Japan Attempting PS3 Crowd Control
They may already be lining up for the PS3 here in the U.S., but due to the huge shortage in Japan, would-be owners are being forced to utilize some ingenuity.
Japanese retailers have to manage the day's insanity, especially with only about 80,000 PS3s available on launch day, and they've also had to curtail preorder activities. Some stores have simply opted to sell units to whoever is lined up at 7 a.m., or hold raffles on the PS3s they have in their inventory. Sony's online store, which did offer a preorder program for the PSP, isn't offering any preorders for the PS3.
But the actual "lining up" process is proving to be quite the fiasco. Some stores are allowing consumers to just wait outside, but others are discouraging those hardcore overnight campers. The Yodabashi Camera in Shinjuku, Tokyo's large electronics retailer, has been telling any "campers" to disperse. Remember, large, long-standing throngs in Japan are considered a public nuisance, so any store that allows such behavior is risking authority action.
Still, even with the presence of police officers controlling the crowds and encouraging them to go home until it's time, the gatherings won't likely disappear entirely. And when the time does come, most will probably arrange themselves into a line for their impending purchase.
11/10/2006 Ben Dutka