With the PlayStation 3 already having been launched in the US and Japan, Europeans are facing a long wait--it won't be released in Europe until a still-unconfirmed day in March 2007.
Those who feel they just can't wait are being increasingly frustrated in their efforts to obtain an imported console for Christmas. Recently, Hong Kong-based import specialist Lik Sang closed, and Play-Asia.com suspended its exporting of Sony products to Europe. Just yesterday, popular auction Web site eBay.co.uk reported that it would be banning delivery of PS3 consoles to the European Union unless they had actually been bought in the EU.
Other adverts have been springing up for the sought-after console in the back of magazines and on Web sites--and one company has put up a series of adverts in popular commuter stations in the UK stating, "PlayStation 3: Order now for Christmas." Consumers were given a premium £1.50-a-minute phone number to call, which asked them to leave their details on a recorded answer phone service, and were assured that they would be called back when the consoles became available.
After being informed of the ads, a Sony spokesperson told GameSpot, "SCEE is currently investigating it further. We have also forwarded the details onto Trading Standards, and urge all consumers to wait until the official European PS3 launch in March, before purchasing a unit through recognised retail partners."
Trading Standards is an arm of the Trading Standards Institute, a private agency that monitors the actions of advertisers in the UK.