Taiwan gets 500 PS3 consoles for launch, U.S. PS3 allocation reduced again?

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Chicago (IL) - And you thought the supply of Playstation 3 consoles in the U.S. was tight: Digitimes reports that Sony has allocated a total of 150 game consoles for its major launch event in downtown Taipei on November 17. An additional 350 consoles will be sold through 35 selected stores, according to Sony's Taiwan branch.

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Gamers in Taiwan, however, will have an opportunity to buy a PS3 through unofficial channels, which reportedly have been importing the console from Japan - where, according to market reports, the complete allocation of apparently 88,000 consoles had been sold within a few hours after launch. The black market in Taiwan currently asks for at least $1000 and as much as $1470 for the PS3 (60 GB).

Meanwhile, stores in the U.S. are preparing for the launch of the console and rumors are flying again that Sony may not be able to supply the 400,000 consoles it has promised. Already reduced from an originally planned 2 million consoles for the U.S., Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian now predicts that Sony will only ship 150,000 to 200,000 Playstations at launch - which would represent another 50% cut in shipments and only about 10% of its original shipment plan. Sebastian estimates that Sony will ship about 750,000 PS3s in the U.S. by the end of the year, about 25% of the planned and already reduced allocation.

Several Ebay auctions appear to confirm this claim. For example, this seller, retailer Game Stop has been calling pre-order customers telling them that the PS3 in fact would not be available on November 17, but rather sometime "before Christmas."

Ebay prices for the PS3 are reacting to the market scenario already. If you are not going to stand in line, Playstation 3 prices almost exclusively have topped $1500 and, in some cases, have reached the $3000 mark.

In an earlier article TG Daily, reported about gamers who were planning on waiting in line for almost one week. However, Best Buy officials in Burbank, Calif., booted the group off its property almost four days after the line had begun to form.