Video Game Law Blog

October 17, 2006

Recently several listings appeared on eBay for PS3 pre-orders. The owners of the listings, who claimed they had secured PS3 pre-orders from various retailers, were offering the pre-orders for sale at inflated prices. eBay removed the listings, presumably because the listings violated eBay's requirement that the pre-ordered product be available within 30 days.

This is only the start of PS3 availability issues.  We're particularly interested in seeing how Sony handles the initial sales of its PS3s–in light of how Sony dealt with the launch of the PSP.

Sony's release of the PSP happened in selected countries, which meant the PSP wasn't initially available in some areas such as in Europe. Sony tried to preserve its scheduled launch dates by taking a hard approach against European sales.  In fact, Sony went as far as to sue several retailers who were selling imported PSPs in the UK. These unauthorized sales are called 'parallel importing"? or 'grey marketing"?, and each country deals with them differently.  We understand that EU law might actually allow manufacturers to stop any these sales if the products were originally sold in countries outside the EU.  The question is  will Sony take the same approach with the release of the PS3?     
Coverage of eBay auction here (