Gamers que up in London for PS3 launch Friday


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Sony launches its PlayStation 3 (PS3) console in Europe on Friday, attempting to reclaim its title as the powerhouse of video gaming.

The company trails Microsoft and Nintendo in sales of next generation consoles and the launch has been beset with problems in the last year.

But the PlayStation brand remains strong with gamers and one million PS3s will hit shops on day one.

Some gamers have been queuing in London since Wednesday afternoon.

Sony has declared its launch of PlayStation 3 to date as a success, saying early sales are faster than those of its predecessor PS2.

It believes that the combination of a high-definition Blu-ray DVD player, online capabilities and gaming powered by the Cell processor will convince gamers to spend ?425 (599 Euros) on the machine.

"High definition is very important to people," said Ray Maguire, head of Sony Computer Entertainment in the UK.

"A lot of people have bought flat panel TVs and they want content to go on it and PlayStation 3 is one of the few places they can get that kind of experience."

Sales figures from the United States, where the console launched last November, suggest that PS3 is being outsold by rivals. Recent figures from sales trackers NPD show that the Nintendo Wii is outselling the PS3 by more than two to one.

But the NPD figures also show that the PS3 is selling slightly faster in the US than the Xbox 360 did at the same stage in its release.

More than 200,000 consoles will be available on launch day in the UK, four month's later than originally planned.

Phil Harrison, Sony's head of worldwide studios, said the delay was "regrettable".

"But there are benefits for European consumers - there are more games available, more Blu-ray movies and we've updated the online PlayStation network."

Virgin's flagship store on Oxford Street, London, will open at midnight on Thursday despite concern from police about potential muggings.

Sony has said it has put several measures in place to ensure people attending the launch get home safely. Other shops in central London have now abandoned plans to hold similar midnight openings.

John Houlihan, editor of Computer and Videogames.com, said the initial line-up of games for the machine was "fairly decent".

"It lacks a must-buy, stand-out game. Six months down the line we will see Metal Gear Solid 4, Gran Turismo and more PlayStation bankers."

He added: "PlayStation is still the world's most successful gaming brand ever.

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This isn't really new but good publicity for the PS3 in Europe regardless when random people begin to wonder why there are lines of people outside stores.

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wow, that took long time to get there

Thank the shortages...or Europe itself. Seems like Europe always gets the bottom end of the stick.

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Thank the shortages...or Europe itself. Seems like Europe always gets the bottom end of the stick.

It isn't so bad anymore - with many game developers now in Yurop at least we start to get games earlier than US. Also eastern yurop is starting to slowly "get with the game" and is seeing double digit growth where-as critical mass in USA (most likely) has been reached.

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Thank the shortages...or Europe itself. Seems like Europe always gets the bottom end of the stick.

So who gets the sharp end?

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Can someone quickly clarify for me... there are no regions on PS3 right? I could get one in US for ?310 and it would work fine will all PAL movies and games?

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Can someone quickly clarify for me... there are no regions on PS3 right? I could get one in US for ?310 and it would work fine will all PAL movies and games?

It can play all Blu Ray Games region Free but you cant play your old PAL ps2 games or any PAL DVD movies!

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i'm not surprised people weren't jumping over one another, or shooting.. or robbing each other over the PS3, since Sony decided to screw all Europeans from buying the console on the Japanese / American release date.

Sony needs to re-market this console in order to win the public over

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Yes, you can really see the people qeuing up in London:

ps3-london-death-of-lifestyle.jpg

lower left: bored staff talking with each other because they have nothing to do

center: entertainer

upper right: journalist

not there: people actually wanting to buy a PS3 :laugh:

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