Midnight PS3 madness in Japan

Thousands gather outside various Tokyo retailers for the chance to obtain one of Sony's scarce next-gen consoles.

by

TOKYO--Getting a preorder for the PlayStation 3 has been nothing but hardship for many gamers in Japan, since it was expected that trying to buy a unit without one would be next to impossible. However, it may turn out that lining up to buy on launch day isn't going to be as difficult as it once seemed.

Around the time of the 2006 Tokyo Game Show, Sony announced that its day-one shipment of PS3s in Japan on November 11 will only be 100,000 units. In 2004, the company shipped double that number of PlayStation Portables, which sold out in a matter of minutes. To make things worse, recent industry reports have been saying that the actual shipment could be as low as 80,000 units.

Most retailers have kept their expected PS3 inventories secret, but a few places disclosed figures that brought a chill to gamers without preorders. Laox announced that they would be receiving only 10 to 20 units for each of their stores in Nakano, Toyosu, and Atsugi, though it kept its Akihabara branch figures undisclosed. Best Denki's Shinjuku branch and GEO's Ishikawa branch revealed that they will be getting only five units each, despite both of them being nationwide chains.

Finding a PS3 preorder on the Internet seemed equally unlikely. Amazon Japan closed its preorder offer just 20 minutes after it opened last month. The online shop for national chain Tsutaya overloaded, closing down in just five minutes. Gamers praying that Sony would offer a massive number of preorders at its official shopping site were also disappointed. Two weeks ago, Sony Computer Entertainment Japan announced that it won't sell the console at all online.

Many national chain stores announced weeks ago that they wouldn't be taking preorders at launch due to a lack of units. Established chains including Sofmap, Kojima Electronics (no relation to the Metal Gear Solid producer), and most Bic Camera stores opted to hold raffles on launch day and sell units to the lucky winners.

The last resort for getting a PS3 console at launch was going to be stores that were going to sell the units on a first-come, first-served basis. And as it turns out, it pays off to never give up.

Lucky PlayStation 3 happy magic ticket!

GameSpot made the rounds through the stores of Tokyo around midnight. To our surprise, when we reached Akihabara's Yodobashi Camera, Tokyo's biggest electronics store, at 1:30 a.m., the huge line of over 600 people had disappeared, with only a small row of about 70 or so people milling about the store's entrance.

Looks, however, can be deceiving. The line had actually grown to a size of nearly 1,500 customers, and Yodobashi employees decided to move everyone into the store's basement-level parking lot. All the customers that were moved were given numbered tickets that guaranteed them a PS3, although some people in the back were told that they may not be able to choose between the 20GB and 60GB PS3 models. The 70-odd people outside weren't guaranteed a PS3, but they decided to continue lining up with hopes that there may be some leftovers or cancellations.

Inside the parking lot, most of the people seemed lively, probably because they knew they were going to get a PS3. They might have also been happy that they didn't have to wait for days outside. The man in the very front of the line had only arrived at 10 p.m. the previous night, while the last customers, who had tickets numbered in the mid-1400's, hadn't shown up until midnight.

Another store, the Laox Asobit City, also had a large number of people lining up for the PS3, although nowhere as many as the Akihabara Yodobashi Camera. As mentioned above, Laox has been one of the few chains that revealed the number of PS3s it will sell in most of its stores, so we expected the Akihabara line to be about 30 people by midnight, at most. But by 1:30 a.m., the line stood 250 strong, and an employee was shooing people away from its end, saying the store had no more units to sell.

At the Shinjuku Yodobashi Camera, there were a total of approximately 780 people waiting to buy a PS3. Similarly to the Akihabara branch, the people in line were given numbered tickets that guaranteed them a unit. And at the line's end, there was a sign that read "sold out." According to one of the customers in the rear, he was able to get a ticket despite showing up as late as 10:30 p.m.

