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Click to enlarge images courtesy of GameSpot

That pavement isn't as soft as it looks

Thumbs up!

It sure beats sleeping outside

A sea of homogeny waiting for PS3

No PS3 if you weren't behind this sign

Daybreak raffle hopefuls get caught in the rain

I'd be pretty happy too if I won a raffle
Line ups in the thousands, homeless PS3 buyers, customer reactions and female distaste

The PlayStation 3 will easily be one of this year's most sought after items. With American gamers putting their lives on hold for almost two weeks to wait in line until the November 17 launch, anticipation is at an all-time high. For Japanese gamers, however, the wait is over.

Sony's new console launched in Japan today, and was met with extensive lineups worthy of a human/ant farm colony simulation. Hundreds, if not thousands, of gamers queued outside Yodobashi and Bic Camera stores (big box retailers equivalent to our Best Buy or Frys) the night before the release hoping to purchase a console. Japanese retailers typically do not offer midnight releases, those in line for the console would have to wait until the morning.

For a peek at what the scene looked like during queuing hours, watch these videoclips from Yodabashi Umeda in Osaka.

Even with only 80,000 consoles expected for launch, gamers still lined up even if their chances of getting a PS3 were slim. According to GameSpot, the Yodabashi Camera store in Akihabara cleared the street clutter by moving over 1,500 waiting customers into an underground parking garage at a still-early 1:30 a.m.

Mind you, the Yodabashi location in Akihabara is like Toys 'R' Us in Times Square - it's a premiere location - with a relatively amazing 1,980 consoles for the store. And thus, everyone in the Yodabashi parking garage at that time would be able to purchase a console in the morning. Supplies were much thinner at other locations, with smaller gaming shops only receiving between 10-20 units. Even other Yodabashi Camera stores in majors centers such as Shinjuku received at most half of Akihabara's allocation. Store managers had to bring in an additional 200 employees and hire guards to handle the buyers.

"Even if we had 4,000 we'd still sell out today," Yodabashi Akihabara store manager Shinichi Adachi said. "I'd like to know when we'll get another delivery from Sony, but they're not saying."

The 20GB PS3 sold for 49,980 yen (approx. $424) and the 60GB PS3, which carried no official MSRP, commonly sold for 62,700 yen (approx. $533).

Interestingly enough, a black market developed for PlayStation 3. Console demand has been so strong that Japanese consumers were paying nearly three times retail pricing for pre-order slips, similar to the situation here in North America. What's different (or perhaps untapped) is that homeless men were paid to join the line ups in an effort for scheming individuals to circumvent the "limit one per customer" rule.

Needless to say, all of Japan was completely sold out of PlayStation 3 by the end of the morning. Gamers of all ages and walks of life, albeit predominantly male, had a few things to say about the experience.

"When Sony announced the Playstation 3 I really wanted one, but thought I should wait because of the high price," 25 year-old Akihiro Okawa, who was first in line at Yodabashi Akihabara, said. "When they cut the price, I decided to go ahead." 

"I've been waiting for this day to come for so long. I'll play it all through the weekend. No time for meals," said Tomoaki Nakamura, 41, who already owns all the Sony systems and an Xbox 360.

"This is like a festival," said Takahiro Watabe, 23, as he looked at the line of buyers as long as an entire city block. "I don’t think the new PlayStation is too expensive. If you consider it has a Blu-Ray drive, you can use it as a DVD player as well as a game machine."

One female shopper, however, was less enthusiastic about the console's launch. Natsuki Inoue, 27, felt that PlayStation 3 is designed to appeal to younger males.

"This is a toy for men," she said, as a screen flashed an image of a woman in an iron bikini cleaving a dragon’s head. "It’s hard to imagine women or children wanting this. It’s just too much."

