PS3 finally hits UK shelves

Sony sweetens the official launch event by dishing out HDTVs to everybody who queued up for the new console at midnight.

LONDON--The trials of Sony's next-generation console during its long journey to European shores have been well documented. The higher relative price point, the three-month delay, and finally the removal of the PlayStation 2's chipset have all made negative headlines in the past year, to the increasing unrest of the population here.

But Sony finally unleashed the PlayStation 3 in the UK tonight, with a midnight launch at Virgin's flagship store on Oxford Street, London. After receiving warnings about safety from the Metropolitan Police, Virgin decided to prevent fans from sleeping rough and made space in its basement to accommodate the hardiest gamers.

Even so, not many took up this offer of hospitality, and with only a few hours to go before launch, there were just a handful of dedicated people lounging in sleeping bags, watching the clock. But as midnight drew near, more fans began to trickle into the store, and after some photo opportunities with the massed ranks of the media, they were ushered upstairs for the final hours to enjoy some light entertainment--including break dancing and basketball juggling.

Around 120 people had joined the queue shortly before midnight, and if the prospect of getting their hands on the latest bit of high-tech gaming hardware, along with a complimentary copy of Resistance: Fall of Man, wasn't enough, Sony had one final trick up its sleeve.

Just minutes before the tills were due to start ringing, a Sony representative made the shock announcement that everybody registered in the queue would receive a free Bravia 46" HDTV, something which took some time to sink in with the gobsmacked crowd.

Jason Sarris, from Wood Green in London, said, "I'm speechless, I still don't believe it. I think it's a hoax." Akwasi Poku, from Forest Hill, also in London, added, "It's restored my faith in Sony. I was thinking about getting an Xbox 360, because it's half the price, but now it's paid off."

It's just the sort of reaction that Sony Computer Entertainment UK's managing director, Ray Maguire, was hoping for. Moments after the first PS3 had been officially purchased, he told GameSpot UK, "The issue for me is that not many people here would have a flat panel HDTV. It should only be about a week before everybody's got them in their homes."

He went on to add that in the UK, only about 15 percent of homes contain a high-definition television, compared to around 25 percent in the US. "We're lagging behind, but just about everything being sold nowadays is flat panel, and we're in the situation that people are starting to wake up to 1080 [resolutions] rather than 720 [ones]."

Also attending the event was the president of Sony Worldwide Studios, Phil Harrison. In a brief interview with GameSpot UK, he admitted that the past few months had been something of a rocky road but was keen to put the problems in the past. "I can't deny that we would have loved to have launched everywhere in the world last November, but that's behind us. The important thing is that people who buy a PS3 today or tomorrow will be getting a machine which has got a better network functionality, better firmware, a better variety of software, and a bigger range of Blu-ray movies."

The event at the Virgin Megastore was the only official event to take place at midnight, although there will be two further events taking place later in the morning at HMV and Game, also on Oxford Street, London. GameSpot UK will be at both venues to report all the details.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

1081 comments
escalade1
escalade1

Yea, PS3 is a little late.....

TTDog
TTDog

@Sniper-Caz... its hard to talk about the PS3's games when all there is are 2 just-above average exclusives and a bunch of shoddy ports.

ekisom
ekisom

son of a!!!! FREE HDTVs?!?!?!?! u gad deym lucky little f#&$rs!!!!

SNIPER-CAZ
SNIPER-CAZ

why do you waist your time getting into pointlees discussions about hardware. Jeeze just play the games and criticize the games and not the hardware. Theres a reason why Sony, X-Box, and Nintendo build these things. Nonne of us are experts at what they do. just let it be

Phatjam98
Phatjam98

LOL yes Giving away TV's that are more expensive than the console itself, yes that is the marker of a good product LOL. I'm not hating on them for doing it, but if you think its because sony loves you? LOL And for this jack a to say "better network functionality, better firmware, a better variety of software, and a bigger range of Blu-ray movies" is just silly. The amount of HD-DVD titles is right about neck and neck with BR, the network features in the 360 are so much better is isnt even laughable, and the software to this point sucks so horribly even the biggest fanboy has a hard time defending the pricetag of the system for true gamers. Oh yeah, Sony is pushing forward STRONG LOLOLOLOLOLOL

xElite_GameRx
xElite_GameRx

seriously, look how jealous the 360 and wii fan boys have become to come here and bash on PS3's success in the UK is just sad. I admire the 360 as well, but I own the PS3 and are soon to be an owner of xbox360 elite. I feel both consoles are great even though people in the UK feel PS3 is better, there's no harm in that.

