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The Dark Side of the PlayStation 3 Launch 505

An anonymous reader writes "Kotaku is running an article prompted by an email from a foreign student in Japan. The reader unveils the sad reality of the modern gaming industry. Japanese businessmen made ample use of homeless people and Chinese nationals to obtain PS3s for re-sale. There was also a large amount of pushing and shoving, some fights, and almost no police presence at the most crowded stores." From the article: "Based on my observations of the first twenty PS3s sold at Bic Camera, they were all purchased by Chinese nationals, none of whom bought any software. After making their purchase, television crews asked for interviews but all were declined. These temporary owners of PS3s would then make their way down the street where their bosses waited. After several minutes, a dozen PS3s were rounded up, as their Japanese business manager paid out cash to those who waited in line for them. I witnessed a homeless-looking Chinese man, in his sixties or seventies get paid 20,000 yen for his services and was then sent away." Update: 11/12 05:40 GMT by Z : You're right. Sony only shares a portion of the blame here. Offsides on my part.
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The Dark Side of the PlayStation 3 Launch

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  • 20,000 yen (Score:4, Informative)

    by morcheeba ( 260908 ) on Sunday November 12, 2006 @01:32AM (#16811248) Journal
    is about $170
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 12, 2006 @02:25AM (#16811610)
    I recommend watching South Park season 10 episodes 12 and 13. Pay particular attention to Cartman. All your misgivings about human nature will be presented and affirmed. Funny too.

    But I agree, its very disconcerting that there is such a demand for this type of system. They must think: "If the world ends tomorrow and I don't get to play ps3 I will die!" !!!!! - I gave up a long time ago expecting people to think/act rationally.
  • Re:Communism (Score:2, Informative)

    by undeaf ( 974710 ) on Sunday November 12, 2006 @03:06AM (#16811800)
    They're not going to throw away all those CPUs just because they're considered unacceptable for PS3s. There's other uses for them: lications []
  • by HUADPE ( 903765 ) on Sunday November 12, 2006 @03:12AM (#16811812) Homepage
    Disclaimer. It is my opinion that a person who buys a product way over the its market rate is either very wealthy and an idiot or just a plain idiot. Still without these people scalpers would not exist.

    Not always. They (evidenced by paying $1500+ as other /.ers cited), have very high reservation prices (that is the max price they are willing to pay). If you make the rough equivalent of $500/hour (ask about rates at your local corporate law firm if you don't believe that number), then standing in line for 4 hours would be worth $2000 of opportunity cost to you. Paying $1500 for the scalped version is a savings of about $1100 for this hypothetical person ($2000 opportunity cost + $600 console price) - $1500. Or they could wait for demand to settle down and buy it later, but then there is an opportunity cost of waiting (in lost gaming time / bragging rights), which they price at over $900 ($1500 scalper price - $600 retail price).

    Not saying this applies to most people, just people with insane amounts of either money or utility derived from gaming. Still, it is perfectly possible for a rational person to buy a scalped console, and really have that be the best value for them.

    And yes IAAES (I am an economics student)

  • Re:Communism (Score:3, Informative)

    by donaldm ( 919619 ) on Sunday November 12, 2006 @03:19AM (#16811834)
    Well we know there are 1827 PS3's for sale but how many are from Japan? If they are solely from the Japanese launch then this is approx 2.5% of sales (assuming 80,000). Not a huge amount but then judging the Xbox360 launch the costs are about on par. It is going to be interesting to see if this number increases when the US 17th Nov 2006 release occurs.
  • Re:Communism (Score:3, Informative)

    by LKM ( 227954 ) on Sunday November 12, 2006 @06:38AM (#16812524) Homepage
    And, under communism, there would be no PS3.

    Yeah. There'd only be Tetris.

    State run farms in Russia, China, Cuba, and Venezuela left/leave people starving

    I think you need to go back to FUD school. People in Cuba aren't exactly starving, and Chavez was elected president (twice, in fact) in a democratic election. There was an attempted coup d'etat against Chavez - which was prevented by the people of Venezuela! Meanwhile, lots of people in the USA still don't have health care. But at least they aren't working in "state run farms," right? God damned communists (by which I mean people who don't agree with my political view).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 12, 2006 @10:40AM (#16813492)
    Forget the 710$ price tag for the console, and the 170$ paid for those standing in line.

    I'm in Indonesia (Jakarta) - spent the day walking around an electronics mall, and was surprised to see a few stores with PS3's sitting on the shelves (JAP models).

    Guess what - the average price here is IDR 14,000,000 - that's USD1,500!! I don't even have to stand in line, and I still can't get one!!! MSRPs my foot...
  • by MaestroSartori ( 146297 ) on Sunday November 12, 2006 @10:50AM (#16813550) Homepage
    The comments on this story show that there's plenty of good folks who read the site. The stories and editorial crap that get added to them show that there's not too much point continuing to hang around here for reasoned debate. For the longest time it was the anti-Windows angle that annoyed me most about /. but now the daily two minute hate against me and my employer has gotten a bit old. Anyway, I won't go on about it too much, suffice to say there's better places to contribute my opinions, and in my opinion better places for all of us to find our news and discuss it.
  • Re:Communism (Score:3, Informative)

    by marcosdumay ( 620877 ) <> on Sunday November 12, 2006 @10:58AM (#16813586) Homepage Journal

    Well, the way the GP wrote, I'm quite sure he meant it as a joke.

    The scaty stuff it that the mods don't agree with me.

Would you people stop playing these stupid games?!?!?!!!!