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European store GAME says: only two-thirds of preorders filled

We're not entirely sure how to spin this one, since we don't actually know how many PS3's the European chain of gaming stores, dubbed GAME, are getting. So, we'll hand it to you in just as vague and either/or stylings as we've been given it. Doubtless, GAME will be making a lot of money on March 23rd, when the PS3 is released across Europe. But will there be a shortage? Not so, according to the bigwigs at GAME.

The head offices at GAME have stated that only about two-thirds of their PS3 allocation have been pre-ordered despite the best efforts from all of their store employees to strangle £50 out of customers for a pre-order. The reasoning? Get ready for a collective sigh. We hear this reason so often, it has to be true, right? So sayeth a store manager: "We've had a lot of interest in the console, mostly from PS2 owners looking to upgrade, but the price is putting many off. It looks like you may be able to just walk in and pick one up without a preorder on launch day."

Well, go ahead and test it out if you'd like. Walk in on launch day! We wish we knew how many PS3's were allocated to GAME, but if there's going to be around one million units floating around, a good number of them are probably going to this, the biggest gaming specialty store. Thoughts? Feelings? Opinions?

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1. If I was in Europe, I would be with the "wait and see" crowd. I'd want to see the backwards compatibility chart first. Honestly, I'd just wait until a price cut. I believe HD penetration is lower in Europe than NA, and PS2's are still selling like hotcakes. So, no reason to upgrade yet. Maybe after big name games start dropping. But, not now.

I believe the PS3 will sellout in some areas, but not all. But, we'll see come launch day.

Posted at 3:48PM on Mar 14th 2007 by Dolla Dolla

2. Was putting BR worth it? I guess of the GBP 140 / USD200 difference is becuase of BR (check out isupply). We dont know whether its there to ensure a 8-year console life (I guess by 2009 BR WILL be cheap and must-have), to cannibalise PS sales to drive BR format or becuase of Ken K's megalomania - must be all three.

But that isnt the whole story. The other half cost difference is because of bigger hard disc, more BC (PS2 chip or emulation of 1000+ games), HDMI, free MP, better build quality.
Now, 360 fans might claim the value of all these is zero (I personally disagree) - but my contention is, even without BR the PS3 would be USD100 / GBP70 more expensive than 360.

So BOTH PS3 AND 360 would be far higher than the "ideal" price of USD199 where consoles sales jump. But to choose between 360 and PS3, customers would go for 360.
Which is where the wii comes in.
BOTH PS3 and 360 would get hammered by wii over 2007-08 (say 8-10 million sales each ). By 2009, they would really start to shine - but at a much smaller price differnce (say 199USD versus 249USD)

My hypothesis is this: the wii would have saved Sony's butt by preventing 360 from taking a massive lead before 2009.

Where the wii stands is a different question.

Posted at 4:02PM on Mar 14th 2007 by rfom

3. Correction: the second line i meant " HALF of the GBP 140 / USD200 difference is becuase of BR"

Posted at 4:05PM on Mar 14th 2007 by rfom

4. I'm not surprised. I got an email from a Dutch games store a few days ago saying you could still pre-order the PS3 because their quota wasn't filled yet. Compare that with the European launch for the Xbox 360 where two months before launch all pre-orders were filled. I expect to see plenty of PS3s to be had on March 23. I also expect a big price cut from Sony within 6 months to get the lagging sales going so I'm not buying one. It makes sense to wait for a cheaper PS3 with games worth buying. Apart from Heavenly Sword, there isn't anything I'd want to buy a PS3 for. It doesn't really help there are too many interesting titles coming out for the Xbox 360 in the coming months. With Forza, Mass Effect, Bioshock and Blue Dragon coming out I don't see the PS3 gaining any ground in Europe or the US.

Posted at 4:24PM on Mar 14th 2007 by ymmv

5. Well its freaking expensive, and I don't think HD is as in as many homes in Europe. You're kinda missing the boat if you own a PS3 and don't run HD...

Posted at 4:51PM on Mar 14th 2007 by Dragon J

6. Well shot, here in the U.S. I see unsold PS3's everywhere.

Damn, Sony needs to lower the price fast before this becomes a huge problem.

Posted at 5:12PM on Mar 14th 2007 by coyurtney

7. Pretty much all stores are still selling pre orders, i even got an email the other day sasying i could save 5% of future orders if i pre ordered a PS3

I really though sony would easily sell 1m PS3's on pre orders in europe. it makes sense in some ways i know many people who were saying they were definitely getting one at launch but now say they will wait as its too expensive

Posted at 6:15PM on Mar 14th 2007 by mike

8. I simply believe that there just isn't enough demand for the PS3 right now in Europe. After all, it's Easter! People are still probably paying off debts from Christmas. Very few people will have the money or will have already been tempted and have already bought a Nintendo Wii or Xbox 360.
We'll see what happens come Christmas 2007, but I think Sony have a lot of work to do if they want to jump in front of Xbox and Wii. Home is one big step but it's not big enough!

Posted at 6:27PM on Mar 14th 2007 by Ciaran Gallagher

9. yeah we have not had a lot of pre orders you should juyst be able to walk in and pick one up

Posted at 7:13PM on Mar 14th 2007 by mat parker

10. Here's the explanation:

425 FUCKING POUNDS!! Maybe Sony isn't even taking a loss on the PS3 in Europe at that Price. Regardless, that price point, not many heavy weight games to carry on the PS3, and people not knowing which PS2 or PS1 games will play on the PS3s is hurting PS3's demand. But maybe after the 1.6 update people will buy more PS3s if the level of Backwards compatibility is more than acceptable. Singstar, Lair, Warhawk and heavenly sword are supposedly coming very soon anyway, so perhaps that'll help too.


