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GameStop Short PS3s For Launch Day 134

GameSpot reports that GameStop will have too few units for preorders on launch day. Employees are being "asked" to wait until the second shipment of consoles to purchase units, to ensure customers can receive what they paid (and waited in the cold) for. From the article: "For launch day, preorders will be filled in the order they were received, and those who had a preorder but are denied a system on day one will receive something for their troubles. GameStop will give those unfortunate customers (as well as unfortunate employees) a free used game or DVD valued at $19.99 or less when they eventually wind up purchasing the system. Those who reserved a system won't need to wait long to find out if they can expect a system on launch day. Starting tomorrow, customers who preordered a PS3 will be contacted personally by phone and updated on the status of their reservation, the rep said."
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GameStop Short PS3s For Launch Day

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  • wow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by joe 155 ( 937621 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @06:38PM (#16830368) Journal
    A free used game? $20? that's not going to be a PS3 game then is it, so what can they get... a PS2 game? or maybe a fairly old DVD, doesn't seem worth waiting that long for to pre-order it. I wonder who is to blame here though, has GameStop just made a mistake ordering (or selling too many pre-orders before they knew the figures) or is Sony further cutting back?.. if so this seems very bad indeed for them
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by eln ( 21727 ) *
      Whether or not $20 is good enough really depends on how far out the next shipment is. If the next shipment is a week away, then I'd say that's fairly generous. If the next shipment isn't for another month or more, I would expect nerds rioting in the streets if they don't at least get a free PS3 game out of the deal.
      • Re:wow (Score:4, Insightful)

        by drzhivago ( 310144 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @07:01PM (#16830718)
        You're missing what the $20 is for... a used game or DVD. It's a sad excuse of a "gift." The least they could've done is just given you a flat $20 credit applicable to anything.
        • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward
          The way to avoid that, go after a Nintendo Wii, and you will have an extra $350 to go towards anything, including but not limited to bills.
        • A used game at Gamestop "valued at $19.99" is only worth $5 to the store (that's how much they bought it for). AND you only get it if you wait around for them to provide you a system. So GS/EB is giving you what amounts to a $5 discount on a $600 system you waited in line for xxx hours to get.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Babbster ( 107076 )
            Huh? Is this concept of used games with large margins being somehow a ripoff of both the seller and the purchaser still out there?

            You can't base the "fairness," "kindness" or "value" of this free game based on the wholesale price of the game. After all, Gamestop is a retail outlet. If I get a free game from Gamestop that would otherwise cost me $20 to buy, then the value to the customer is obvious, regardless of how much they paid the schlub who traded/sold it to the store.

            Let's say Microsoft sent me
            • by bit01 ( 644603 )

              If I get a free game from Gamestop that would otherwise cost me $20 to buy, then the value to the customer is obvious, regardless of how much they paid the schlub who traded/sold it to the store.

              No, it is not obvious. If the customer had not intended to purchase it the value to them is zero. In theory they could on-sell it to recover the dollar equivalent but the overhead in time means it really could be valueless to that customer.

              That's the problem with "intellectual property" in general. "Value" is

          • by hords ( 619030 )
            A used game at Gamestop "valued at $19.99" is only worth $5 to the store (that's how much they bought it for).

            When I called Gamestop to check on Gears of War on the day it was supposed to be released they confirmed that it was going to be one day late. They told me everyone who preordered was getting $5 off of Gears of War because of this. When I went in they charged me full price until I said something, so I imagine they were only doing it for people who actually mentioned it.

            It would be nicer if you c
            • by rawrz ( 1027004 )
              so I imagine they were only doing it for people who actually mentioned it.

