, fake DS carts, PC Engine knockoffs, uncommon SNES games that get burnt ROM chips in a Madden shell. We've had a few threads where we've discussed the topic but it might be worthwhile to start a thread that's specific to this issue. It seems to be getting worse every day. In my recent quest to buy a few extra controllers, I've been finding that accessories are one segment of gaming that's being hit hard.

    I'd not really heard about knockoff PS3 controllers until I started browsing Ebay and started seeing some really obvious fakes. Some, however, were not so obvious. Most of the resources on this topic are several years old now, and the bootleggers have actually learned from some of their early mistakes. It's quite possible that even a lot of sellers don't know what they have.

    The best thing to do, if possible, is buy directly from reputable retail stores and only these stores. Sometimes it's not so easy and only third-party sellers on Amazon and Ebay are a valid option.

    My Ebay seller claimed to stand by his controllers 100%, citing that he opens up each batch to verify authenticity. Well, he either lied or doesn't know what to look for in a counterfeit controller, or else was careless with this batch. He refunded me without issue, after I explained what I found. His method of doing this was an order cancellation, which disallows the standard return process. He did ask for me to ship it back. I offered, if he pays return shipping, and he told me to just keep it. Evidently it wasn't worth it to him to resell a (now opened) counterfeit controller after paying two-way shipping. This tells me that he really does know what he has on hand.

    It's disappoint to me that he's had THOUSANDS of sales of this controller and only a small subset of his buyers know that they have fakes.

    Here are some pictures with some explanations of what to look for, as well as a few comparisons with a real Dual Shock 3. I may ultimately open it up to compare the guts with real DualShock 3 controllers:

    At first glance, you might be absolutely convinced that this controller is real. After all, it does say on the box that it's official. A common indicator on these boxes is the position of the "Charcoal Black" circle. It's closer to the corner and real official boxes have slightly different blue swirl shapes next to it.

    Pay close attention to the model on the bottom, by the UPC, CECHZC2U This is important:

    Older versions of this bootleg box had typos that were corrected over time,. "Software" was a notable typo according to this video from 2013 ( ):

    There are other telltale signs on the box that are detailed in that video. I'll avoid posting them here, but some of the logos and other visual indicators have also improved. Without an original, they are hard for me to detail.

    Text is not quite straight in some places, but it's hard to see in this photo. The SONY logo is angled downward as it progresses from left to right, and the start button is the same.

    In these newer batches of controllers, almost all of the shell moulding is seemingly identical to a real PS3 controller. Older versions had obvious issues with more screws, lower quality plastic work, etc. Not so much now. But look at the offset numbers for the player LEDs.

    The plastic on that analog stick looks about as high quality as Mad Katz circa 1998. In gameplay, the internals of the stick feel less responsive than a real controller, and require much more force to "click" L3 / R3 into place. They just feel really stiff.

    And the real killer here. It's missing an FCC ID and the model number is for a European pad. It should say CECHZC2U and instead says CECHZC2E. Strange that it came in a box for a North American version of the controller. Look at how the label was not centered properly either.

    Last edited by zborgerd; 01-28-2017 at 09:09 PM.

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