Following the late night line up insanity, those who wished to purchase a PlayStation 3, but didn't manage to secure a guarantee slip, would have to leave it up to lady luck. Several stores reserved a portion of its units for a lottery system, which still involved line ups numbering in the hundreds, leaving a small glimmer of hope for the less hardcore crowd, reports GameSpot.

In a very Gatesy move, PlayStation father and president/CEO of SCEI Ken Kutaragi made an appearance at Bic Camera outlet in Tokyo's Yurakucho district to hand a console to the first customer in line, who was reportedly from China.

"I am so happy so many people are waiting," Kutaragi said to the crowd. "Thank you for waiting from late last night. Please enjoy next-generation entertainment."

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Insides of the PS3
By InTheNameOfMyself on 11/11/2006 7:40:11 PM , Rating: 2
The guys at this site has taken apart a new PS3 into pieces.


(It`s in Japanese, but the pics are big. )

RE: Insides of the PS3
By SLEEPER5555 on 11/11/2006 11:54:05 PM , Rating: 1
do you think that guys gona get that back together?

RE: Insides of the PS3
By Clauzii on 11/12/2006 12:13:55 AM , Rating: 2
So they build in a total PS2 alltogether (EE+GS+RAM) :)

RE: Insides of the PS3
By peternelson on 11/12/2006 9:57:53 AM , Rating: 2

Excellent way to create true backward compatibility, just add a real physical ps2 chip into your new design!

So, I can keep my ps2 games library ;-) Of course there are a very wide variety of games available for ps2 (and cheaply) so it is a great starting point.

Sure beats the lame backwards compatibility of x360, where you needed the hard drive and only a limited number of xbox titles were supported.

RE: Insides of the PS3
By stmok on 11/12/2006 11:00:29 AM , Rating: 2
In regards to the PS2 bits in the PS3, this is because they were not able to get the software emulator working in time. As a substitute, they basically put a PS2 in there! (Currently, the software emulator proved to be difficult and was not 100% backward compatible with ALL PS2 games).

Later versions of the PS3 are said NOT to have the PS2 built-in, and will solely rely on the software emulator. (Which, according to their reps, should be working by then!)

RE: Insides of the PS3
By Clauzii on 11/12/2006 11:07:39 AM , Rating: 2
Got a link about that?

RE: Insides of the PS3
By Clauzii on 11/12/2006 7:47:31 PM , Rating: 2
Do You really think they use time and money changing the whole PCB-design like that?

It's probably WAY cheaper to let the robots pump out EE+GS-chips. And ensure 100% software compatability indstead of the more risky software solution.

RE: Insides of the PS3
By stmok on 11/13/2006 3:53:55 AM , Rating: 2
There’s a PS2 hiding in the PS3 to guarantee 100% backwards compatibility for 8,181 PS2 games

RE: Insides of the PS3
By shadowzz on 11/13/2006 11:58:59 AM , Rating: 2
Looks like Dailytech ripped their's apart too

RE: Insides of the PS3
By Clauzii on 11/13/2006 12:17:31 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the link :)

RE: Insides of the PS3
By Clauzii on 11/12/2006 1:07:31 PM , Rating: 2
So why did this get rated down? Theres is NOTHING wrong with my statement...

RE: Insides of the PS3
By Clauzii on 11/13/2006 11:52:17 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks :)

Suddenly feels not so impressive....
By RussianSensation on 11/11/2006 2:22:39 PM , Rating: 2
After 8800GTX release and R600 to follow before full European PS3 launch (which will happen almost 1.5 years after Xbox360 launch), PS3 just seems so unimpressive, especially given the price premium over 360 and lack of any blockbuster gaming titles at launch.

360 didn't have any amazing exclusive games besides Call of Duty 3 and Gears of War released earlier this week. History has shown that consoles almost never have any great games until well a year into their launch (besides Nintendo that always manages to squeeze a mario or a zelda game at launch). Which means PS3 with good games worth playing won't be out until September, 2007.

But this is yet another example of why most consumers are brand whores are have no idea about technology.