              I don't think most people who work for Gamestop give a shit about it. Hell, they even had to send a memo out to all the employees demanding their loyalty. Have you ever had the misfortune of working retail? Ever? I'm sure whoever was helping you was hating the company and FedEX so fucking much that he simply spaced the $5. It happens when you've been screamed at all day about something you had no God-damned control over. People mak
        • by Xest ( 935314 ) *
          I wonder if a BluRay disc fits into the DVD category? Wouldn't be too bad if they gave you a free BluRay film with your new system I guess, afaik they're usually under $20 or am I off the mark their on pricing of BluRay discs in the US?
        • And that $20 that can be used towards used dvds/games is about $2 in cost, which is what EB would have paid for. EB is the devil. Support private game shops!
          • by rob1980 ( 941751 )
            Local game shops do the same thing. The buyback value is always determined by how likely they think they are of being able to sell the game again, and whether the kid behind the counter is your friend or not.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by dolson ( 634094 )
        According to my local EB Games (owned by GameStop, I think), the next shippment of PS3s is not expected until March.
        • by Reapman ( 740286 )
          I can't see that... Even as much stupid stuff as Sony has done, I can't see them doing something as suicidal as that. I think this will be closer to the 360 shortages and ya you'll be out of luck for awhile, but not nearly half a year.
        • by dolson ( 634094 )
          Why would someone mod me as funny? I am not joking, it's what they said... Do I believe them? No. They are the same people who said they wouldn't be allowing preorders for the PS3 and Wii because of what happened last year, and then they did it anyhow. I don't believe them, but they said it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Sony has cutback significantly on their allocations to everyone. This isn't a GameStop fubar, it's a Sony one. This will affect Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Circuit City, and all other retailers who might carry this system.

      We're talking about less than 1/4 the number of 360's that Microsoft brought to their launch party, and that was entirely too few for a system that had even less hype/demand built up than the PS3.
  • by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @06:40PM (#16830404) Homepage Journal
    Starting tomorrow, customers who preordered a PS3 will be contacted personally by phone and updated on the status of their reservation, the rep said.

    Hello sir or ma'am. My name is John Smith and I work for the EB in Silver Dollar City mall. We have received our first batch of PS3 and we are contacting the people who preordered early enough to get one from this batch. For verification reasons can I get your full name, mailing address, credit card number and security code?

    • They could be phishing based on Wii preorders, or some other gadget people would have memory of attempting to purchase.
  • They should be ashamed.
  • They keep getting hurt on this. If I were them I'd stop taking preorders entirely for systems. First microsoft breaks agreement and ships less, making customers furious at gamestop, now Sony.

    Of course sony isn't going to catch flack from the customers for this, because of the immediacy of gamestop being "at fault" in their eyes.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      There was no "agreement" between Gamestop and Microsoft. Gamestop started taking preorders before they knew how many units they would receive. They were taking fucking preorders the day after the 360 was announced, months before Microsoft even announced pricing or ship dates.

      Hell, Gamestop was selling 360 "bundles" on their website while preorders were left unfilled.

      But hey, this isSslashdot, and you're talking about Microsoft. Reason and facts have nothing to do with what actually happened, right?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by stargazerAD ( 933187 )
        i can't say i have a lot of empathy for gamestop as a whole. they were overly-optimistic as far as supply goes, and basic human greed will always override common sense in any situation where a dollar can be made. but who i feel bad for are the actual gamestop employees. every half-wit person who walks into my local gamestop seems to think that the kid making $7.75/hr has some sort of magical ability to pull consoles out of thin air. i don't see this being an enjoyable holiday season for *anyone* on the fr
        • by ivan256 ( 17499 )
          Don't feel too bad for them. They're only working there for the discount. It's not like there aren't other jobs... You know, jobs where they don't have to blatantly lie to their customers in order to meet their quotas? If they're willing to be evil for $7.75 an hour....
          • by Fozzyuw ( 950608 )

            They're only working there for the discount.

            Or as a 2nd job for some extra money because they have an interest in gaming and enjoy talk with others about games. Game discounts is just a perk, among other things (like lifetime WoW subscriptions for sale records being broken).

