GameStop/EB COO: "We Have PS3s"
We learned a few days ago that some Best Buy stores and BestBuy.com had PS3s in stock. Then, at CES yesterday, Sony confirmed they had shipped one million PS3s to North America in 2006, and expected to ship 6 million more worldwide come March. So it appears they're holding good to their word.
According to the COO of GameStop, Daniel A. DeMatteo, there are PS3s available at "hundreds of the company's 3,700 outlets," so says the New York Times. In stark contrast, it seems the Wii is still very much MIA. "We got some [Wiis] in yesterday in really limited supply, and they virtually disappeared," DeMatteo said, quoted by the NYT.
Both consoles were incredibly difficult to find in 2006; during the six weeks of their existence, gamers found long lines, low to non-existent inventory, and skyrocketing eBay prices. DeMatteo has confirmed that this is the first time PS3s are readily available in his stores.
PSXE confirmed the announcement today by contacting three local EBs; one had "plenty of PS3s" in stock, one had "several," and one still hadn't seen a new shipment. This is quite different than a few weeks ago or even last week, so it appears - for this area, at least - that DeMatteo's comments ring true.
We must also note that the PS3's availability is in stark contrast to the Xbox 360 in 2005, where it was difficult to find throughout the first few months of the year. On the other hand, now that PS3s are officially on store shelves for easy purchase, it's time to start weighing the continued demand.
1/9/2007 Ben Dutka