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The ugly truth behind the Japanese PS3 launch.

Is this what humanity has been reduced to? The sad thing is, what transpires during the N. American launch may not be that different, and there is the propensity for things to be even worse. Very disappointing and disheartening. :(

 

This is why I hate the eBay scalpers. Call it capitalism all you want, but at the end of that line is someone getting short-changed and someone sitting in his / her living room collecting the profit. This is pure supply and demand economics at work, though, and for anyone to complain that the labor gets short-changed needs to go back and read some Malthus. This is nothing new. To pin it on Sony or the retailer is just looking for blame outside of human nature.

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You are doing a good to the community by providing jobs to the homeless persons. [Edit: I say this sarcastically, as that the standard line every shop/corporation/you name it throws around] Really no different than a [insert evil corporation name] coming to your town.

 

Is this really any different than you and I going to work to make somebody else rich as hell while we do all the hard work?

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Is this really any different than you and I going to work to make somebody else rich as hell while we do all the hard work?

 

Nope, which is why I said, "This is nothing new." Looking for blame in the coporation or retailers, however, is misdirected.

 

Also, where were the actual gamers? If the crowd on hand were, as that report suggests, disinterested paid stand-ins, what does that say for the actual interest in Japan for the PS3?

 

I think it says that gamers in the know who want one, like myself, know better than to be treated like a day laborer waiting overnight in the cold for something that, in the end, is a toy.

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as that report suggests, disinterested paid stand-ins, what does that say for the actual interest in Japan for the PS3?

That "report" is a whole lot of sensationalist garbage for the most part and does a great job of overstating and amplifying an issue that has been prevelant in Japan from way back when the DS/PSP launched.

 

Take a read of this which is a far more balanced and realistic report of what the Playstation 3 launch entailed without all of the fluff and goings on about "lack of police" and the horrid "dark side" of the Playstation 3 launch:

 

http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=69868

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As a gamer, it is disheartening in that the ones waiting in line aren't the video game die-hards.

 

But why is it even upsetting? How is this different from anything else that goes on every day in the world?

 

People do it with collectibles. People do it with real estate. People do it with stocks. People do it with cars. You name it, if there's demand for it, someone will buy it just to sell it for profit.

 

What's wrong with that? Noone is being forced to buy the PS3 at a markup. They pay proportional to how badly they want one and what they can afford. It's not like this food or clothing or essentials here. This is a toy!

 

but at the end of that line is someone getting short-changed and someone sitting in his / her living room collecting the profit.

So who is being short-changed here? I don't see anyone forced to buy anything. I don't see anyone buying the PS3 at a markup thinking it was regular price. Anyone who buys a PS3 off Ebay for twice the MSRP knows full well what he or she is doing.

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So who is being short-changed here? I don't see anyone forced to buy anything. I don't see anyone buying the PS3 at a markup thinking it was regular price. Anyone who buys a PS3 off Ebay for twice the MSRP knows full well what he or she is doing.

 

Well, it hinges on all sorts of things, some moral and some political and some sociological. It's funny how when you bring it up people immediately say they don't want to hear about it. It's a group repression dynamic that comes into play in a lot of things people don't want to hear about when they are doing is logically right but morally relative.

 

Basically, it prices some people out of the market for something that they believe they have a right to. A stark example would be gentrification - people get angry when their once-affordable neighborhood becomes trendy and they end up priced out of their own neighborhood. The gentrifiers say it's just economics, and they have a right to pay whatever they want for that brownstone if they can afford it. They feel they deserve it. While you can't really argue with that, there's another side to that story that people don't like to hear about it.

 

I'm not arguing that it's morally reprehensible, but the truth is that someone else isn't gonna like it. Tell them to move, tell them to wait until they can buy a PS3 with the rest of the paupers, whatever - you're still telling them they come second. It's just not something people like to hear whether you agree or not.

 

As for the Japan thing, this is a situation in which people with the resources are having people without the resources do their dirty work, so it adds an ugly layer that was caught on tape.

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As for the Japan thing, this is a situation in which people with the resources are having people without the resources do their dirty work, so it adds an ugly layer that was caught on tape.

That is debatable. These are jobless people and people without homes. According to the article these men and women were given 20,000 yen (170 USD, approx.) to wait in line. Unpleasant as that work might seem to you or I, it is still work with which they are being compensated for and it is work which they otherwise would not have had.

 

I am sure that if you spoke to these line-standers, they would tell you that they were grateful for it. This isn't dirty work. There is nothing illegal they are being asked to do and they aren't being pressured into it in any way.

It's funny how when you bring it up people immediately say they don't want to hear about it. It's a group repression dynamic that comes into play in a lot of things people don't want to hear about when they are doing is logically right but morally relative.

