Two Italian retailers have broken the PS3’s official launch date by selling the console two days in advance. It’s not been unexpected though. Earlier this week, Darty, a small retail chain, took out adverts in a national newspaper stating it would be selling PS3’s from Wednesday (today) at 7pm.
This lead to Media World, which has around a 20% share of the market, stating that it had cancelled it’s midnight launch event on Friday and would now be selling PS3’s from 9am on Wednesdays (today). GameStop have stated that it’s chains in Italy and Europe will not break street dates, however, they may be forced to if more retailers do the same.
Davide Sher of Trade Interactive Multimedia (TIM) told GamesIndustry.biz:
“It’s a strange situation. This is the first time retailers have broken street dates by two days.”
It presents a major issue for small independant retailers, Sher went on to say:
“The mainstream consumer electronics retailers get their PS3 stock early, so they can start selling early, But many specialist retailers don’t have any units yet and won’t receive any until Friday morning. This puts them at a real disadvantage.”
Sher also confirmed that Media World had started selling PS3’s this morning.
A spokesperson for Sony told GI.biz:
“Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is deeply disappointed by the unilateral decision of some Italian retail chains to commence the sale of PlayStation 3 to consumers before this official launch date.
“Such decisions run counter to our policy of consumer protection which seeks to ensure that all of our consumers have an equal opportunity to purchase PlayStation 3.”
Originally Written By: Scott Webber