Friday, November 17, 2006

The PS3 Touches Down.

The PS3 has arrived! Now the real challenge begins, as Sony aims to follow up on its day-one 400,000 shipment. To expedite shipments to retail, Sony is flying PS3s in. The company is "doing everything it can" to get as many units to stores as possible.

It's been a long journey for Sony's PlayStation 3—a system that was originally scheduled to launch this past spring—but now the console's real journey truly begins. After thousands of gamers spent days camping out in line at retailers like Wal-Mart, Best Buy and others just for a chance to purchase the next-gen system, Sony has delivered, by plane no less.

Speaking to the AP, Sony Computer Entertainment America head Kaz Hirai said, "We are trying everything we can to get as many units into the North American market as possible. The thing that we're trying to focus on now is shortening the lead time from the factories to the retailers and consumers. Usually, something this size and weight we would put on a boat, but what we're doing is chartering planes to fly them in ... that combined with trying to ramp up production as quickly as possible as well".

Hirai added that Sony will be replenishing the retail channel on a weekly basis, while Hirai's colleague SCEA executive vice-president Jack Tretton did him one better, stating that retailers will actually be getting shipments daily. We seem to recall Microsoft commenting last year that they would be sending Xbox 360 shipments to retail every week also, and that didn't seem to exactly pan out as planned.

One thing's for sure: getting a PS3 this holiday season will be a Herculean task. The hype for the system seems to be surpassing even what we witnessed last year for the 360, and that's exactly what Sony wants. In fact, Tretton told the AP that seeing all the gamers in a frenzy, camping out while eagerly anticipating the console, "kind of makes all the effort worth it".

The PS3 is in such high demand that eBay entrepreneurs have been easily selling their consoles for thousands of dollars. In fact, about a week ago one eBay seller took in $9,100 for a PS3. $9,100!

So, the PS3 is finally here.


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