European and North American buyers eager to get their hands on Sony's PlayStation 3 are turning to EBay after the first consoles started selling in Japan on 11 November.
Sony kicked off the sales of its new games console on Saturday, offering 100,000 units for sale in Japan. The 20GB and 60GB models retail for about US$425 and US$510 respectively.
Several of the units are being offered on EBay and are selling for up to US$1,500. Local media reports claimed that units were selling on Japanese sites for about twice the retail price.
At the time of going to press, about 100 auctions were offering PlayStation 3 units for sale.
Buyers will have to cope with the Japanese systems supporting a local version of the NTSC standard that is incompatible with the US NTSC and European Pal television standards. The power supply poses another challenge.
One seller bundled his 60GB PlayStation 3 with a 240v-120v power adapter, but did not mention the NTSC issue. The auction still attracted one bid of £750 ($1850), and another stood at £700 at the time of this story's posting.
Several other auctions failed to attract any interest from buyers, and many sellers saw their auctioned cancelled before the official end time for failing to comply with new EBay rules on selling the consoles on its site.
Buyers are required to prove that they have the unit in their possession by posting a picture with the user's screen name inside the photograph, and to post an image of the sales receipt.
The auction site has even stricter requirements for presales, demanding that sellers have a 98 percent positive feedback ratio from at least 50 past deals.
The rules aim to crack down on fraud around this week's highly anticipated launches of Sony's PlayStation 3 in the US and Nintendo's Wii.
European gamers will have to wait a little longer before they can get their hands on the new consoles. The Wii is scheduled to go on sale in December, while PlayStation 3 fans will have to wait until March next year.
Production problems with the Blu-ray high-definition DVD technology forced Sony to delay the PlayStation 3 launch, and the company has significantly reduced the number of available units at launch in the US and Japan.
Japanese PlayStation 3 units surface on EBay
By Tom Sanders on Nov 15, 2006 8:58AM