RE: Suddenly feels not so impressive....
By braytonak on 11/11/06, Rating: -1
By jp7189 on 11/15/2006 3:25:48 PM , Rating: 2
It does make me wonder how many of those "consumers" that are lined up could actually be paid by Sony to stand there, drum up the excitement and help boost the appearance of demand and enthusiasm.

Yes, I'm sure Sony isn't already loosing enough money on this that they decided to spend more creating artificial demand for a product they can't possibly produce enough of.

RE: Suddenly feels not so impressive....
By tozz on 11/11/2006 2:47:13 PM , Rating: 2
PC's have theoretically more powerful parts, but as a trade off you have to do some wickedly general coding that won't be close to using the full potential of the hardware. Different OS, different drivers, different hardware combinations, etc.

The impressive thing about a console isn't a part-for-part basis but rather the combination and how developers will be able to use the hardware fully. Just compare the pure technological aspects of cross platform titles vs. exclusive ones to see the extreme difference.

RE: Suddenly feels not so impressive....
By saratoga on 11/12/2006 2:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
PC's have theoretically more powerful parts, but as a trade off you have to do some wickedly general coding that won't be close to using the full potential of the hardware.

Direct X 10 will mostly change that, and the hardware to do it is already shipping. IMO this problem will gradually fade in the next couple years due to the rapid standardization of hardware and software under MS's lead.

RE: Suddenly feels not so impressive....
By Enoch2001 on 11/12/2006 10:08:05 AM , Rating: 2
360 didn't have any amazing exclusive games besides Call of Duty 3 and Gears of War released earlier this week.

Errr - are speaking in past tense or present? At launch, the 360 only had Call of Duty 2 as a premier title and that wasn't exclusive - it was available on the PC (and played better with a mouse and keyboard). And Call of Duty 3 isn't 360 exclusive; it's available for the PS3 - and looks better.

At any rate, Gears of War is the 360's exclusive *MUST HAVE* title IMHO, especially playing in co-op with a friend. Killer game.

By tigen on 11/12/2006 4:39:22 PM , Rating: 2
Who says Call of Duty 3 looks better on PS3? Got any examples? I just looked at Gamespot and they seem the same.

By h0kiez on 11/12/2006 11:06:45 PM , Rating: 3
With regard to Gears of War...yup...what he said. It is the best looking game far. I have no doubt that in 6 months, some PC game running 3 8800GTXs and a quad core 2 will be much higher res and look even better, but the point is that it's ALWAYS about the games. The hardware only determines a game's potential, not whether or not that potential is filled.

By DingieM on 11/13/2006 5:22:47 AM , Rating: 2
If I recall correctly, PGR3 was a launch title as well?
Anyhow it takes almost more than a year to adapt to new technology, and this counts for the PC as well. Only Crysis may seem to break that barrier a little.

I'm sorry to say but CoD3 plays better on 360 than on PS3 (check GameSpot) and many people said it also looks better on 360. So go figure.
Personally I don't want to buy CoD3 because it doesn't look next-gen all-the-way. So for some parts it deserves to be called a next-gen but just take a look closer and you will see it.

GoW is a must have, its coming out this friday in Europe and I took a day off (for other reasons) but I sure will check out the stores that morning!! I streamed a good number of HD gametrailers and it looks and plays absolutely stunning. Its a pity the single player experience is somewhat short and I do hope there will be some added value in the form of downloads...
Besides this CliffyB said that the engine and definitely the Xbox360 is capable of much more! So my investment for a Xbox360 is a really good choice. Now I'm looking forward for PGR4.

By crystal clear on 11/11/2006 5:19:30 PM , Rating: 2
PS3 has created large groups of opportunist wanting to make
a quicky fast buck.
All those out there waiting to get in to buy only to have them resold.This is not geniune demand its a rip off.

Lets have a PS3 reviued by Anand-it would be interesting reading.

