Some opportunists saw the recent launch of the PlayStation 3 as a chance to make a quick $1,000. Their plan was to rough it in front of a store for days in hopes of getting one of the hard-to-find consoles and reselling it to cash-flush gamers willing to pay a premium for the system.
Popular online auction site eBay was the online marketplace of choice for most people looking to sell or buy a PS3, and the company revealed some of the numbers from the console's first week in North America.
eBay released data on its sales for Black Friday, the popular shopping day immediately following Thanksgiving, and tucked between the sales numbers of Tickle-Me Elmos and fruitcakes was information on sales of the PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360.
For the period between and including November 17 to November 24--the PS3's first eight days on sale--14,675 PS3s were sold through the online site for an average price of $1,186. eBay did not separate information for the PS3's two models; a 60GB version retails for $599 and a 20GB version sells for $499.
Those who hawked preorders fared slightly better. From October 19 to November 24, which included what eBay calls"pre-sale activity," 28,233 PS3s (or preorder rights to the machines) were sold for an average price of $1,370.
Numbers of the more readily available and cheaper Wii weren't too surprising. From the $250 console's debut on November 19 through Black Friday, 26,708 Wiis were sold on eBay for an average price of $412. Preorder madness wasn't as great for Nintendo's console--29,452 Wiis were sold for an average of $427.82 from October 19 to November 24.
The Web site also released information on sales of the Xbox 360, reporting that 331 systems were sold between November 12 and November 24 for an average of $421.
Prices for both the PS3 and Wii on eBay have been falling sharply since their much-hyped launches. A quick glance at listings on the site shows that most PS3 auctions (which still number more than 10,000) aren't exceeding $1,000, and most Wiis aren't going for more than $300.