The recently-launched PlayStation 3 and Wii game consoles remain popular on Internet auction sites, but the price they are fetching is falling as launch-related hype dies down.
Interest in the consoles peaked in the days approaching and immediately following the Nov. 17 launch of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.'s PlayStation 3 and the Nov. 19 launch of Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s Wii. Prior to their launch, sites like Ebay Inc. supported a brisk trade in reservations for the consoles. Immediately following the release, a large number of people rushed to put their newly acquired machines up for sale in the hope of doubling or tripling their money.
The number of people trying to make a buck -- or a yen -- on the PlayStation 3 was so high that it was reflected in sales of software for the console. In Japan, more consoles were sold than software titles, according to market estimates from Enterbrain Co. Ltd., while in the U.S. leading retailer GameStop said an average of 1.5 games was sold with each PlayStation 3, versus three games with each Wii.
Ebay saw sales of 14,675 PlayStation 3 consoles between the Nov. 17 launch and last Friday at an average price of US$1,186, according to Ebay Marketplace Research. Between Oct. 17 and last Friday a total of 28,233 PlayStation 3 consoles have been sold on Ebay at an average of $1,370.
The PlayStation 3 is available in two versions, one costing around US$499 and the other costing around $599.
Wii sales trends on Ebay have reflected the greater availability of the console at launch. Sales between Oct. 17 and last Friday totalled 29,451 consoles but the great majority of those, some 26,708 consoles, were sold after the launch. The average price over the entire period was $428 but this dropped to $413 in the post-launch period, said Ebay Marketplace Research.
The Wii's suggested retail is about $250.
On Monday, PlayStation 3 consoles in their last five minutes of auction were listed on Ebay at prices between $650 and $910. Some ambitious sellers had listed consoles at prices around $1,500 but they had fetched no bids. Prices of Wiis in the last five minutes of their auction period varied between $320 and $510.
On Japan's Yahoo Auctions site there were fewer PlayStation 3 consoles available than a week earlier. Only three items had bidding due to close within an hour and they were all listed at around ¥75,000 (US$647).