Well, it appears that the doom and gloom for Sony just continues and continues. Man, these guys are having some extreme bad luck lately. Due to a shortage in blue diodes that are needed in the manufacturing of PS3 systems, Sony has been forced to cancel their Worldwide launch, and instead they are going to focus on the US market and Japan. Japan will supposedly only get 100,000 PS3's for launch, and the U.S. will get 400,000.
Only 400,000 PS3's at launch for North America, will translate into extreme shortages and outrageous Ebay prices. Imagine trying to divide up 400,000 systems among Canada and the U.S. and all the various retailers. You have Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, Circuit City, Sears, Electronics Boutique, GameStop, etc, etc, etc. Imagine all the various stores that carry Playstation products, all around Canada and the U.S. All of these retail outlets are going to be fighting for their allotment of the 400,000. Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target and Costco will likely get the lions share of systems. Electronics Boutique and GameStop will get a decent amount, but they have thousands and thousands of stores they have to share their allotment with. I'm 10th on the list at my local GameCrazy, and with this information, I'll be lucky to get a call from them in late February 2007, telling me they finally have my pre-ordered PS3 in stock.
Pre-Ordering from GameStop or EB would be a good idea, but only if I was lucky enough to find out the exact date that they are going to start taking preorders. So far, there hasn't been any word as to when that day is going to be. All one can do is simply call EB and GameStop every morning and ask if they are going to start taking preorders today. And then on the day that they are going to take preorders, there could easily be a long line in front of every GameStop just to get a freaking pre-order. If you aren't in the first 10 people, your chances of getting a launch unit are virtually nill.
So, that leaves the camping strategy. Normally, with camping, if you are willing to spend the night in front of a Target or Costco or BestBuy, you will be assured of a system, but you will have to spend a blistery night in the cold and windy and rainy conditions. I know, first hand. When the PS2 came out, I forgot to get a pre-order early, and I spent the night in front of a Target to get one. It was cold, windy and raining. It was absolutely miserable, but I did get my hands on one. However, this time it's going to be much more difficult than that. This is the year 2006. That was back in 2000. Nowadays, we aren't only going to have to fight other gamers to try to get our hands on a PS3, we are going to have to fight Ebay Profiteers that don't get a rats ass about gaming.
With only 400,000 units in all of North America at launch, and no PS3's for all of Europe and Australia, the resale market on Ebay is going to be out of this world. With the PS3 costing $600, I can easily see people getting triple that on Ebay, if not more. It will not be suprising in the least to see PS3 systems selling for 2 grand on Ebay. There are enough super rich people Worldwide, that will want to get their hands on a unit, just so they can have one the day it's available somewhere in the world. Plus you have all the super rich people in the USA that won't be able to find one at any store, and will be willing to deal with the ridiculous Ebay mark up. Of course, it's all supply and demand, so what are you going to do?
Sorry to digress on that, but the fact of the matter is that every Ebay reseller worth their salt is going to find out about the PS3 (I'm talking non video game Ebay resellers), and the extreme shortages, and a lightbulb is going to go off above their heads. They are going to think..."I just have to spend the night in front of a Target, use my $600 to buy a PS3 and then sell it on Ebay for 2 grand! It will be the easiest $1400 I've ever made in my life!!!". So not only are you going to have tons of Sony fanboys camping in front of Best Buys and Targets, but you are going to have tons of non-gamer Ebay and Craiglslist profiteers camping as well. What does this all mean? This means that you aren't simply going to be able to camp the night before like normal. You might actually have to camp "MULTIPLE" days in advance if you really want to guarantee yourself a PS3.
It's going to be fucking bonkers.