            It's not like there aren't other jobs

            Sure, they could go flip burgers or become a sandwich artist and come home smelling like the garbage disposal.

            $7.75 an hour

            Wow, I didn't think hourly pay was that good! In all seriousness. I wou

            • by jZnat ( 793348 ) *
              Kinda hard to pay below minimum wage without getting the Law on your ass (IL minimum wage == $6.50/hr, probably going to be increased soon as well).
            • by ivan256 ( 17499 )
              Sure, they could go flip burgers or become a sandwich artist and come home smelling like the garbage disposal.

              Try painting, or working for a carpenter on light construction. Be a box jockey for UPS. Try selling shoes (probably the highest paying job on this list. I was making $500 a week part time selling shoes when I was in High School). There are plenty of non-fast-food entry level jobs that don't require you to be an asshole for a living.
    • Re:Poor gamestop! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by manicbutt ( 162342 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @07:06PM (#16830786)
      Are you sure it's *not* Gamestop's fault? Sony has certainly blundered a lot this year, but EB/GS has turned into a very nasty little retailer lately and this seems consistent with my experience with them.

      For example, every time I go into an EB/GS store around lunchtime on a Tuesday (release day for new games), the salesnerd has yet to open his shipment for the day. After he pauses his video game or stops gossiping with his friends, he recommends that I preorder next time.

      Give them an interest-free loan on a readily-available item? No thanks!

      I walk across the street to Toys R Us and buy it off the shelf, often for $5 less. It's sad when a crappy box store like TRU beats out a specialty shop in terms of service and early availability.

      I understand that hardware is always scarce at launch, and the retailers don't make any profits from selling it, but if you're going to sell games, it seems to me you should take an interest in your customer's needs. If I were burned by EB/GS in this way after giving them a pre-order for PS3, I would resolve never to shop there again.
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Perhaps you should file a complaint on [] regarding the store you've been to. Behavior like what you described is grounds for termination. If you want to blame GameStop for the PS3, you may continue to do so, but understand that EVERYONE is being shafted here. Sony cut back the allocation for the entire North American release, not just for GameStop.
      • I knew this would happen after Gamestop acquired EB. The rivalry for my entertainment dollar kept prices low, stores stocked, and incentives high for return business. Now that they're one lousy company, it shows. Nothing's in stock, the clerks are more worried if I have something to trade than if they can assist me in finding games in their odd store configurations. Preorders, discount club, and some stupid magazine are all pushed before I get out the door. Not to mention used game prices going up cons
        • the merger has not helped the consumer, that's for sure.

          Damnit, if you want better service stop calling yourself a damned "cosumer!" Retailers won't start treating you like a customer again until you yourself get out of the sheeplike "consumer" mentality!

          • it's called a cliche... look into it.

            And changing your name to "customer" won't amount to a hill of ape snot as far as the conglomerates are concerned.

            Refuse to go into a store that treats you like crap. I do. (Hence the original point of my post... I don't GO into Gamestops anymore....)

        • by jZnat ( 793348 ) *
          Ever heard of Game Crazy? They're owned by Hollywood Video (a competitor to Blockbuster if you thought they were the only major movie rental store), and their service is better than Gamestop's. IME of course.
      • by Fozzyuw ( 950608 )

        It's sad when a crappy box store like TRU beats out a specialty shop in terms of service and early availability.

        Well, I can argue against calling Toys R'Us crappy. They do what they mean to do. I almost never go to TRU, however, I stopped there on a whim the other day and ended up getting an amazing deal. I bought 2 new DDR games, and got 2 free dance pads with it ($40 value total), it also happened that if I bought 2 new games, I would get a third free. I picked up the Devil May Cry 5th Anniv. collec

      • I had the same experience yesterday. If what you're looking for isn't the next GTA, Zelda, whatever the hell is popular with the kids these days, they don't give a damn about it, and will probably not get a copy of said game unless you preorder. Needless to say, Gamestop/EB isn't getting my business from here on. (Note: The game in question was Super Robot Taisen OG 2. Demand it at your local EB/GS, and make them squirm because they didn't get any copies.)
    • by jchenx ( 267053 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @07:06PM (#16830796) Journal
      I wouldn't say that GameStop is entirely devoid of fault, but neither should the manufacturers be blame-less.

