Video game blog Kotaku has posted an image of the outside of a Best Buy store in Burbank, CA, with three people reportedly already in line outside for the November 17 launch of the PS3, still eight days away.
Best Buy has historically been among the list of stores that do not offer any kind of pre-order availability for video game consoles, instead making consumers camp outside to get a shot at the systems on a first-come first-served basis. More popular locations usually have a midnight opening, while the rest make customers wait until the normal opening time, in most cases 10:00.
Sony's manufacturing problems with components of the Blu-ray Disc reader caused them to drastically scale back on the number of launch units, only 400,000 in the US, creating a massive demand/supply imbalance. Stores that took pre-orders, including EB Games, Gamestop, and Toys R Us, fulfilled their launch date allocations within hours.
We have been checking periodically with retail locations that will sell the game consoles and most recently heard from Best Buy stores in the Chicago area that they in fact will not sell PS3 devices on a pre-order basis. "It will be a first-come-first serve procedure," a store manager told us. It is still unclear how many consoles will be shipping to each of the stores, however, the Best Buy representative mentioned that his store expects about the same units as Xbox 360s about one year ago. "We haven't received any PS3s yet, but, certainly, there will be less than 50 boxes," he said.