High Street retailer GAME has told GamesIndustry.biz that it expects the PlayStation 3 launch will be far stronger than that of the Wii or Xbox 360 — due to a good supply of consoles leading to less disappointment amongst eager consumers.
While Nintendo admits it's still struggling to supply units to retail, and the Xbox 360 release was marred by a slow supply of consoles months after launch, GAME sees Sony's stock building as essential to pleasing every consumer who wants a PlayStation 3.
"It's very unusual that we're going to be in a situation where we've got enough stock to fulfil demand in the short term — that's never happened before," commented Anna Macario, marketing director at GAME.
"Sony withheld the release of the PS3 in order to build up stock levels for launch. The situation with the Xbox 360 was terrible and the Wii doesn't even hit the sides when it comes in."
"I think this is a very good move on Sony's part — it won't have that negativity of not being able to supply enough units," she said.
Macario wouldn't be drawn on how quickly GAME is likely to sell out of its PS3 allocation, but believes that customers turning up on launch day should be able to get their hands on the next-gen console whether they've pre-ordered or not.
"The noise and the hype around it will drive more people to stores than just those that have pre-ordered," she offered.
"We've certainly dressed stores up and made it available so that customers understand they can come in and buy the PS3."
"The good thing is that we're not going to have this whole raft of disappointed consumers on launch day who won't be able to buy the console for another month," she added.
As well as an early morning launch at the company's flagship store on Oxford street, over two thirds of its UK stores will be opening tonight to sell units at midnight.
Macario also revealed that Resistance: Fall of Man and MotorStorm are the two most popular titles requested, with Sega's Virtua Fighter 5 and Activision's Call of Duty 3 also top of the list.
"All the stores are really revving up for it and prepared to put in the long hours to be able to get through the customers."
"The concern is that there's a lot to sell during the day and we'll need the extra hours to get through it all," she concluded.