So what happened when the clock struck midnight? In a word, nothing. Unlike in the US, Japanese retailers don't begin selling their consoles once the date changes, forcing gamers to hold out until morning.

GameSpot will bring another update in the morning to cover the final countdown to the PS3's launch. Stay tuned.

Discussion

533 comments
magicthief18
magicthief18

I wonder if they enjoy people recieving a beatdown over they're consoles. I got one and in return recieved a broken arm. And then when I got home, GTA San Andreas would'nt work. Piece of crap.

Cablestein
Cablestein

I'd be embarrassed as a human being if I was waiting in line to purchase something like a video game system.

merlin321
merlin321

geeze louise its only a ps3 lol the only thing worth waiting like that for is a pretty ladie that likes to...well lets just say shes fun to be with! why wait that long in the cold for a ps3? yeah its gonna be frekkin brilliant but a ps3 is not your life so dont dedicate* all your time to it

EddyG0RD0
EddyG0RD0

"Kahuna_1 Shooters are for pcs. " NO

janlopes
janlopes

that guys need to clear his nails =P

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

thousands gather, thousands pwned with empty hands.

xche78x
xche78x

what if sony pushed the worldwide launch date to when europe will have ps3 launch, that will make it fair to all people and sony will also have enough units to accomodate all people on earth. oops too late, the mailman is already here with my ps3. see ya fellas, i love japan! ^_^

Kahuna_1
Kahuna_1

every system has junk launch lineups, im waiting till march because i am still playing my current ps2 (socom, ff12 soon, god of war 2) and i heard ps3 online players cant play with playstation 2 players so id have to play socom on ps2..... like ive been saying soon shoulda just done a worldwide release on march 30, 2007, 1 month after god of war 2, which is there last great game for the ps2, so that they are officially ready for next gen. I guess they really felt they needed to launch asap.

ewjim
ewjim

Nahhh... Anyway, there is not many good games at lunch...

nextgenisps3
nextgenisps3

im gonna go two 2 days before launch hehe im sure im gonna buy one like that :D

Ashietaka
Ashietaka

that's pretty bad ass. I'm thinking of waiting outside early in the morning for the U.S PS3 launch. pretty excited about the PS3.

evilyoda861
evilyoda861

Yeah I work at Bestbuy and we all know garaunteed we will be sold out in like...5 minutes when we open, and since you cannot sell them online right now I would say people who are going to be waiting 24 hours in line have no real lives worth mentioning. Go read a book, or spend time with your family or relatives sheesh. Wait about 6 months and you will have al the ps3 you cannot afford.

js0823
js0823

kenshinhimura16 The worst that could happen is that PS 3 turn into a GC, but it would still exist. And the exclusives would still be with them. If PS3 turns into GC, PS3 will lost its exclusives. Developers aren't dumb to stick with a console that's dying. Developers aren't part of Sony. They don't want to go bankrupted with Sony. That's the dumbest idea I ever heard. Few exclusives from PS3 has already gone over to Xbox(GTA). If PS3 -> GC, then it will be GG for Sony. I just hope Sony does it right this time...remembering PSP just makes me doubt but PS is a huge brand name. Sony shouldn't ruin it.

BonziBoce
BonziBoce

SIG45 im glad too know noble people like you exsist still.

SIG45
SIG45

What I'm going to do is wait till after school, at 4:00 PM Central, and go to a Best Buy or a Circuit City or a Wal-Mart and hope they have a PS3 left. If they do, then great! If they don't, then I'll just get one later. It's that simple. I'm not one to wait for a midnight release. I got my FFXII Collector's Edition about three days after it came out on Halloween. I think that the PS3 is worth waiting for, that's all. And for those Wii60 supporters out there, I think the optimal choice is really PS360, if you ask me. All the shooters you want, and I like my shooters, all the RPGs you want, and I think RPGs are the best games around, and all the action platformers and other stuff you want, 'cause the PS3 has all that and more with its huge backwards compatible library. The Wii has some great stuff too, I'm not saying it doesn't, but Halo 3 and Mass Effect are just too majestic and I really want to play MGS4. I'll play Metroid and Zelda at my friend's house anyway.