jamesfffan
jamesfffan

lol cant believe that ppl said uk ps3 launch was bad didnt you read about it breaking uk sales records, or the great fun games which are available.

mysticssj5gohan
mysticssj5gohan

I never cease to wonder why we can't have a sensible conversation on these comments. I have yet to see a Xbox, Wii, or PS3 related article without seeing a fan-boy saying: "Xbox will pwn the PS3" or "Down with Sony" or "Wii pwnarxz you" or "PS3 rulez all!" amd whatever else you can come up... Then there are the people who twist quotes and turn them into false statements while leaving them in full quotations, just to bash the company. Typically you'll see this on Sony-bashing statements. I don't get it, can we have a sensible conversation here?

AliasUK
AliasUK

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

TTDog
TTDog

When people mention Sony fans waiting in line for the PS3 at midnight so they can say they were among the first, why do I get the image of cows waiting in line for the slaughterhouse in my mind. Pretty much every shop said they had plenty in stock, just wait till the morning and don't give people the chance to point and shout "get a life"

adam2987
adam2987

I wish at least one of you guys would have something decent to talk about!!! (except porphyrous) I'm laughing at the fact that a PC can now be compared to a Playstation! At least that's something. PCs are for people who want to make sweet sweet love to disc drives and RAM etc.... They just love the RAM...dirty ba*tar*s.

porphyrous
porphyrous

First they sacrifice $300 per unit on the cost, now they're giving away HD televisions....how big would the crowd have been without the TV giveaway? .

Headhunter_424
Headhunter_424

Free BIG ASS TV !!!!! JUST 4 PEOPLE WAITING IN LINE !!!! WTF!!!!! Man I would just of grabbed the TV in **** the PS3 (Just buy 1 on ebay 4 cheaper :) - People don't think of these things.....

BooCrew
BooCrew

Give Playstation 3 a year and it will have some of the best games around, and will be doing better than the Xbox 360. I personely prefer the 360 however fact is the PS3 is better.

chocolate1325
chocolate1325

PS3 are trying to make there console really good with graphics. I am not getting one. I like the way Nintendo are doing things their way with the Wii. Playstation 3 is not impressive. I loved the first two but I am giving up on Playstation

ScottHFC
ScottHFC

Goes to prove that people still love Playstation. And Why not, give it a bit of time and it ill have more great games and a lower price.

yorkikiller
yorkikiller

HEY GEUSS WHAT GUYS? MY PC CAN PLAY MORE PS1/PS2 GAMES THAN YOUR CRAPPY PS3 HELL I BET THE XBOX 360 CAN PLAY EM ASWELL NOT THAT THEYD WANT TO AND HEY 360 OWNERS DONT WORRY WITH MICROSOFTS XNA TECHNOLOGY BRIDGING BETWEEN PC AND 360 YOUVE GOT SOME REALLY COOL GAMES TO LOOK FORWARD TO-------GOD I HATE PLAYSTATIONS

adam2987
adam2987

Oh, and could you US gamers preorder a PS3 online or did you have to go instore to buy one on launch date?

yorkikiller
yorkikiller

i wish you would all shut your little fanboy mouths--GROW UP BUILD YOURSELF A GOOD PC LIKE MINE 2XGEFORCE 8800GTS 640MB-and you will be able to play grown up games instead of your little girlie consoles PS3 & XBOX360 are both low powered -graphically inferior-TECHNOLOGY LIMITING PIECES OF RUBBISH AND BOTH PAINS AND AMUSES ME TO SEE YOU ALL BICKERING ABOUT THESE CRAPPY CONSOLES AND THERE CRAPPY GAMES oh yeah by the way XBOX360 users im glad sony has lost loads of its exclusive titles LOL TEE HEE TEE HEE HEE HEEE GUUFFAWW GUUFFAWWW

adam2987
adam2987

Quote: "cherrytwister NEWS FLASH! THE PS3 OUTSELLS THE 360 BY 150,000 CONSOLES IN THE UK. SOURCE: http://www.mcvuk.com/news/26261/Record-breaking-165000-PS3s-sold-at-UK-launch" Hah! That should shut those XBOX fanboys up! Even though it cost more than the XBOX (and more units were shipped to UK), Sony still sold more units on launch. WII: 105,000 units XBOX: 60,000 units PS3: 165,000 units That figures nothing to be embaressed about.

