Demand for Sony's new console is cooling throughout North America and Japan, but European gamers appear to be eager to land the newest PlayStation (priced at Â£425 or €599) on March 23. Unlike the past PS3 launches, however, retailers are expecting ample supply of consoles. "Interest in PS3 is building the closer we get to launch. Much of our stock is accounted for via pre-orders, which may mean that some of our stores can actually look forward to selling some live stock for a change," said Tim Ellis of HMV.
Retailers were planning for midnight launches, but police have been urging store managers to defer sales until the early morning in the interest of consumer safety. "We do not support these midnight launches, that is the bottom line. There are inherent problems we can't deal with easily," said a spokesperson for Marylebone Police in London. UK retailer GAME has decided to move its midnight opening at its flagship Oxford Street store to 7 a.m. in order to "guarantee gamers have access to public transport so they can easily and safely transport their consoles home in daylight."
HMV is moving the opening of its Oxford Street store to 7:30 a.m. for similar reasons, while 50 other stores in less high-profile areas will maintain their midnight launch schedules. To help make up for the small delay, HMV is teaming up with Sega to offer the first 150 customers purchasing a PS3 a free copy of Virtua Tennis 3. GAME is inviting the first 150 gamers who have pre-ordered the console to the store at 7 a.m. for bacon butties, pastries and coffee and the chance to claim Sony goodie bags. After 9 a.m. the store will be open for all GAME customers.
News source: DailyTech