      Would MS and Sony love to know exactly how many consoles will be available at ship? Of course! Shafting retailers because they weren't able to produce as many as they thought they would, is just bad business. But it's obviously not intentional. You could argue that they shouldn't make any estimates whatsoever, until much closer to release (or until they actually have the units created). That I can understand, although I'm sure retailers don't like that approach either. (Legions of gamers want to pre-order well in advance, and not wait till the last few days)

      That said, the retailers must have known that console shipment estimates are just swags at best. You could also argue that the responsible thing would be to not allow pre-orders at all. After all, that's what Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and a slew of other retail stores do. The problem is that game stores want to have a way to distinguish themselves apart from the big-box stores, and cater to a user-base that wants and are used to pre-orders (for games at least).

      So basically, I think everyone should share a bit in the blame. Manufacturers, when they know an estimate is really difficult to nail down, need to stop making promises to retailers. Retailers, when they know the same thing is shaky, need to stop making promises to consumers. And arguably, we the consumer, need the calm the heck down and live with the fact that some things (guaranteed pre-orders of low supply consoles) may not be possible.
      • And the day I can't get a preorder done is the day I just wait for a console to become readily available. Those stores get my business because I'm generally pretty sure I'll get what I reserved (#3 for the Wii). I call those places about preorders the day I hear the name of the console being announced. Those are for the hard of the hardcore gamers that follow consoles years before they are released. Not the dorm monkies that'll camp out in front of a Best Buy for week freezing their ass off because they wer
      • A better method would have everyone sign up at any given point and a lottery would decide as soon as official numbers were released. It discourages camping, hysteria and it would give everyone an equal shot.
    • by bunions ( 970377 )
      I feel just awful for them. They take your money, don't pay you interest, for the vague promise that they will give you an actual product for it sometime in the unspecified future.

      It's not like the PS3 is the first system this has happened with.
    • Poor Gamestop? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ivan256 ( 17499 )
      If I were them I'd stop taking preorders entirely for systems. First microsoft breaks agreement and ships less, making customers furious at gamestop, now Sony.

      Nobody is forcing them to take pre-orders for anything, much less systems. They do it out of their own self interests. If they take more orders than they con fulfill they have nobody to blame but themselves. Other stores didn't take pre-orders and are operating on first come/first serve... For all we know Gamestop did this on purpose to prevent custom
      • by bunions ( 970377 )
        > For all we know Gamestop did this on purpose to prevent customers from taking their business elsewhere even though they couldn't serve as many people as they would have liked to

        That's -exactly- why they do it. Don't believe me? Try getting your money back for the preorder that they couldn't fill.
        • Using a major credit card is a good idea when preording. If the company will not provide a refund for a product that they can not supply, file a report and the CC company will take care of it for you.
  • Ebay (Score:3, Insightful)

    by keithpreston ( 865880 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @06:49PM (#16830510)
    On a second note, havoc on ebay ensues. There goes a good ebay feedback rating down the toliet.
    • by Cerium ( 948827 )
      This is a marketing ploy by Sony to get more people standing in line at Walmart and Best Buy without having to pay them!

