PlayStation 3 consoles were selling at about a 50 percent mark-up on their retail price on Saturday evening in Japan, about 12 hours after the console made its worldwide debut.
The PlayStation 3, Sony Computer Entertainment's first new console in six years, went on sale at many major retailers in Japan at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning and almost immediately sold-out. Sony's total shipment for launch had been cut back to 100,000 units due to component shortages.
From interviews with many of the people waiting in line at one retailer in central Tokyo it was clear that a sizable minority were buying the console in the hope of making a quick profit.
A look at listings on Yahoo Auctions, one of Japan's top online auction sites, on Saturday night reveals that there is a profit to be made from selling the PS3. But there is also a good supply of consoles that is helping to stop prices reaching levels seen before launch or being seen currently in the U.S.
Versions of the more expensive model that has a 60G-byte hard-disk drive, were selling for around YEN 90,000 (AUD$1000), which is about 50 percent higher than the retail price. The cheaper machine, which retails for about YEN 50,000, was selling for around YEN 70,000. At close to 10 p.m. there was an auction ending about once every minute on average.
Prices for Japanese consoles on the U.S. Ebay site were much more difficult to find and consequently fetching higher prices. One auction for a 60G-byte console to ship on Monday was at US$1,731 with 4 hours left to run. On Ebay's German Web site a 60G-byte console from Japan was at Euro 700 (AUD$1174) with 2 days to run.
The PlayStation 3 will go on sale in North America, Taiwan and Hong Kong this Friday and in Europe and Australia in March 2007, according to Sony's current plans.