PS3 countdown in Japan: The calm before the storm?

Retailers discourage lines in Japan, but on the eve of the launch, curious consumers begin to congregate.

TOKYO--In sharp contrast to US reports that consumers are already lining up for the upcoming stateside launch of the PlayStation 3 on November 17, Japanese consumers are having to get decidedly more creative.

With reports that Sony cut its estimate of hardware for the Japanese launch by 20 percent--to roughly 80,000 units--many retailers have had to manage consumer expectations, as well as their own. Smaller stores initiated preorder programs for a very limited amount of units, while some chains decided simply to eliminate preorders entirely. Established chains such as Yodabashi and Bic Camera have opted to either sell units to whoever is lined up at their stores at 7 a.m. on launch day or hold raffles on the units they have to sell. Sony's online store in Japan, which took preorders for the PlayStation Portable before the system's December 2004 Japanese launch, is having nothing to do with the launch--offering none of the hotly anticipated consoles to gamers in Nippon.

The actual process of lining up for units, regardless of the number available, is turning out to be decidedly more challenging than it was for the PSP's Japanese launch, as well as the PlayStation 2's Japan launch in March, 2000.

While some stores are allowing consumers to line up, others are discouraging overnight camp outs. The Yodabashi Camera in Shinjuku, Tokyo's venerable electronic establishment, is informing passersby and hopeful loiterers that they must disperse--in Japan, throngs are considered to be a public nuisance and the store risks being reprimanded by authorities and prevented from selling units at all.

This is a considerably different situation than the PSP launch in 2004, when hundreds of consumers were arranged in a serpentine line that sprawled through most of the area around the store. Still, despite the presence of police officers who are discouraging the crowd from congregating, it is expected that the growing crowds will shape themselves into a proper line as the evening wears on.

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184 comments
_Sam_
_Sam_

I can't stand very large crowds

cjcr_alexandru
cjcr_alexandru

A little crowded in there... and only 80 000 PS3s.

the_bi99man
the_bi99man

I'm with Vageta Maelstrom on this one. I want a PS3, sure. There are some launch games that I would love to get my hands on. But the games that I REALLY want are all about a year away. I'll get a PS3 as soon as MGS4, DMC4, RE4, and the first next-gen Mortal Kombat are all on shelves. Edit: Or whenever a Next-Gen Twisted Metal game is released. If there was a new Twisted Metal available for the PS3 launch, I'd be one of the guys camped out already.

Mr_Saturn26
Mr_Saturn26

wow, this is bad, glad im not living in japan, if i didnt have a life, then i be with them but in front of Best Buy, and we will soon have the same problem here and the USA. Lets face the truth, 360 sucks, wii cool, and Ps3 RULEZ.

VegetaMaelstrom
VegetaMaelstrom

There is no way that I will pay top dollar for a piece of hardware, no matter how advanced it may be. The PS3 is an extremely powerful machine but I won't pay several hundred dollars just for the system. The hardware by itself is pretty much useless. A console is a ticket to the games. There aren't any games that really grab my attention yet. So why would I buy a PS3 ticket for $500-$600 if the games I want are a good year away yet? I won't just as I won't get a 360 until Mass Effect comes out. When the good games arrive, the consoles will find a home with me. Until then, NWN2 will tide me over.

Ace_Gunner
Ace_Gunner

vjso2 "Note to all retards: Conspicuous- Obvious Superflous- Extra" Thanks for telling us which words you searched for when you went to thesaurus.com to help you write that post. Lord knows you probably needed the help.

HatefulMidget
HatefulMidget

At the end of the day the console which has the best games will win the war in my mind (maybe not figure wise). I will only buy a PS3 when there is a game(s) I really want to play for it (and by that time the price might of come down). The fact people in places such as Japan and across the globe are willing to pay top price and queue outside for ages when the most launch aren't very good anyway is just beyond me.

ORDER009
ORDER009

vjso2 is a wiitard.How dare you disrespect Sony.I am not saying this cause i am a fan,you have to be loyal through thick and thin.Stick it out til the end.

Bananna2
Bananna2

I agree with you HXCDEW, wiitard get out of here

mooseman721
mooseman721

Buy it, don't buy it. Who cares, your money.