Daymos
Daymos

Mark_HD "Congratulations Daymos!!, you have proved that you are one of the most loyal Xbox 360 fanboys and that you have absolutely NO LIFE..." Why are you upset.?. isnt it you who is acting like a fan boy?? I spoke of the free tv as a marketing strategy... how is that fanboyism..?? people are saying. wow.. because of all the free tvs.. sony really cares about us... ok.. so why was there no free givaway at the jap launch.. or anywhere else.. reason.. because more thatn 125 people showed up at those other launches.. so to give 125 free tvs dont make anyone a hero.. what about the other potential 90million ps buyers?? Anything free is good.. but lets not forget the list of issues.. I guess I touched a nerve.. u ps fanboys are real sensitive these days.. or shat I call you BS fanboys.. lol

KlownvannomaD
KlownvannomaD

I think Sony should be slightly embarrassed if not very embarrassed that the PS3 didn't, and still hasn't sold-out in many shops. But thats just my opinion.

Mark_HD
Mark_HD

Congratulations Daymos!!, you have proved that you are one of the most loyal Xbox 360 fanboys and that you have absolutely NO LIFE...

Daymos
Daymos

The only people who benefitted from a free tV is one of the lucky 125.. Sony didnt give out a free tv to be loyal or great or caring.. they did it as a cheap much needed publicity stunt to add spice to a flopped launch turnout.. If 1000 people turned up .. sony would not give out a free TV.. because they wouldnt have to.. 125 tv.. @ £1000 (internal price).. = £12500.. Thats cheap.. if you compare it to the cost of exclusive rights plus they must lose at least £300 per console.. If I were sony id do the same.. but dont get it twisted.. it wasnt for the customer.. it was for themselfs..

Itsdewdewbabiee
Itsdewdewbabiee

LoL Gif your funny... Sony Brivia 46 is is more like over $2k US... LoL... I thinks its awsome that Sony did that... Microsoft should maybe give away free vista on the new X360's coming out, eh... "Woot yes so I can spend twice as much and complain about Sony being so damn expensive...

ahyumifan
ahyumifan

Let me sum up this news to one line. " UK got another model of Blu-ray Player".

DK3410
DK3410

No. Your American and Japanese versions of the PS3 are superior in that they have better backward-compatibility. Meaning you can finally chuck away that PS2 of yours which has been giving you disc read errors for the past 8 months. Of course, it's anyone's guess whether the Bravia is worth the loss of the emotion engine... But in the meantime, for you guys over there in US without a 1080p TV, please remember than your lovely "High-def" PS3 will only display up to 480p, even if your HDTV can go up to 1080i. Your European friends don't have to worry about this because they're getting one from Sony anyway. Go figure.

GIF
GIF

Lets see, the cost of a Sony Bravia HD TV is what? Well worth over the price of $600? Essentially, people bought the consoles to get the TV. Once they realize the console is useless without actual games they want, they will probably sell it on Ebay like many people are doing in the UK. Selling it at Ebay even though retail stores are packed with them.

djfidelone
djfidelone

does this mean that american gamers are geting fuched? Are our consloes inferior?

L1qu1dSword
L1qu1dSword

PLEASE PLEASE buy our crappy console. PLEEASSSEEE!!!