You're wrong. If PS3 didn't have Blu-ray, it would cost the same as 360, otherwise it would make even less sense to cost more. In fact, they would have launched at pretty much the same time, PS3 probably with nearly the same specs as now, except without blu-ray, and with offers to directly compete with 360. That would have made both PS3 and 360 lose the same amount of money, and have similar cost reduction times. Xbox 360 would not only have less exclusives, but PS3 would probably have the lead by now, thanks to backwards compatibility, brand name and having games that right now are exclusives for 360.

I'm happy though. I'm glad Sony waited to deliver a better machine, it's definitely worth it. They could have delivered a PS2.5 and still be market leaders, but I like having a choice: Not only brand choice, but the fact that products are different makes things more interesting.

Posted at 7:41PM on Mar 14th 2007 by bootsielon

11. Without numbers of how many they've actually sold, it's not the most useful of information. If we just look at what we have, and do some armchair accounting, we could assume that those numbers hold true for all retailers and that 2/3rds of the shipment have been presold. If sony is allocating 100,000,000 units, that's 600,000. I doubt those numbers actually add up that way, but those are some big numbers we may be looking at however you add it up. I keep hearing about how well it's doing already there pre-order wise, so hearing this doesn't exactly negate all of that in my mind. Then again, I'm a ps3 backer, so...
Looking at past consoles, 300,000 units shipped on day one in Europe for Xbox 360. By the end of 2005, MS had sold 500,000 units in Europe.
If sony is really shipping that many units, and they've sold more than half of those in the first month, they are doing well.
In the end though, that's a hell of a lot of money (more than I dropped for mine with games and controllers) and I can't blame gamers in the UK for holding off on purchasing the system with several things remaining to be seen for their launch.

Posted at 8:16PM on Mar 14th 2007 by mccomber

12. heres the facts .... i can buy on in GAME for £450 with a game ...or i can buy one from EBAY from USA/japan for like £280......

Every game SHop you go into there like do you want to perorder a PS3 ....god like its not something you just DO because people keep askin you_________ its out in a week and theres still perorders .... i would take this in a bad way

360 was sold out 5 months before it come out

Posted at 8:32PM on Mar 14th 2007 by L

13. I recieved a mail today of LXDirect saying that it's 10% off all PS3s and PS3 stock and this little tidbit at the bottom of the mail:

* 1000s of units available for launch on 23rd March 2007 - these will be allocated on afirst come first served basis.

It also seems that ChoicesUK are suffering because I quote:

At ChoicesUK, every PS3 delivered for launch will include a free HDMI cable so you can play PS3 games on your High Definition TV. Plus, we have a fantastic buy now and pay in 6 months offer, click below for more details!

Gamestation are struggling to shift them because they are trying to give you a free Xmen 3 Blue Ray film with your purchase.

Play have bundles in stock, yet you can't get Wii's on their site yet... Argos claim that you can have one delivered in 2 days subject to stock, but again - no Wii's

HMV have them, also in store, as they have a sign in the window in Manchester saying they are still taking pre-orders.

Sadly, this doesn't look too good for Sony. Hope I'm wrong though (although I must admit that I am not getting one at launch because of the price, and will wait a few months til they have to drop the price)

Posted at 3:18AM on Mar 15th 2007 by Joby

14. "despite the best efforts from all of their store employees"

It'd be nice if they said that to the employees. Every day they're moaning "GET MORE PS3 DEPOSITS!! MORE MORE!!! GTA: LCS is out today, which means everyone who wants one will want a PS3!! Pre-orders!!" (yeah right, a £20 game is going to make them want to spend another £425 on a console that may not even play it. Idiots.

Sorry, just a rant about my employer.

Posted at 8:48AM on Mar 15th 2007 by Ashley Boyd

15. Is it just me, or does the title say that there weren't enough PS3s to cover all of the preorders??

Posted at 10:34AM on Mar 15th 2007 by skylarbonn

16. Yeah, HDTV isn’t so popular in Europe yet because we have the PAL format which is of a better quality than NTSC; for comparison, NTSC: 480i, PAL: 576i, HDTV: 720p. And some TVs can do 576p too.

The difference between HDTV and PAL isn’t so great as between NTSC and HDTV, so there is less incentive with the consumer to upgrade. Basically, one could say the uptake of HDTV in the US and JP is basically because NTSC is such a piece of crap ;p.


Posted at 4:06PM on Mar 15th 2007 by Laurens Holst

17. Laurens, you're basically comparing vertical resolutions. In fact, you should be comparing the full resolution (720x576 vs 1280x720) and then you'd see 720p has more than twice as many pixels compared with a PAL signal.

NTSC -640x480 : 307200 pixels
PAL - 720x576 : 414720 pixels
HD - 1280x720 : 921600 pixels

Posted at 5:18PM on Mar 15th 2007 by ymmv

18. this shouldn't be a shock to anyone. the majority of the population are either non gamers or casual gamers. so of course none of these people would pay such a huge cost unless they are real hardcore gamers. it's a stupid mentality from sony to expect people to make such a commitment for so little improvement. so what if it's got amazing graphics, thats probably one of the smallest factors when buying a console.

Posted at 4:20AM on Mar 16th 2007 by bob

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