As for Sony-faulty machines could destroy any interest existing in the PS3.
Machines were produced under intense pressure to meet delivery schedules-quality control????I hope not like sony batteries.

RE: Opportunists
By Ard on 11/11/2006 5:44:04 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree with you on that. This is clearly genuine demand because people are buying those resold PS3s. Now, if a whole bunch get returned to stores because would-be resellers couldn't close the deal, that's another story and you have a point. But at this point, every single eBay auction I've had my eye on has sold successfully.

RE: Opportunists
By Ralph The Magician on 11/11/2006 6:26:39 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, what happened with XBOX 360 is that most of the people buying them on eBay were just reselling them for an even higher price. That's how the price climbed so high, $3,500 for some auctions. The people who paid $3,500 probably thought they could sell it for $4,000, but eventually the whole thing just crashes.

I know because I bought 3 XBOX 360s for about $1,500 and sold them all on eBay 48hrs later for over $2,000 each. Best I got was $2,850.

RE: Opportunists
By crystal clear on 11/13/2006 3:43:18 AM , Rating: 2
Read this maybe you will know what OPPORTUNISTS means-
"Used" PS3 Store Price Hits $1,200 In Japan

RE: Opportunists
By crystal clear on 11/13/2006 7:40:20 AM , Rating: 2
You(Ard) disagree becomes you are not aware of the realities in the market.WAKE UP
Read this post-by Hakaru & the link plus my link earlier.

The setup of using homeless or poor chinese men to buy consoles for a Japanese scalper 'boss' is amazing.


RE: Opportunists
By crystal clear on 11/13/2006 7:52:11 AM , Rating: 2
Reading all the subsequent post after original one-


PLUS my link PROVES IT-the website has a lot of pictures & stories of all this.

The Dark Side of the PS3 Launch...
By Engine of End on 11/12/2006 10:36:04 AM , Rating: 5
Thought this might interest some of you.

Very sad, really.

By Hakuryu on 11/12/2006 11:39:07 AM , Rating: 3
Thanks for the link to a good read.

The setup of using homeless or poor chinese men to buy consoles for a Japanese scalper 'boss' is amazing.

By crystal clear on 11/13/2006 7:42:16 AM , Rating: 2

By archcommus on 11/11/2006 1:44:32 PM , Rating: 2
If the demand is apparently so high (the situation will be similar here in America), why are we all saying the PS3 will fail miserably again?

RE: So...
By Gigahertz19 on 11/11/2006 2:03:23 PM , Rating: 1
Over time it could possibly fail, one big reason I read about was it's very hard to program games for it since it uses the Cell processor, X-Box 360 is much more similar to a PC so programming is easier.

I don't think it will fail, Sony just needs to get some good games out and hopefully their online service will compete with X-Box live I haven't heard or read anything about how they plan for people to play against each other online and download content.

I plan on waiting in line at Best Buy, Circuit City or Wal-Mart to get a chance to buy one of these. I have no intention of keeping it but I plan on selling it on E-Bay where the average price their going for is $1,500 after watching dozens of auctions end. The chance to make an easy grand for just waiting in line is to good to pass up, a poor Penn State college student needs any money that comes my way :)

RE: So...
By MrDiSante on 11/11/2006 2:28:47 PM , Rating: 2
Because, if you look at things on the bigger scale even 10 million units isn't a whole lot. Considering 100 million for the last gen devices (and still being sold) a sell-out of 80 000 units is a drop in the well. Anyhow no point predicting the failure or success of things unless you hold the stock of those companies. Only time will tell.

RE: So...
By ViperROhb34 on 11/11/2006 11:56:27 PM , Rating: 3
Most people felt they would sell out.. havent you read the forums here and everywhere?

I mean when you sell so few.. of course hardcore fans will buy em as well as scalpers who wan tto resale them.