Not sure whom you're referring to here. Do you mean the public at large? The people hiring the homeless to stand in line? Us?

 

A stark example would be gentrification - people get angry when their once-affordable neighborhood becomes trendy and they end up priced out of their own neighborhood. The gentrifiers say it's just economics, and they have a right to pay whatever they want for that brownstone if they can afford it. They feel they deserve it. While you can't really argue with that, there's another side to that story that people don't like to hear about it.

I don't think this is a valid example. People who get priced out of their neighbourhood are upset because they once lived there paying what they were happy with and could afford and can no longer do so.

 

So far, noone has been paying a previous amount for the PS3. Noone has had a 'right' to it, so it's not the same thing. The PS3 would be a new neighbourhood that they could never afford in the first place, so they would never have felt the same sense of entitlement.

 

And this is about housing, which is far more essential and far less of a luxury than an electronic device that entertains in the living room.

 

Another thing is that we have not brought up a very simple truth -- that the PS3 will be at MSRP in several months, a year at most. This is a FACT. It's not like these are the only PS3s that will ever be built.

 

In the end:

 

- The PS3 is a luxury item. Noone on this planet needs it for their survival or well-being.

- There are lots of other products like it. Xbox 360, the Wii.

- Noone has done anything illegal to acquire it first and people getting paid to wait in line are being compensated for work which they otherwise may not have had and are grateful for.

- People end up buying the PS3 at markup know fully well that they are paying a markup and are happy to do so for their own reasons, which are not related to necessity.

- And finally, the PS3 will be back to regular price in months' time, a year at most. Noone is being denied the opportunity to own this luxury item in short time.

 

Like I said, I see nothing wrong with what's happening.

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Take a read of this which is a far more balanced and realistic report of what the Playstation 3 launch entailed without all of the fluff and goings on about "lack of police" and the horrid "dark side" of the Playstation 3 launch:

 

http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=69868

Thanks for the link. That article definitely gives a more measured view.
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I have mixed feelings about that Sony launch story. Sure, those people are happy to be getting paid just to stand in line for a full day, but it does rub the wrong way all the same.

 

It reminds me of the Civil War in the US where if you were rich enough, you could pay someone poorer than yourself to "stand in" for the draft and pay a fee to the govt for the priviledge. Effectively, the rich could buy their way out of serving their country in the most decisive war it has ever fought. It's illegal now of course, but it was a legal way back then to save your hide. Arguably, the rich were able to pay with money instead of blood in service to our country, but does anyone really buy that?

 

A PS3 launch is a different thing than a war of course, but the moral feeling has that same texture to me. It's not that these people are getting ripped off, it's more that if there is such a large rift in a well-being between the haves and the have-nots that would seem to indicate larger problems.

 

I don't know, that is unsettling though.

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Man this is a messed up launch. Despite being #4 on the pre-order list at my local Gamecrazy since May, they STILL don't know how many units they are getting on Friday! The manager has not been told by coporate. They basically said it will be 2, 4, 6 or 8 (who do we really hate?) and so I guess I have a roughly 75% shot of getting one.

 

Full douchebaggery disclosure: While not sure what I was going to do back in May, I'm now purely hoping to get one just to sell off and finance my Wii purchase.

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I found out why this lady coughed up $2100 for my PS3. What a great world we live in I went to zillow.com and typed in her shipping address and this is what I got back:

 

 

Public Facts

Owner's Facts

Home Facts Owner Facts

Residence: Single family

Bedrooms: 5

Bathrooms: 8.0

Sq ft: 9,288

Lot size: 236,100 sq ft / 5.42 acres

Year built: 1957

Year updated: 1960

# Stories: 1

Total rooms: 25

Basement: --

Roof type: --

Primary exterior material: --

View: --

Primary parking type: --

Covered parking spaces: 1

Primary heating source: --

Primary heating system: --

Primary cooling system: --

Architecture: --

Fireplace: --

Swimming pool: --

Waterfront: --

County: Los Angeles

 

Zestimate: $4,708,792

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I have mixed feelings about that Sony launch story. Sure, those people are happy to be getting paid just to stand in line for a full day, but it does rub the wrong way all the same.

...

A PS3 launch is a different thing than a war of course, but the moral feeling has that same texture to me. It's not that these people are getting ripped off, it's more that if there is such a large rift in a well-being between the haves and the have-nots that would seem to indicate larger problems.

 

I don't know, that is unsettling though.

 

I know what you mean. I was speaking with my sister today about my plan to wait xx hours Thursday to get mine, and she recommended I sell it on ebay.

 

I asked if it seemed right to her if only the haves were the ones that ended up with the systems connected to their TVs this Christmas while none of the (relatively) have-nots ended up with one. (This would happen if every PS3 made it to ebay.) She said that it was fine; plus, a have-not could spend his life savings on it if he really wanted one. I sighed.

