London (UK) - As reported on TG Daily when the PlayStation 3 launched in the UK, Sony gave away over £250,000 ($490,000) in freebie’s to the first new PS3 owners, including a free Sony Bravia HDTV and a taxi ride home. Now major British retailer HMV, who are rivals to the Virgin Megastore at which the launch event was held, has said that Sony’s PR moves smack of a desperate “stunt” to attract publicity.
"The stunt of giving away over £200,000 worth HDTVs, though great for the fans that managed to get one, struck me as being slightly unnecessary in the greater scheme of things - especially as it may have encouraged some of the more cynical media to think of it as a last-minute attempt to bolster queues and PR coverage," a HMV spokesperson told Gamesindustry.biz.
"If Sony had that kind of money to spend I'm surprised they didn't just invest it in a truly memorable and fantastic launch event, full of theatre and special effects, like the one we saw for Nintendo Wii - which to my mind remains the benchmark for such launches," the spokesperson continued.
Sony meanwhile has been attempting to quash rumors that there are many PS3’s sitting on store shelves in the US, where the console has been available since November; with NPD sales data showing the PS3 lagging far behind the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii in the past months since its launch.