HXCDEW
HXCDEW

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

been09
been09

vjso2 The PS3 is upscale with superflous inessential hardware. It is irrational to commit yourself to sit outside a store for a blue moon just to buy an mediocre overpriced piece of crap. It is conspicuous who the winner of the Next-Gen " war " is going to be, the Wii. And for all of you who have damned the Wii, you are complete fools because ever since Nintendo announced the price of their Wii, Sony has been going downhill. I used to be a fan of Sony, but they have done an atrocious job with the PS3. Sony has lost my vote as well as millions of others. __________________________________________________________ Whoopdee do, like your post is going to throw me off my equilibrium.Look! I can use massive superficial words to to make myself sound smart too! Just like your doing. Do we care that your going to get the Wii? No, not really. You just sound like Wii-tard right now prancing around trying to sound like you know something. Fools shouldn't be able to type let alone talk.

ultimate_zero
ultimate_zero

watch all the people thats hating on the ps3 end up getting one, there are already alot of people who used to diss it and now they only want to get the PS3.

zanmato666
zanmato666

Oh, in case you all didn't know, Nippon is Japanese for Japan.

vjso2
vjso2

jedi_marcos - Only a real retard would write in capital letters and use "wiitard". You have hit rock bottom on this one my friend.

vjso2
vjso2

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

jedi_marcos
jedi_marcos

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

vjso2
vjso2

The PS3 is upscale with superflous inessential hardware. It is irrational to commit yourself to sit outside a store for a blue moon just to buy an mediocre overpriced piece of crap. It is conspicuous who the winner of the Next-Gen " war " is going to be, the Wii. And for all of you who have damned the Wii, you are complete fools because ever since Nintendo announced the price of their Wii, Sony has been going downhill. I used to be a fan of Sony, but they have done an atrocious job with the PS3. Sony has lost my vote as well as millions of others.

biggamerhk
biggamerhk

wow. well, to tell you the truth, i think a lot of people (including me) a dissapointed with the PS3. nintendo really did i good job in terms of the wii--they came up with the whole idea of making a new way of gaming--they impressed us with the wiimote, and so far, the wii games look very good and impressive. basically, nintendo kept everyone excitied about their new console, and they're still doing it! I can't wait to get the wii!! And . . about the PS3, well . .i mean, it seems like an amazing console too, but sony just let us all down too many times with bad news . . .first they priced it at $600, and then there's hardly any units in stock on its launch day, and then they copy nintendo's idea of a motion-sensored controller. i mean, dont get me wrong--i love sony--I have a PS2 and PSP, and they're both really awesome. its a great company . . .but, i think they really ruined the reputation of the PS3 . . .i wont be suprised if the sales will be low on its launch day . . .so, i am definately planning on getting a wii (it's awesome!), and maybe sometime next year, when the price drops, i'll get a PS3.

Willdyer10
Willdyer10

Can't see what all the fuss is all about...

Rockdoctor
Rockdoctor

The intelligence level of this thread is staggering.

Nicekebabkillen
Nicekebabkillen

They camp 7 days before it comes out..yikes!:P no ps3 for me then yet but, it WILL come and rule everything in the world..and x-box 360 will go down for sh ure, because now we will see what ps3 is really made of..and that is not pu:D...but too bad it´s not coming to Europe before next year:(...damn it..he he can´r wait for ps3

Platyphyllum
Platyphyllum

Rockynr1marsvin wii sucks!! n xbox 360 suckz even more!! i shall have a ps3 cuz it rulez!! hi

jedi_marcos
jedi_marcos

Rockynr1marsvin wii sucks!! n xbox 360 suckz even more!! i shall have a ps3 cuz it rulez!! AMEN TO THAT!I AGREE WITH YOU DUDE!

Rockynr1marsvin
Rockynr1marsvin

wii sucks!! n xbox 360 suckz even more!! i shall have a ps3 cuz it rulez!!