Glordit
Glordit

:lol: :lol: :lol; PS3 hype!? here is South Africa the PS3 hype was DEAD! As for a Free T.V?? If they did that here there would be a riot for about 2 weeks! I think they sold 2 PS3's in P.E! Probably becasue of the $900 Price tag thats R6000+ ! and at $70 a game I don't think soo!

dadunggyang
dadunggyang

Mehn!You get a PS3 and a "BRAVIA HDTV" for $600.We are looking at Bravia-$2000-3500.Thats a lot of money.Plaudits to Sony

malmeid2
malmeid2

lol free 46" bravia tv's. And people say that Microsoft pays gamespot. lol

barrett_rob
barrett_rob

They where free tv for virgin staff and sony workers who had to return the stuff to them, it was all a stunt, all lies, a friend who works at virgin told me and I believe him, sony is going down, nothing but lies for us gamers.

duarteq
duarteq

3 Points for Sonyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. Well, it is now proved that is better to give Flat TVs than for instance... Beer Cans lollllllllllllllllllllll

snakes2solid
snakes2solid

excuse me Sony,, " where the """" is my hdtv???.. it's bad enough i had to pay a few hundred dollars over the retail from playasia..but now you screw us other gamers by kissing europes buttttt???... what's next... whores to devirginize the pimple geeked boys on the next launch??... how bout a price drop for screwing us faithful over here in the U..S.???

JFreezy02
JFreezy02

Well, I have to give props to Sony. Giving out TVs was a good move.

lucrichard
lucrichard

They gave everybody a free Bravia HDTV?!?! A 46" one???? Are you kidding me? Plus a free copy of Resistance? I don't care what anybody says, that's the best deal I've ever heard of. They paid what, like 600-700 for a PS3, a Bravia HDTV and Resistance. Unbelievable. I'd rather be a UK gamer right now. So they had to wait a few more months, big deal. Those in line at Virgin hit the jackpot.

DK3410
DK3410

Just goes to show where fanboys get their treasure trove of information from... To be very honest and technical, both Blu-Ray AND HD-DVD hold enormous potential. Not exactly in movies, but rather in the PC market. Picture the day when the Blu-Ray can finally go 200 GB and you can hold 10 of them in your CD-holder pouch as opposed to a 1 TB portable HDD. It's a nice thought. But judging from the way things are going, it's still in favour of the portable HDD due to lower cost-per-Gigabyte. As it is, Blu-Ray is still an expensive investment (the damn drive costs more than 900 U.S dollars). Plus, given the time that Blu-Ray would take to reach that kind of standard, we'd probably have 2 TB portable HDDs that are small enough to carry in our pockets by then. Anyway, I'm getting off-topic. The launch in Europe was certainly less than stellar. You don't hear of anyone getting mugged or people jostling or pushing for the console at all. I don't think the security guards standing at the doors would have made any difference if the crowds thronged to the stores.

daveb1978
daveb1978

"Microsoft pulled no punches yesterday during the European launch of the PlayStation 3. Deciding that deviousness was the order of the day, they had agents in both London and Paris throwing monkey wrenches into the works at Sony-sponsored events" Hmmm yes... but giving people seats.... Wow! and trying to market their product... Ha..makes me laugh... laugh as much as the fact that theres a site called "www.ps3fanboy.com" :)

daveb1978
daveb1978

To be fair I won't be buying a HD-DVD drive for my 360 for a while yet because I don't have an HD TV... But I think really its a bit of a "cheap shot" (yet very costly!) of Sony's with the whole Blu-Ray thing... its a way of saying they've got the players in homes and the format is being used because you DON'T HAVE A CHOICE when you buy the PS3... I can't see households at the moment buying non PS3 standalone Blu-Ray players at £500 to £700 a time... At least with the 360 route, you have the choice.. if you want to buy the HD player you can, if you don't then you don't have to.

daveb1978
daveb1978

I'd be happier with the tv and would have tried to sell the PS3 on after! :)

barrett_rob
barrett_rob

Played a ps3 today running ridge racer on a hd tv and I am very pleased that I did not buy one, it looked visually lame and the controller stunk, I'm happy my money didn't go to waste.

oscar530
oscar530

hurray more ppl to play online with now lol

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

Tv deal is sweet, but I still think the UK is getting ripped off for their PS3's both in price and VC.

double_decker
double_decker

It pays off to be loyal sometimes, although they shouldn't sell it for such a high price if they could give away that much to a select few, instead of making it cheaper for everyone who wants one. But it's a sweet deal for the people who actually get the TV's and we have a 54" flat screen, LCD HDTV so it doesn't bother me too bad 8) I will be a proud ps3 owner soon as well:)