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 from appearing on Internet auction sites.
In Japan and North America people who managed to reserve consoles for the Nov. 11 and Nov. 17 launch dates are selling their reservations for a handsome profit. Demand for the console, which is Sony's first new offering in six years, is high in part because the company has had to cut back launch shipments 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 ¥1,000 to ¥20,000 (US$9 to $169). The tickets can be exchanged at shops for a new PlayStation 3 on launch day, although that invariably means that buyers will have to travel to the store in question.
In the U.S., eBay 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 between $1,200 and $1,600, which amounts to a nice profit on the price tag of $600 for the more expensive of the two PlayStation 3 models. 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. People 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 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.
This story, "Ahead of launch, PlayStation 3 hits Net auctions" was originally published by PCWorld.