Ne0zEEd
Ne0zEEd

luckyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! But we get the Wii 1st :)

Predatorian234
Predatorian234

Why don't we give a second thought towards human suffering? Because preventing, stopping, or even subdueing human suffering is an impossibility. But gettings a PS3 before christmas? Is a possibility...although almost as hard as world peace. But honestly...why compare the lines to get a video game console to human suffering? Makes no sense. Because even if we all line up outside of congress demanding world peace...you know there will be one prick in the crowd who lops some grenades. .....that brings interesting images to my head....

manwithnoplan91
manwithnoplan91

"Sam_Lowery kavadias1981 - "We line up for hours and occasionally riot for a Games Console but we dont often give a second thought to the human suffering in the world. " Well yea, we want fun, not to be bumed out by involving ourselves in depressing situations. Come on, admit it, you'd step on an old ladys neck if it would get you a PS3." nestea_king Wow, you would step on an old ladys neck to get a PS3? The hell is wrong with you?! If I ever saw anyone step on an old ladys neck.... I'm at a loss for words. You would rather kill someone, than pay 700$ or whatever it is to get a console? What the hell is humanity coming to? moron he was just poking fun

nestea_king
nestea_king

"Sam_Lowery kavadias1981 - "We line up for hours and occasionally riot for a Games Console but we dont often give a second thought to the human suffering in the world. " Well yea, we want fun, not to be bumed out by involving ourselves in depressing situations. Come on, admit it, you'd step on an old ladys neck if it would get you a PS3." Wow, you would step on an old ladys neck to get a PS3? The hell is wrong with you?! If I ever saw anyone step on an old ladys neck.... I'm at a loss for words. You would rather kill someone, than pay 700$ or whatever it is to get a console? What the hell is humanity coming to?

Just_Desert
Just_Desert

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

jedi_marcos
jedi_marcos

GEARS OF WAR!PSSS,THE 360 AINT SELLING IN JAPAN AND NEVER WILL,ITS ALL ABOUT THE PS3 YOU NOOB

swiftstar183
swiftstar183

Why is everything in Asia So damn NEO?? just lookin at those pics hurt my eyes!! imagine living there looking at Highlighter Yellow and all those colors All the time. Dang

zekere
zekere

of course, everyone's lining up to get gears of war

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

Sam_Lowery Hehe, maybe you would. Nah, my point was just to put it in perspective really. I mean, it is only a games console.

Sam_Lowery
Sam_Lowery

kavadias1981 - "We line up for hours and occasionally riot for a Games Console but we dont often give a second thought to the human suffering in the world. " Well yea, we want fun, not to be bumed out by involving ourselves in depressing situations. Come on, admit it, you'd step on an old ladys neck if it would get you a PS3.

bcolter
bcolter

Console Worship.... Its a Crazy World!

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

Aren't we a funny old species. We line up for hours and occasionally riot for a Games Console but we dont often give a second thought to the human suffering in the world. Just thought i'd bring that up.

chinesehaohot
chinesehaohot

That line sure looks A LOT longer than Wii''s........ and Game_Analyst, 1st of all no matter how many PS3 Sony has for launch, they are going to sell out 2nd of all Mahjong games sells extremly well in Japan, You need to do some homework if you really want to be a game_analyst.

SpearX
SpearX

OMG every news topic I read, in the comments the last two topics are either fanboys bashing people or someone telling fanboys to grow up. Gamespot: perhaps an age limitation on posting will fix this?

kyosukeugc
kyosukeugc

Japan sure does love their Sony =)

princegee4
princegee4

man its a great console its dost means that 360 s not good but ps3 have great titles like resident evel tekken god of war metal gear killzone etc so thats y on other hand it also work in commercial area in our country in thounds of units i prefer this console sony is good company but somehow microsoft 100% make some faults in ps3 even in sony company in all its products microsoft is not rival of ps3 they are enemy of sony that is shame for billgate

hunter8man
hunter8man

All these fanboys. Good god. Can't someone just be a gamer and pick up whatever system they want without being bashed or insulted? I'm excited about the PS3 launch as well as the Wii launch. I've got both paid-off and ready to pick up on the release day. I can't believe people don't think that the most popular console brand in the last 10 years won't sell out their system, or have mass hysteria around it. As for the lines, they are expected. It'll probably be the same for the Wii launch as well. Even if Sony didn't have a shortage of systems, they would still sell every single one of them.