Queues of around 100 people who had pre-ordered consoles waited patiently outside both retailers’ flagship London Oxford Street stores before doors opened – GAME’s at 7am and HMV’s at 7.30am.
GAME customers were kept amused in the drizzly conditions by a giant Sonic and were given exclusive Sony goodie bags giveaways, including PS3 T-shirts and pens, as well as bacon rolls, pastries and hot drinks.
“I arrived at 4.30am this morning and there was a queue as long as our window,” GAME store manager Mike Barnes told MCV. “The people that have come down are hardcore fans that really want their console early. Everyone we’ve served has been over the moon to finally get their hands on a PS3.”
HMV customers were given a free copy of Sega’s Virtua Tennis 3 with their console, which went down well with consumers.
“HMV offered the best PS3 deal in my eyes,” said customer Ben Armstrong (pictured), who also picked up a machine from GAME. “It’s great to get a free game that would normally cost £50.
“It wasn’t quite as hectic as something like the Wii launch was, but I was quite pleased to be able to get in and out quickly. Now I can’t wait to break it out of the box.”
After allocating pre-orders, both stores still had stock available, which went on sale to the general public at 9am.
This morning’s events came after Virgin’s official midnight launch last night, which was attended by SCE UK boss Ray Maguire.