revelations
revelations

I dont get the point of waiting out for a console like that. I mean, is it really worth it? I dont think so, for any console. I cant say more then that or ill get modded.

js0823
js0823

Let me reiterate for those who doesn't get the situation. Sony didn't make enough console for people, so supply doesn't meet the demand, and therefore the price of PS3 skyrockets by handful of resellers. Now if you read the news on prediction of PS3 console shipments, it will be about 400,000 by this Christmas. That's way too little, and the news also doubted that they would make 400,000 by Christmas. What does this mean? Less console or people to buy, so people who wants to buy them will keep waiting. Mass market product is important for consoles because it's the only way to convince developers to make games for them. Less consoles sold, less market for them, less game will be made. Sony really need to step up and start making it mass market product, or else developers will find better environment where there are more people than PS3. Think about it. 400,000 consoles, if everyone bought it by Christmas, then developers will sell their PS3 games to those 400,000 people. That's not enough, and that's not even close to Xbox. I'm not bashing PS3. I like PS3. I believe competition between Xbox and PS3 will make console future brighter. But what Sony is doing right now doesn't seem to make it happen.

js0823
js0823

js0823 "I was in that "madness"....this isn't true. I tried to talk to many people who were standing in line for the game, and found out most of them were Chinese. And when the store opened, they went in and bought "hardware only". They kept saying "hardware only". It looked like they didn't know how to speak Japanese. The order was even worse. When polie came in and told them to stand in line in Japanese, no one could understand them and they found out most of them were Chinese. So they brought an Chinese speaker to speak to them. Sony is making a bunch of crap. To me it seemed rich people hired Chinese people to buy the hardware for them, or those Chinese are buying the hardware so that they could sell for double price on internet. This is really bunch of crap. I'm sorry to say this news is false. I advice gamespot to dig deeper into this matter and speak to those who bought the console." My Response: Dude why are you Haten?? Yes people are going to do some outragous stuff in order to have a piece of equipment in their hands.... So what if there was an American, a English, or even a Canadian People...Etc....would you state the same thing you just said???? Re:: I don't think you get my point. I'm not bashing the Chinese people for standing in line waiting for PS3 to come out so that they can do whatever they were thinking of doing. This will most likely happen anywhere now a soon as PS3 comes out. I'm bashing Sony for making this happen and for not preparing enough. I got pissed off after I found out that those people who bought their consoles weren't going to play the game, whereas I was going to. However, they got it anyway, and now I have to either wait for more in stock, or buy it from them for double price.

kenshinhimura16
kenshinhimura16

The little mind of a little child is represented by your post inferno

inferno394
inferno394

kenshinhimura16 The worst that could happen is that PS 3 turn into a GC, but it would still exist. And the exclusives would still be with them. But it would seal the deal if the PS3 turned out like the psp..........no games, UMD/Betamax, no exclusives. DS>psp WII60>PS3

Kahuna_1
Kahuna_1

saiyanlarry he added wifi, and never added a bigger hdd

kenshinhimura16
kenshinhimura16

The worst that could happen is that PS 3 turn into a GC, but it would still exist. And the exclusives would still be with them.

greyfox6662912
greyfox6662912

I agree, sony rules, its only a minor set back for their launch date, could be much worse...

