Given that I have been caught up in the Playstation frenzy again -- although this time it is different, because it is the Playstation 3 (PS3) rather than the Playstation 2 (PS2). However, after following the madness for the last 10 days, I thought I would share some differences and similarities I see between the launch of the PS2 (October 26th, 2000) and the launch of the PS3 just a few days ago (November 17th, 2006). What do you remember about the launches?
1. The hype is higher for the Playstation 3 - FALSE. A lot of people have commented on various blogs and message boards that the is a lot of more hype surrounding the launch of the Playstation 3. However, my guess is that the majority of the people commenting either were not old enough to remember the launch of the Playstation 2 or did not follow it. But, the hype was just as high for the Playstation 2. I remember all of the articles and media coverage from that time. The entire industry had been waiting for the Playstation 2 for quite awhile -- there was no XBOX or similar competitor to mute the launch.
2. Product availability is less for the Playstation 3 - TRUE. Having waited through the launch night of both the Playstation 2 & Playstation 3 launches, there was much more product available at launch time for the PS2 -- especially in the online channels. While there was still a secondary market with markups for the PS2, it is nothing like what is currently being seen on eBay with 40k plus available at launch and over 7k available at the time of this post. Stores such as Amazon and Best Buy were having nightly online inventory releases. Thus far with the PS3 there have been a limited number of releases from Walmart, Toys-R-Us, Sony Style, & Gamestop while very large retailers such as Amazon and Best Buy have yet to hold and online sale.
3. I already had my Playstation 2, 10 days into launch - TRUE. Thanks to my tech-savvy self, I was able to assist a certain retailer with a problem on their website and they allowed me to get access to the early arrival of the PS2. Unfortunately, I did not learn my lesson and I failed to pre-order the PS3. It looks like I may turn to eBay if the online stores do not receive inventory soon. More on that to come soon.
3. Retailers are as bad as the eBay "scalpers" with their awful bundles - TRUE. Retailers, especially Walmart have put together awful and unreasonable bundles to take advantage of their customers and increase their profits. For example, Walmart is requiring the buyers to purchase extra controllers, 12 games, 2 DVDs for more than $1500+ with tax to take advantage of their allocation. All of that for a $599 machine. Walmart, Toys-R-Us, Circuit City, & Gamestop seem to be the worst offenders here. I doubt any of those who buy these bundles from Walmart will be happy with their purchase and return. Consumers are not being forced to buy these items, but still -- it is outrageous. While Target, Amazon, & Best Buy offer the items as the individual consoles, they have not had stock, so the point is moot.
4. Amazon's PS3 60GB forum seemed to be the favorite "camp-out" spot for online users - TRUE. For some reason, possibly because people anticipated that Amazon was going to receive an large allocation of PS3's. They have not, but still users have stuck around here. There is some speculation that Amazon's allocation was tied up in the Toys-R-Us arrangement that fell apart this past summer.
5. The number of rip-offs is higher - TRUE. This is mainly seen on eBay, but there seems to be a lot of fraud going on. eBay has taken some precautions to help prevent scams like requiring buyers to show pictures with their username and receipts. However, there are still a lot of scam-artists attempting to sell -- empty boxes, pictures of PS3s, etc. Buyer beware!