Ahead of launch, PlayStation 3 hits net auctions

Sellers on online auction sites are offering PlayStation 3 reservations ahead of the console's launch

The PlayStation 3 won't hit store shelves until this weekend in Japan and next week in North America, but that hasn't stopped it already appearing on Internet auction sites.

In Japan and North America people who managed to reserve consoles for the Nov. 11 and Nov. 17 respective launch dates are selling their reservations for a handsome profit. Demand for the console, which is Sony Computer Entertainment's first new offering in six years, is high in part because the company has had to cut back launch shipments of the console due to component supply problems.

On Yahoo Auctions, the leading online auction site in Japan, reservation tickets for the console are being offered at starting prices ranging from YEN 1,000 to YEN 20,000 (AUD$11 to $220). The tickets can be exchanged at shops for a new PlayStation 3 on launch day but that invariably means buyers will have to travel to the store in question.

In the U.S., eBay's users are auctioning off PlayStation 3 reservations but including the price of the console and shipping. A number of consoles listed on the site are being sold for prices between US$1,200 (AUD$1,558) and $1,600, which amounts to a nice profit on the price tag of US$600 for the more expensive of the two PlayStation 3 consoles due out

In most cases the sellers are including scanned receipts from shops as verification of their reservation.

The console will also go on sale in Hong Kong and Taiwan on Nov. 17. Consumers in Europe, Australia and New Zealand will have to wait until March 2007 to get their hands on a console through local retailers, according to Sony's current launch schedule.

Last week one of the biggest online games exporters, Hong Kong-based Lik Sang, closed down after Sony sued the company for online sales of the PlayStation Portable. In the past Lik Sang had offered consumers worldwide the chance to buy new game hardware and software simultaneously with its Japanese release date.

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service

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