Mangafan2
Mangafan2

====================== King_Dodongo juan99692k6 "Sony Rules!!!! Microsoft and Nintendo Fanboys could criticize all they want. they will never win over Sony ; and this proves it. ====================== Well those are the hardcore gamers. If MS or Nintendo would price their consoles that high, it would even produce those lines. It's just that those are the die-hard gamers. A small percentage of the biggest group of gamers that will buy a console based on price and game libary.

saiyanlarry
saiyanlarry

lmao, okay if youre that concerned about Achievments then dont you know ps3 doesnt have the same achievment structure? it will only be in games that have achievments, and they wont be added together and presented to you the same. also where did you get the extra 100$ added in. 400 for console + 200 for hd dvd = 600 = ps3 price. same price, same graphics, different games, year late. "daddo-splat ra devil I have 2 360 and will probably get a PS3 to say that PS3 charges more for the same thing MS is selling is STUPID. or just dumb PS3 has blu ray included 60 gig harddrive built in wifi . premium 360 $400 with a 20 gig hard drive thats 40 gigs more for the PS3 possibly a $200.00 value considering a stand alone hd for 360 costs a $100.00, wifi cost a $100 for 360, and a add on hd DVD player adds up to $200.00 comparing apples to apples 360 with all the bells and whistles cost more then PS3 400+100+200= $700.00 and thats with 40 gigs of hard drive . so saying sony charges more for the samething is maybe the DUMBEST THING I EVER HEARD. true the games look awesome on both . also you can get a cheap hdmi cable for PS3, the alledged hdmi cable for 360 so you can get 1080p $100.00 for the cable MS is nickle and diming you. Also my sons gamertag got gank be error I changed credit cards on profile and was charged 50 for renewal and even bought 25 for microsoft points and they still deleted his account 11300 achievments in the toilet. all I get is sorry will refund your card. create a new account. I have 17500 achievements if they gank my gamertag Ill burn my 360 and never buy anything MS again!!!!!sorry to rant just pissed off old fart!!!!! "

kenshinhimura16
kenshinhimura16

Yeah. funy the fact that there were soooo many units (sarcasm) and the mayority of buyers aren't wasting their time going to E-bay to resell the crappy units for a high price Its funny to see how reselling on e-bay is bad for Sony for most of the fanboys. How is that bad for Sony? Their consoles are sold anyway isnt it? This is yet another example of a limited mind of a fanboy.

King_Dodongo
King_Dodongo

juan99692k6 "Sony Rules!!!! Microsoft and Nintendo Fanboys could criticize all they want. they will never win over Sony ; and this proves it. Despite the fact that people were saying that it was too expensive, people are still waiting outside for hours to get their hands on that precious machine. and what really makes it more interesting is that there's people that went home empty handed because the suppliers couldn't satisfy the demand. The funny part though is that I know there's a lot of people (fanboys ,casual players, etc) that even though they walked empty handed still would do anything in order to get their hands on a PS3. The PS3 is a machine built for the people that demand more than the ordinary , something out of the usual. That's why is so expensive. Big Demands Big Prices. You want the better results pay more. Everything in this world is about the Money or resources if you don't have either one. You are done. Good Bye. And the World keeps moving never stops. " Yeah. funy the fact that there were soooo many units (sarcasm) and the mayority of buyers aren't wasting their time going to E-bay to resell the crappy units for a high price

bobbysbits
bobbysbits

this is ridiculous. every time a PS3 is mentioned in an article, people start goin' all "systems wars" on it. just shut up. your spamming my internet. buy whatever console you won't, just don't tell me which one not to buy. you people are giving a bad name to video game players.

daddo-splat
daddo-splat

ra devil I have 2 360 and will probably get a PS3 to say that PS3 charges more for the same thing MS is selling is STUPID. or just dumb PS3 has blu ray included 60 gig harddrive built in wifi . premium 360 $400 with a 20 gig hard drive thats 40 gigs more for the PS3 possibly a $200.00 value considering a stand alone hd for 360 costs a $100.00, wifi cost a $100 for 360, and a add on hd DVD player adds up to $200.00 comparing apples to apples 360 with all the bells and whistles cost more then PS3 400+100+200= $700.00 and thats with 40 gigs of hard drive . so saying sony charges more for the samething is maybe the DUMBEST THING I EVER HEARD. true the games look awesome on both . also you can get a cheap hdmi cable for PS3, the alledged hdmi cable for 360 so you can get 1080p $100.00 for the cable MS is nickle and diming you. Also my sons gamertag got gank be error I changed credit cards on profile and was charged 50 for renewal and even bought 25 for microsoft points and they still deleted his account 11300 achievments in the toilet. all I get is sorry will refund your card. create a new account. I have 17500 achievements if they gank my gamertag Ill burn my 360 and never buy anything MS again!!!!!sorry to rant just pissed off old fart!!!!!

