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Sony PS3 launched in Europe 2007-03-26 08:13:39
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Sony's PlayStation 3 home video-game console.

Sony's PlayStation 3 home video-game console. (File Photo)
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    BEIJING, March 26(Xinhuanet) -- Sony's PlayStation 3 (PS3) gaming console was launched across Europe at midnight Friday as the company took on competition from Nintendo and Microsoft.

    In Germany, the PlayStation 3 made its debut at Berlin's Sony Centre, a downtown commercial building complex where the principal tenant is Sony Europe's corporate headquarters.

    Sony took over the glass-roofed plaza next to Potsdamer Platz for a pre-launch party for the waiting fans.

    "It was packed. We couldn't get anyone else in," said a Sony spokesperson, Guido Alt, adding that 700 invitees and 2,500 fans showed up to hear a concert by boyband US5, German rapper Sido and US band Good Charlotte.

    Bastian Schwewiola, the first Berlin buyer, told TV crews, "My dream has come true," as he emerged grinning from a ground-floor Sony shop and headed home to play non-stop till breakfast time.

    Around Germany, many electronics marts used exemptions from trading-hours laws to stay open past midnight to satisfy the fans' urgent demands.

    Buyers of the PlayStation 3 were unfazed by the fact that, at 600 dollars, the product is far more expensive than the rival game consoles, the Nintendo Wii and the Microsoft Xbox 360.

    Because of a shortage of blue lasers needed for the Blu-Ray optical disk drive, European buyers had to wait longer than North American and Asian customers, who received their consoles last year.

    Some customers were annoyed that Sony removed a special computer chip from the European version which would have allowed it to operate games from the preceding model, the PlayStation 2. Sony said this was to save costs, but it was "working on" backwards compatibility.

    In London everyone who bought a PS3 also received a 46-inch high definition television and a taxi home.

    In Paris the midnight launch attracted only about 100 aficionados to stores on the Champs Elysees.

    According to Pierre Cuilleret, head of the retail chain Micromedia, the success of the PS3 "will be decided in the coming months."


Editor: Chen Feng
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