      Clearly Sony is the mastermind behind this clever scheme. Clearly.
  • by Nomihn0 ( 739701 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @06:51PM (#16830564)
    PS3 is only a codename. We've decided to rereleas under brandname "Phantom Game Console." It should ship within the year.
    Enjoy your Eurotrip DVD!
  • I preordered a Wii from EB, and was told they would sell the units they get on launch day in the order of who got there first. I was 31st of 32 at my location, so if they are short even a few, I'll be missing out. Any word on whether they'll be calling Wii customers too?
  • by rlp ( 11898 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @06:55PM (#16830634)
    Could be a coupon for $20 off "Duke Nukem Forever", when it's ready.
  • by Frag-A-Muffin ( 5490 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @06:59PM (#16830684) Homepage atitle=ps3+console []

    I can't believe people are actually buying these preorders. I thought everyone knew that none of this preorder stuff was ever guaranteed. Ask the stores yourself, they'll tell you "that's how much we think we're getting".

    sheesh, some people never learn.

  • by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @07:06PM (#16830782)
    The shortages in Sony's production of the PS3 were destined to give the console mad headlines this week, much as during the PS2 launch. But none of this answers any of the important questions for the console's future; yes, supply cannot meet demand right now, but what is the actual overall demand? It's going to take at least until December 1, if not January 1, to figure out whether people will still be buying it once production starts to ramp up.

    I'm beginning to wonder if it's even worth coming to between now and 2007.
    • by 666999 ( 999666 )
      Just for Wii news, but there are better sites for that as well. [] rocks.
      • by Guppy06 ( 410832 )
        Even Wii news will consist of nothing but "ZOMG, it looks like it's selling/not selling!" for the next several weeks. The only indicators we will have of whether or not either the PS3 or the Wii are atually selling will come at the end of the current reporting period, weeks after the launches.

        This is all hype, there is nothing we're seeing that will be able to tell us whether we're looking at the next SNES or the next Dreamcast, for any of these new consoles. Nothing but marketing masturbation, and I real
  • by El_Smack ( 267329 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @07:13PM (#16830884)
    Hope the guy who paid $1600 for his pre-order system on ebay didn't already leave feedback!
  • by sethstorm ( 512897 ) * on Monday November 13, 2006 @07:17PM (#16830944) Homepage
    Stuff like this announced this late should do quite well to deflate some flippers hopes. Hopefully a few major accounts get "stuck" in payment processing (read: paypal) long enough to discourage this kind of action. Given this, there's nothing like the sight of the legions of pwned scalpers in the morning having to do mass refunds, wondering if paypal will block them, along with getting a potential ratings hit on ebay marking the person as a known scalper.

    Now if there could be some regulation that would effectively ban this kind of thing like how it has worked well with tickets? Heck, you could even give Sony an incentive of some sort to catch these flippers and create more units.

      If anything, Gamestop should have announced it later so that flippers would be caught blindsided and having to deal with the buyers that end up putting a few bad actors in the red.

    In short, Gamestop did a service to consumers knowing full well that the consoles will be flipped since nothing barred the action. They also at least gave the appearance of at least delaying employee purchases as well, so dont fault them.

    • The "flippers" as you so put it only exist because of the temporary market failure present during the initial roll out of the product wherein the manufacturer cannot make enough units to satisfy the demand at the fixed price. They actually provide a valuable service to the market by restoring price elasticity.

      There are really only two solutions to the "flipper" problem. You can allow prices to rise to market-clearing levels or find a way to produce enough units to match demand. The former option will pis
      • Excellent points all, and well thought out. I would point out though that adding manufacturing in this case was not something that Sony could do to increase systems, no matter what the cost. The bottleneck in this case was the blue laser diodes required for the Blue-Ray drives. The batch yields ended up being much lower than anticipated, by the time this was discovered there was no way to bring another manufacturer online before the release date, this is a physcial limitation of producing such a high-end te
  • ebgames updated their website sometime in the last few days, saying that they're not even going to be taking online pre-orders till the in store ones are all taken care of. [] It sounds to me like they might not be getting as many as they expected, or maybe just being careful.

