On the PlayStation 3 Launch

For a few months now at the store we'll get a few–sometimes one or two, sometimes ten or more–phone calls a day from customers wanting to know when we'll start taking pre-orders for the PlayStation 3. My best guess for the longest time was that, at some point in the immediate aftermath of the E3 Expo in Los Angeles we'd start taking reservations, as that's what we did last year with the XBox 360–once we had a price the company told each store a limited number they could pre-sell, and most stores filled that quota within about ten days.

(It's what happened after that that led to the product nightmare that was my Christmas season. We'll not go there.)

Well, E3 has come and gone. Announcements of price and release date have been made. Naturally, the customers want to know–when can they pluck down their money for a PlayStation 3, to make sure they have one on day one?

Now I know.

Early October.

Yes, the company has decided that we'll start taking reservations on the system in early October, about six weeks prior to the system launch. The e-mail said, and I'm roughly paraphrasing here, that at that point Sony would have hard numbers for the company on available launch quantities. The goal, as every e-mail on the subject has said, has been to avoid a repeat of the XBox 360 launch. That's wise.

While I expect quantities for the PS3 to be smaller than were had for the XBox 360 last year, with the higher price point I'd expect that the demand won't be quite as high, but still high enough that they'll be difficult to come by for some months after launch. (This, of course, assumes that the economy stays roughly as it has been the last six or eight months, not something I'm holding out any hope for.)

We will, however, be able to take reservations on the games in the next few days. Wii games, too, for that matter, though at this point there's absolutely no telling when we'll start taking orders on the Wii system itself.

Will I get a PS3? At this point, probably not. I've yet to see anything coming for the system I feel I can't live without. Though I have a 360, realistically there's nothing on that I can't live without, at least for now. In a month when Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-Earth II comes out, I'll pick that up immediately. And Star Trek: Legacy this fall, just because I want to blow the living shit out of starships because that's what Star Trek is all about. 🙂

But for now, give me LEGO Star Wars on my regular XBox, and I'll be content.

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