Misguided Hype: PS3

We’re only a few hours away from the PS3 release. In the interest of complete disclosure, I hate Sony. My reasons have been covered in other posts, I’ll save the space here. But needless to say, I don’t want a PS3.

Something has occurred to my over the past few days. I’ve talked to a lot of people about the PS3, a ton really. But looking over the past week I’ve noticed that I talked to exactly one person that was hoping to buy a PS3 and get it home to play.

I witnessed the events outside one Boise retailer this morning around sunrise, there was a line of about 60 people. This was 24 hours before the unit would be sold there, their ad promised between 20 and 30 units. Due to the crowd control issues and the cops being called, a drawing commenced… not for the units, but for a ticket to get in the door when they go on sale. Of the 60 there, when asked (not that it mattered) all but two said they were going to put the unit on ebay. Those two, friends, were both trying to get a Christmas surprise for their kids.

That got me thinking about the hype that precedes the PS3 release. If you’ve watched any of the coverage, you know there are similar events across the nation. You’ll also have noticed that there is more coverage surrounding the prices people are getting for pre-orders on ebay than anything to do with the system itself. The hype surrounding the system, isn’t the system, it’s the profit you can make if you get one.
So what will happen to the hype of the unit post release? I don’t know. Right now, there are countless pre-order units going for over 3000 dollars. I’ve watched several close at or above the 4 grand mark. I kinda suspect the market will suddenly be flooded with PS3s for sale at higher prices, if most of the 400,000 or so flip their units on ebay it’ll really screw with the economics surrounding the unit and the hype. I wonder if things would be different if pre-ordering (or selling pre-orders on ebay) wasn’t possible. The established prices wouldn’t exist and those who don’t know what the PS3 is until they see on the news that they can flip it on ebay would learn about it too late.

As I write this, I see another auction on ebay close for 3,800 dollars.

Stupid people. If you are willing to pay eight times the retail price of an item… We’ll I’m speechless.

ADDED NOTE 11/18/06

You people that paid 10,000 dollars within the first few hours on ebay feel better? there are at least 25,000 units listed on ebay and prices are under 1,000 dollars now. Several only making 100 or 200 dollars off of their unit. There are countless high reserves set that aren’t being met… So much for this get rich quick scheme. As usual, the first few people who got in quick and smart made money. Now it’s over. Hope you really wanted the unit, you’ve got it now.

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