kenshinhimura16
kenshinhimura16

horioricorious Its a shame that you couldnt play such a wonderfull mech game. Well, you wont miss much if you are one of those that only likes the Full custo robo kind of games like AC, but if you like mechas, ZOE is a must have.

Ferius-Ordan
Ferius-Ordan

the gaming community is really starting to get on my nerves. When i look at gaming forums all i see is ppl arguing that the console they like is the best and putting everybody else down just because they dont share your views. I personally think that the 360, PS3 & Wii all suck. The Ps3 and 360 offer nothing new just the same old stuff with better graphics and nintendo has tryed to change the way we play games..but they suck at that ( just look at the DS). IMO the only thing worth my time at the moment is my PSP. i have decided to take the money i would have spent on a next-gen console and buy myself a new Mac... hopefully future consoles wont suck as much as the PS3, 360 & the wii do.

DasLaMar
DasLaMar

S3 just got delayed in Europe several Sony executives said March 07 for Europe was just a target date but Q2 07 (May - August) is more of a reality for us as wae are heavily focused on the U.S. and Japanese markets.

rahat_123
rahat_123

i'm from bangkok, thailand...just wanted to let everyone know i saw a ps3 japanese version at my local game store...on sale for around $1200 usd...and someone already bought it!! it turns out they paid some guys to stand in that line and get that "magic" ticket so they can bring it in LOL. i also saw them playing a few games...the gundam game and ridge racer. graphics looked nice...but sorry to say i tried playing and the controller is crappy as hell. i mean, its made of like cheap plastic..i actually asked the guy if this is an imitation and apparently it wasnt...fresh out of the box. and the buttons feel very cheap as well, as though it was made of very low quality material. i'm not a fanboy of any console...but sorry to say its very unlikely i'll b getting a ps3...and even if i DO get one, it'll be a few years from now, AFTER i get the 360 and wii. for now the 360 is a must for me....awesome games (seen the GoW review?!) and XBL is amazing. . i just read teh news and the former Atari ceo said he thinks ps3 is going down the drain..hope it isnt true so we have some proper COMPETITION in the market..and the REAL winner is...US! THE GAMERS!!! just my 2 cents...have a nice day :)

pathogenb
pathogenb

i'll pick one up when MGS4 comes out. no need to wait in line just to play what's already out there. have fun with that.

tawagivercetti
tawagivercetti

you gotta love the japanese super gamers number 1 peace and chicken grease

volumesoxxs
volumesoxxs

Dang that's crazy lets hope they are all able to get their PS3s eventually.

rikhan_z
rikhan_z

magic ticket... wow... that's so kool

shawnomac
shawnomac

i dont understand this whole waiting in line thing i mean if you see more than 6 people waiting in line, cant you instantly tell that you wont get one? i mean are all these people honestly believing that all of them are getting one? anyways good luck to them all

Solidesnake2004
Solidesnake2004

js0823 "I was in that "madness"....this isn't true. I tried to talk to many people who were standing in line for the game, and found out most of them were Chinese. And when the store opened, they went in and bought "hardware only". They kept saying "hardware only". It looked like they didn't know how to speak Japanese. The order was even worse. When polie came in and told them to stand in line in Japanese, no one could understand them and they found out most of them were Chinese. So they brought an Chinese speaker to speak to them. Sony is making a bunch of crap. To me it seemed rich people hired Chinese people to buy the hardware for them, or those Chinese are buying the hardware so that they could sell for double price on internet. This is really bunch of crap. I'm sorry to say this news is false. I advice gamespot to dig deeper into this matter and speak to those who bought the console." My Response: Dude why are you Haten?? Yes people are going to do some outragous stuff in order to have a piece of equipment in their hands.... So what if there was an American, a English, or even a Canadian People...Etc....would you state the same thing you just said????