 

Seriously, those stories about how much CEOs are making nowadays may be anecdotal, but only somewhat so. How much do we want to make inaccessible to the have-nots? In Texas, at least, there's a growing trend for toll roads. Are public highways really something we want to exclude the have-nots from? (It can seriously cost $100+/month in tolls depending on where you live and work.)

 

Are video games?

 

So, any have-nots out there considering ebaying your system, please reconsider. It's not like you're balancing the scales toward the have-nots with this transaction. Think of it this way- if you keep it for yourself, you won't really miss the extra $$ you would've made. After all, you've been just fine without it so far. And if you take pleasure in watching the other half suffer, rest assured that many of the haves that have the money to pay but no seller to sell will, in a sense, not be just fine.

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With everyone complaining about people selling the system for a profit (which I have no problem with. If you can make $1500 profit on something you paid $600 for, why the hell not, its better then the stock market). If people are going to talk about that, how about ...

 

How many gamers out there will not be getting a system, because of people who pre-ordered a PS3 system to get a cheaper Blu-Ray player. People who will not buy games at all. Just look at AVS, and other major HT forums. So why not complain about those people who are taking System out of the hands of the gamers. Why little Timmy wont get one because someone waited in line to reserve one to watch movies and not play games.

 

Its all a circular arguement. People have waited in lines to hoard limited items for years. Its nothing new. Cabbage Patch Kids, Power Ranger Toys, SW Action Figures in the 90's, Tickle me Elmos, Beanie Babies and the list goes on and on. All of a sudden its like everyone woke up and realized this stuff happens, and then you know what . In a few months when supplies go up, the craze dies down those who spent $2100 look like fools, when the "have nots" pay $599 for the system, and have $1500 to spend on games and movies

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And if you take pleasure in watching the other half suffer, rest assured that many of the haves that have the money to pay but no seller to sell will, in a sense, not be just fine.

 

Drawing a definitive line between the haves and the have nots is too cut and dry. There is too much grey area in the middle.

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Drawing a definitive line between the haves and the have nots is too cut and dry. There is too much grey area in the middle.

Sure, but that doesn't make the distinction lose its value; it's simply something to remember when making it. There are certainly haves and have-nots in society, and there are surely those in the gray (grey) area who are closer to the have-nots, etc. The distinction seems especially relevant when dealing with people who can blow $2000-3000 on a video game system (!).

 

And Cap'n,

 

As for those buying it for the Blu-ray player alone, there may be something to that complaint, but it doesn't seem nearly as bad. After all, they're buying it for their own enjoyment. Just like the PS3 might be seen by gamers as a gaming machine that might introduce an audience to Blu-ray movies, the machine may also be seen as a Blu-ray movie player that may introduce an audience to video games. Even that portion (however large it ends up being) that ends up buying zero games seems justified in buying a PS3. After all, that's why it's so expensive. If you don't plan on using the Blu-ray movie function, it simply isn't worth it (or at least shouldn't be worth it).

 

Sure, the (relatively) have-nots can wait until supplies are adequate, but should they really have to wait just because they don't have $2-3000 to spend on a $600 item? Eh, maybe, maybe not. I think I know what most people in the U.S. would say. (But they still won't have an extra $1500 lying around to blow on games and movies.)

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This is a want, not a need. This isn't like roads, or food, or houses. It's a GAME SYSTEM.

 

I'll likely be waiting somewhere Thursday night (took the night off from work), and yes, it'll go on ebay if I get one.

 

The money will help me fix the front steps, replace the mass airflow sensor in my car, pay for a replacement aluminum wheel for the one that is leaking like crazy, buy my little 11 month old girl some Christmas presents, pay for my Wii, and maybe pay off some credit card debt. Or maybe pay off my new 720p projector. :rock for the free economy.

 

Sorry for you folks that really want one. The initial run is likely going to go on ebay. The only person you can really blame here is Sony. If the supply was higher, the demand would be less.

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Sorry for you folks that really want one. The initial run is likely going to go on ebay. The only person you can really blame here is Sony. If the supply was higher, the demand would be less.

I don't think that, generally, the people who are ebaying them really are sorry. If they were, wouldn't they just not do it? They may think there's an unfortunate consequence, but they're not sorry- it's not like they would do it differently if they had it to do again.

 

And I think it's a hard sell shifting the "blame" entirely on Sony. Sony isn't selling these on ebay; individuals are. If individuals didn't do this, there'd be no one to "blame". Sony's likely pumping them out as fast as they can. I suppose Sony could just hold the release until they've got ample supply, but...why not release the first batches early so that at least some people can enjoy it now? Should only the more wealthy be able to enjoy this early taste? Eh, maybe, maybe not. I think I know what most people in the U.S. would say.

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