We all knew it was coming eventually… with a limited supply of only 400,000 units in the States, it was only a question of when Mr. Supply would meet Mr. Demand and chaos would ensue.
Today, EB / Gamestop began taking pre-orders for the hulking, wallet-emptying console via a $100 deposit system. But with only an average of 6 consoles allocated per store, only the first few lucky customers in line will have the privelege of giving Gamestop $100 for a piece of paper that *might* get you a console at launch. Unless, of course, the store employees got there first. Thanks to EB / Gamestop’s store policies, each store employee was able to reserve themselves one PS3 console before the public even had a chance at them.
Gamestop / EBGames website were updated today, but not only with PS3 pre-order information. Today, the website also launched a new PC Game download service that may be the first real competitor with IGN’s Direct2Drive service. The website features over 1,000 downloadable games (although many of that 1,000 can be accounted for by duplicate titles in various languages) and range from $4.95 to $49.99 in price. As you might expect, there are a lot of cheap casual games available through the service for under $10, with most of the traditional “core” games (think Tomb Raider, WoW, etc.)running from $19 to $39.
Perhaps Gamestop has been reading all the recent news about this new-fangled “digital distribution” and started to get worried about their business model. And with Sony execs talking about how the PS4 probably won’t have an optical drive because digital downloads will make them obsolete, I can see why Gamestop would be concerned.
Read More | Gamestop.com
GameStop/EBGames have announced that a limited Playstation 3 pre-order program will start on October 10th. The full statement on the site is as follows:
GameStop and EB Games will begin accepting limited pre-orders for the PlayStation 3 console on Tuesday, October 10, on a first come, first served basis. Due to extremely limited supply, we expect to deplete this allocation very quickly, most likely in minutes. We will not accept additional pre-orders at this time. To avoid an unnecessary trip we strongly recommend you call your local store to determine availability. A $100 reservation deposit is required, which can be funded with cash, credit or trade. As we cannot control production and shipping issues by the manufacturer, a reservation deposit does not guarantee receipt of a system available to purchase at launch. Reservations/Purchases are limited to 1 per household.
Our limited online pre-order program will be announced at a later date, after software and accessory availability dates are confirmed. Online product pricing and availability will vary and will be fulfilled independent of store reservations.
With $100 down and no guarantee of a system on launch day, this would not seem to be a very viable option for getting a Playstation 3 in a reasonable time frame. However, given launch day scarcity, it would seem that gamers would have few other choices, except to wait.
Read More | GameStop
Victor Godinez, author of the Dallas Morning News article from the GameStop conference in Texas, has updated his blog with additional information. There are quick impressions of the various company presences at the show. Sony’s Resistance: Fall of Man was “pretty standard first-person shooter fare… well executed, fun to play, and graphically impressive.”
For the Wii, Godinez indicates that graphics have generally improved since E3. Sword fighting mapping isn’t 100% precise in Red Steel, but seems to be much closer than E3.
On pre-orders, the company line as of Sunday is still that there will either be very limited pre-order campaigns or none at all. GameStop appears to be really gunshy with the pre-order situation. It may be possible that GameStop will get enough console allocation assurance from Sony and Nintendo, but it isn’t looking particularly likely. However, there is at least one person on the 1up forum boards that claims to be a GameStop manager whose store will be offering pre-orders on Tuesday, October 10.
Read More | PunchButton DMN Blog
Read More | 1up Message Boards
According to the website “bits bytes pixels sprites” (what, you couldn’t find a shorter domain name??) some folks have talked with Gamestop employees and found out that there will be a nation-wide managers/owners meeting this Friday, during which execs will learn about the allocations of PS3s and Wiis that each Gamestop will be receiving.
Given that this info is coming from a single Gamestop in Texas, it may not be the best lead we have. Still, it gives us a good reason to keep refreshing WiishList and PS3Me all next week. With under 2 months left, we’re getting really close to the launch window for both these consoles, and we’re beginning to wonder how much longer Sony, Nintendo, and our local retailers will keep us in the dark!
Read More | bitsbytespixelssprites.com < ugh>
Word of a new test program for pre-orders at GameStop/EBGames surfaced this weekend. GoNintendo found a thread on the NeoGAF forums pointing to pre-orders for the Wii and Playstation 3 opening for one week, starting September 18. The key part of the pre-order program was the catch: gamers would only be able to place a pre-order by trading in $50 in games or accessories. However, this “improved” pre-order program would not actually fix any of the problems faced by gamers last year. The pre-order would not guarantee a system at launch (or even during the holidays) and effect doesn’t really even hold your place in line.
Since the initial report, it has been confirmed by GoNintendo that the trade-in program is going to be a test program, only for GameStop stores in Hawaii and Guam. GameStop is apparently trying to determine how effective a program would be.
It is pretty easy to understand why GameStop would want to make gamers trade in software and accessories to hold their place in line for a Wii or a Playstation 3; trade-in sales made up by far the largest percentage of gross profit on last year’s annual report. GameStop gets the highest gross margin from used software sales; so much so, that it appears that trade-in software is more valuable to the company than cash. Trade-ins are traditionally the worst possible deal for the consumer, giving meager amounts of money for software that is then turned around and sold for large profits.
So, GameStop has huge incentive to push gamers towards trade-ins. But along with this horrendously punishing trade-in program, little is being done to fix their broken pre-order system. Like last year, the pre-order only gives the customer a place in line at the store they pre-ordered from. Gamers also witnessed in-store hard sell programs, where people that put money down on more of the profit-generating software and accessories got to jump in line. The new program seems to address this somewhat, but a place in line means nothing if the stores never get the product. When the Xbox 360 launched, gamers holding pre-order tickets would see GameStop and EBGames place huge, expensive bundle systems online, while stores were crying for product. GameStop has shown in the past that they care little for the people that have given them money in the promise of a game console at or near launch, and these new moves would seem to indicate that they have learned little from the past.
Read More | NeoGAF
Read More | GoNintendo