PlayStation 3 fans queue for 72 hours

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PlayStation 3 fans queue for 72 hours

Fans of Sony's PlayStation 3 gaming console have been camping out in Virgin Megastore in London since Wednesday for a chance to get their hands on the new console at midnight.

Virgin is the only store in the West End to be granted a late licence after police and Westminster Council expressed misgivings about having hordes of game players camped out on the pavement for nights on end.

"We listened to those misgivings and offered to set up a virtual street in the store," said Virgin PR manager Stephen Lynn.

"I stayed here myself last night to make sure everything was OK. It would not be fair to expect customers to go through anything I had not."

Security in the store is tight as hundreds of fans are expected to wait to get their hands on the new machine. Some have been camping out since Tuesday in the basement of the store, and a PS3 has been set up to keep them occupied.

"I've been here 15 hours already," said a member of the public who identified himself as 'Gary'. "Luckily I got the couch last night so I was fine."

Gary explained that, while he wanted the console for the games, the inclusion of a Blu-ray player would become more important later on.

"The console itself is just over £400 (A$974) but a Blu-ray player is £600 (A$1.461), so I'm saving money," he said.

Demand is expected to be strong and the store expects to sell out over the weekend, but Sony has promised to ensure new supplies as soon as possible.

However, the European Blu-ray player is more expensive and has less features than US and Asian models.

"Getting costs under control and bringing down the price point of the PS3 is key," said analyst firm Ovum in a briefing note.

"There is no secret that Sony is losing money on every console sold. The cat is out of the bag so Sony's hands are largely tied by now, but key will be Cell processor manufacturing execution, and bringing down the cost of the Blu-ray drive."
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