MS had 160K Xbox 360's to sell in Japan at launch.. SOny has 80K to sell.. MS who isn't even that popular in Japan sold 62k their 1st two days.. 62K! Thats nearly what Sony has available for their TOTAL Japanese launch !
Wait till Wii launches.. their sales numbers in Japan wull make Sony Look REALLLLY BAD !!

RE: So...
By AlexWade on 11/12/2006 8:34:41 AM , Rating: 1
If everybody cared about the PS3 as much as these losers, then it wouldn't be a failure. As it stands, these are a very small part of the population. Selling out the Sony fanboys, or Nintendo fanboys or Microsoft fanboys, is easy. Selling out to everyone else is not.

Sony doesn't get it...
By cscpianoman on 11/12/2006 9:54:59 AM , Rating: 2
They said at E3 they weren't charging enough for the PS3. Yet they still sell it for the previously advertised price. At the same time you have all these people waiting in line to sell the console on Ebay for a massive profit. To me, at least, Sony is going about it all the wrong way. They should have each console sold to the highest bidder. Sit the PS3 in front of a crowd and let them duke it out about the price. The hardcore people get their PS3 and Sony gets to actually make a profit on some of their consoles.

RE: Sony doesn't get it...
By peternelson on 11/12/2006 10:00:56 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah direct Sony launch on ebay would have many advantages eg getting what you are willing to pay for, and eradicate the "opportunist" buyers who have no intention of playing with it.

RE: Sony doesn't get it...
By theapparition on 11/13/2006 7:24:15 AM , Rating: 2
Manufacturers are required to set MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price) on items sold. Selling the item for more than MSRP is price gouging (illegal in the US).
Resellers are free to charge whatever they like. (Just to clarify, I don't agree with reselling, but that's capitalism).

Not to mention that Sony would be neglecting its sales chain. Each store makes a profit (meager one) but it gets customers in the store to buy other things at higher profit. That's why you'll never see a company like that sell direct to ebay.

By Josh7289 on 11/11/2006 3:43:28 PM , Rating: 2
Jeez. Japan gets the things almost $75 cheaper on each model. When there is real availability next year, that's definitely not going to look nice. I hope we get a price drop soon...

RE: Prices...
By feelingshorter on 11/11/2006 5:59:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yea. I cant believe how huge that store is, they nearly got 2000 PS3s!

At least wait till the..
By ViperROhb34 on 11/11/2006 11:52:03 PM , Rating: 2
True sales figures come out before you toot your horn..

I mean Xbox 360 ( which had way more then 80k to sell in Japan ) sold 62K the first couple days it was on sale and that was considered a faliure to MS for what they expected.. and when they had 160k to sell that 1st day.. it sure looks that way.. Of course Xbox 360 has picked up recently there due to Blue Dragon coming out from that FF guy..

The truth is most people feel they will sell out on launch and still fail. It's easy to sell out when you have alot less to sell at laucnh. The real failure comes when the HARDCORE people like me who don't wait in line to buy one.. or the people who can't afford one guy buy a cheaper system.

Quite a few people I talk have said they would like to get one at launch so they could sell it to some fool who'll pay 3 times as much which doesnt help Sony..

RE: At least wait till the..
By saratoga on 11/12/2006 2:57:01 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Cheaper then US pricing and small stock ensures they'll sell out at launch in Japan. What really counts is how many they've sold a year from now, and IMO things aren't looking to good for Sony unless they can really keep up the momentium.

PS3...who cares?
By AppaYipYip on 11/12/06, Rating: 0
RE: PS3...who cares?
By bokep on 11/13/06, Rating: 0
RE: PS3...who cares?
By AssMonkey76 on 11/13/06, Rating: 0
RE: PS3...who cares?
By pskelley08 on 11/13/2006 7:33:54 AM , Rating: 2
I've been trying to explain that for years. PC will always own and no one can convince me otherwise. PS3 is a buch of hoopla, get it when its cheaper....maybe.....but to randomly waste 600 bucks on a console?....yeah right

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