The Game Pad
Getting your hands on a GP32 to play with isn't quite as simple as running down to the local HMV. It's exclusively sold in Korea, and its worldwide availability relies on a small number of import websites. Lik-Sang, GBAx, Play-Asia, Shibuya Game Store and Entware are the only ones I was able to find who were happy enough to ship to the UK. Exact pricing is a little tricky. I paid $159.00 plus shipping from Lik-Sang, which came to just under £105. In theory there would be a customs charge due on this (probably about 20% extra). However Lik-Sang made a mistake in labelling the package & grossly understated the value of the contents - Customs therefore did not stop the package & no tax was paid. I'd guess a £20-£30 charge would be normal.
Once the box finally arrives, regardless of whom you choose to use, you get
a box, containing the console, the USB cable, and an English-language manual.
Most units sold for export also come pre-equipped with an English firmware,
but this can be flashed yourself if you so desire. You'll notice that
it doesn't come with any games or media. You'll need to purchase
a SmartMedia card (128Mb costs just under £30 if you know where to look),
or a boxed game. The problem with boxed GP32 games is the somewhat heavy use
of Korean. This restricts the appeal of the boxed games somewhat, but fear not
- there's plenty more reasons to get one of these things...