inferno394
inferno394

We all know why people are standing in line for this thing. 95% will resell it for a profit.

ilcani
ilcani

If you live in Europe and waiting for the PS3, then do what I will do. It's very easy. 1: Buy 360 with GoW. 2: Play it until Wii comes out, which is around December 8 in my country. 3: Sell the 360 with GoW to buy Wii and tons of games with it. 4: Play the Wii until the PS3 comes March 2007. 5: Buy PS3 with all the best games in the world, MGS4, Heavenly Sword, Motorcross, Resistance, DMC4, Final Fantasy 13, Assasins Creed, Rainbow Six Vegas, Shiriokishi, Ridge Racer 7, GTA4, Lair etc... But here is the trick, don't sell the wii...because when you think about it, the wii is actually an accessory to the PS3 :) PS3 is excellent games for you, and wii is great when you have friends over. The best of both worlds.

js0823
js0823

I was in that "madness"....this isn't true. I tried to talk to many people who were standing in line for the game, and found out most of them were Chinese. And when the store opened, they went in and bought "hardware only". They kept saying "hardware only". It looked like they didn't know how to speak Japanese. The order was even worse. When polie came in and told them to stand in line in Japanese, no one could understand them and they found out most of them were Chinese. So they brought an Chinese speaker to speak to them. Sony is making a bunch of crap. To me it seemed rich people hired Chinese people to buy the hardware for them, or those Chinese are buying the hardware so that they could sell for double price on internet. This is really bunch of crap. I'm sorry to say this news is false. I advice gamespot to dig deeper into this matter and speak to those who bought the console.

juan99692k6
juan99692k6

Sony Rules!!!! Microsoft and Nintendo Fanboys could criticize all they want. they will never win over Sony ; and this proves it. Despite the fact that people were saying that it was too expensive, people are still waiting outside for hours to get their hands on that precious machine. and what really makes it more interesting is that there's people that went home empty handed because the suppliers couldn't satisfy the demand. The funny part though is that I know there's a lot of people (fanboys ,casual players, etc) that even though they walked empty handed still would do anything in order to get their hands on a PS3. The PS3 is a machine built for the people that demand more than the ordinary , something out of the usual. That's why is so expensive. Big Demands Big Prices. You want the better results pay more. Everything in this world is about the Money or resources if you don't have either one. You are done. Good Bye. And the World keeps moving never stops.

horioricorious
horioricorious

i have not had the privilege of playing ZOE2 or reading on the third.

dee_nicki
dee_nicki

ps3=7 cell processor me=10 trillion cells I WIN

kenshinhimura16
kenshinhimura16

horioricorious just wait till kojima updates us for the upcoming PS 3 title Zone of the enders. chrissantos. An OS is what you use in the PC to operate it, in common terms: Windows, Linux, Apple OS, etc.

msim
msim

inferno394 said: "Resistance fall of man looks weak compared to GOW. With Graphics being the main sell point of the ps3, they need to come out with something better than this. Resistance looks like it could have been done on the xbox and gamecube. PS3 should be called PS-FLOP" first of all, the 360 has been out a year longer so thats not a great argument. first generation ps3 games look way better than the one available at the 360 launch. oh by the way, off topic but i was reading about Mercenaries 2 the other day(looks sweeeeet!) and the developer said its only using 30% of the ps3 potential. thats a pretty friggin impressive 30%

peeweeshift
peeweeshift

just because 1500 people are lined doesn't mean the systen will work out in the end. we will see sony's postition in the next month