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November 20, 2006

PLAYSTATION 3: MASH-UP CONSUMERISM

boy, those PlayStation 3 lines sure are long The current "ain't life weird?" news meme: boy, those PlayStation 3 lines sure are long. As much as we all hate lines, they wield a weird fascination over the news and every time a long line is formed every news organization in America races to cover them. But the PlayStation 3 news stories have missed the boat, hypnotized by the lines rather than who's in them. Here's a sample:

"Electronics stores in Japan have sold out of PlayStation 3 consoles after thousands of gamers queued for hours in the cold to buy them." - BBC

"Gamers anxious to get their hands on the console have begun forming lines in Tokyo ahead of Saturday's launch." - PC World

"Gamers withstand foul weather, hecklers to buy coveted new console." - MSNBC

So who's lining up for these PS3's that can walk on water and turn lead into gold? Gamers. Over and over you see "gamers" and MSNBC even has a picture of a little 7 year old kid picking up his console just to drive the point home. Posing the little tyke for that picture must have driven the folks waiting behind him on line into a frothing rage.

But it looks like the people with the grit and willpower to stand in line for 9000 hours are not gamers, they're resalers. Lines in Japan were supposedly full of people standing in line for other people who plan to resell the consoles. Customers are picking up 30 consoles at a time where it's allowed. A reporter in San Francisco desperate to interview gamers instead came up with a line full of resalers.

a line full of resalers ebay has instituted special rules: only allowing people to sell PlayStation 3 who have 50 feedback comments with a 98% or greater positive rating, they can only use Paypal for payment, they can't use "Buy it Now" and they have to have a photo of the receipt - nevertheless, search for PlayStation 3's on ebay and you'll dredge up over 25,000 current auctions. A Craigslist search dredges up  about 1,000 units for sale in every major citiy.

The Norman Rockwell newstory of gaming nerds lining up for hours to see STAR WARS buy a PS3 is a false one. The reality is that these folks are mostly lining up to bootleg STAR WARS resell their PS3 for $1500 - $3000 on peer-to-peer auction services. It's like a mash-up where the consumers are taking a corporate product and finding a way to make themselves some cash off of it, remixing a managed, big budget press event into an opportunity for personal money making. Sony, who's losing $200 - $300 on every PS3 sold, winds up looking like a corporate dinosaur being taken down by fast-moving, wired mammals.

November 20, 2006 at 10:21 AM in News | Permalink

Comments

If there's a demand for such overprised prise for PS3 on eBay, then there'll be a pretty good demand for the games itself, which I guess is quite nice for Sony.

Posted by: exst | Nov 21, 2006 9:07:23 AM

give me the more information about this PS-3

Posted by: pawan | Mar 23, 2007 6:14:14 AM

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