    I for one, don't really care too much. I'm not actually getting a ps3 (not till the price drops by half), but as for the wii... I'd rather just be able to get into a line so that when my numb
  • What? (Score:1, Redundant)

    by dR.fuZZo ( 187666 )
    A free used game or DVD? Uhm.... since there probably won't be any used PS3 games at that time... wouldn't, say, $20 off of a new PS3 game make a lot more sense? When you're going to pick up your new console, who's going to be enthusiastic about picking up a used game for an old console?
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Because $19.99 off a PS3 means they lose $19.99.
      A used game/DVD up to $19.99 means they lose less.

      There are some other considerations too - margin is much higher on used items, so they're losing potential profit rather than taking a true loss. They also get to move some older stock they might not have been able to otherwise.
  • What? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheQuantumShift ( 175338 ) <> on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @12:03AM (#16833646) Homepage
    We're still doing that whole "preorder" thing? Wasn't this proven to be a bad idea in 2000 and 2005? I say next system, no preorders and no ebay for 1 year after release.

    "But won't that turn into some sort of brawl on release day?" you ask?

    Yes, yes it will. And Sony will put it on pay-per-view and make enough so that the next system will only cost $99 at launch. God bless capitalism.

  • Enough said.

    I mean, I talked to a Game Stop guy in my area and he recommended strongly against anywhere preordering, whether it was GS/EB or anywhere else. That, along with recollection of the 360 fiasco, was more than enough for me. Curiously, I haven't found anywhere else in my area who is doing the preordering thing. I suppose they're just a glutton for punishment.

    And now I am going to be camping in front of Circuit City from Tuesday until Sunday. In a tent. Woo!
  • This is precisely why I wait until I can physically pick one up off of a shelf, pay for it with a real person behind the counter, and ship it via my own automobile. It entirely saves me the trouble of dealing with every one of the above issues.

    It's called bleeding-edge because you may have to bleed during the process. If there's no guarantee and you donate your funds to them in the hopes that you'll acquire this new piece of tech, then there's a chance you may get screwed and have to wait without that ca
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Expect fewer than ten per store.

    - Grapevine, TX Employee who will get straight fired if this gets back to me.
  • So, although the PS3 launch is two days earlier on paper, statistically, the first million Wii customers who just walked into a store and saw a box will be playing games much earlier than the first million preorders for the PS3?

    I sorta want a Wii. I'm not even thinking in terms of preorders; I figure if I happen to be near a game store, I'll walk in and see what they have.
  • Do I misunderstand the business model? I was under the impression the idea behind pre-orders was to lock in buyers before a product is even out, AND profit from the interests on their money...

    Now, the second point comes moot when you have problems like the above, and only a retard wouldn't have expected it. And the first point falls totally flat, since they'll sell out -no matter what-.

    So who had the bright idea of allowing preorders for these consoles again?
  • Just think of all the hassle it would solve, and all the profit Sony is losing. All they need is one giant dutch auction - if the price bids up to $1600, then all that money goes to Sony.
  • Is anyone surprised that a certain retailer is short of PS3s? I thought that all retailers would be short, given the lines of people waiting for them.

    While a $20 used game or movie isn't much, I guess it's better than nothing, and more than one would normally get when they place a preorder and don't get their system on the first delivery...
    • by whoop ( 194 )
      1. Pre-order a system.
      2. Get $20 game for lack of supply.
      3. Refund your pre-order deposit.
      4. Profit $$
  • I am not concerned about the shortages. I happily plunked down $1500 dollars on ebay for a pre-ordered system. The privilege of being the first to play the system and not have to wait for the second round of shipments will make it all worth while. So what if some people who pre-ordered don't get it on launch day. There is no way that ebay id ps3cmdr119 will short me. After all I paid in full already, so technically I am not a pre-order. Right?
  • Just got off the phone with the local EB Games. They said that they found out from Sony this morning that they aren't getting 8 units, they are getting 4 on launch day. Don't know if this applies to all stores, but I'm guessing it's across the board.
  • Is "Screw that, just give my money back and I'll go somewhere else." going to be offered as an option?

To write good code is a worthy challenge, and a source of civilized delight. -- stolen and paraphrased from William Safire