Amazon Japan PS3 preorders snapped up

Online megastore sells out of launch-day preorder allotment for Sony's new system in under 20 minutes.

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The Japanese branch of online retailer Amazon.com began taking preorders for the Sony PlayStation 3 at 7 p.m. Monday night Japan time. According to Japanese gaming blog Gameaholic, Amazon's entire launch-day quota pre-sold out in under 20 minutes.

The preorder rush mirrors last week's in-store PS3 preorder campaign for GameStop and EB Games, in which gamers lined up outside the stores before opening and snatched up all the stores' allotted preorders of PS3 systems in rapid fashion. PS3s are expected to be a tough find this holiday season, with Sony recently scaling back its plans for a worldwide launch of the system. Where it expected to have 4 million PS3s on shelves in the US, Europe, and Japan by the end of the year, last month the electronics giant delayed the European rollout until next year and halved its estimate of systems for 2006. Furthermore, the company said it would have only 400,000 units at launch for North America and 100,000 for Japan.

Despite the preorder sell-outs, gamers on both sides of the Pacific still have an opportunity to secure a system on launch day. GameStop and EB Games have yet to begin their online preorder campaigns, and the especially determined (or desperate) can always camp out by a store that didn't take preorders.

The PS3 is scheduled to go on sale in Japan on November 11, with a North American launch to follow November 17.

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