Playstation 3 Mania: Stores Already Sold-Out of Pre-Orders

by: Eric Savitz

Well, that didn’t take long. GameStop (NYSE:GME) reported on Tuesday that it has sold-out on pre-orders for the Sony (NYSE:SNE) Playstation 3, according to Reuters. The company’s web site has stopped taking pre-orders as well, due to “high demand and limited quantities.” The retailer only started taking orders for the games on Tuesday. You snooze, you lose.

The PS 3 is scheduled to start selling at retail stores on November 17. has started pre-selling Playstation 3 games, but not hardware. The same is true at On eBay, you can find people who pre-ordered putting the consoles they don’t yet have back up for sale. Amazon is not taking orders for the PS3 yet.

Paul-Jon McNealy, an analyst at American Technology Research
, says the short supply of Playstation 3 hardware should benefit sales of both Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s (OTCPK:NTDOY) Wii, and in turn boost the fortunes of the video game software companies. He repeated his buy recommendations this morning on Electronic Arts (ERTS), Activision (NASDAQ:ATVI), Take Two (NASDAQ:TTWO) and THQ (THQI).

“It is our opinion that a percentage of gamers who have cash and are pre-disposed to buying a console this holiday - and can’t find a PS3 - will turn to a Nintendo Wii or Xbox 360,” he writes. “This, in turn, benefits the video game publishers overall and helps support out macro thesis of buying the publishers ahead of the PS3 and Wii launches.”

McNealy said he called 25 GameStop and EB Games stores (EB is owned by GameStop) and found high levels of demand. One Los Angeles store told him they sold out in 8 minutes; a Boston store reported gamers sleeping out overnight to pre-order.

While it would be a little silly to extrapolate from the early demand from dedicated gamers to conclude anything about how the Playstation 3 will do in the long run, it certainly seems to be good news for the sector in the short run.

In yesterday's trading:

  • Sony is up $1.62 at $39.11.
  • Electronic Arts is ahead 11 cents at $55.01.
  • Activision is off 6 cents at $15.03.
  • Take Two is down 3 censt at $14.54.
  • THQ is up 88 cents at $30.47.
  • Microsoft is off 9 cents at $27.60.
  • GameStop is up $1.39 at $49.38.

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