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UK retail gears up for midnight PSP launch

Sony's PlayStation Portable goes on sale officially in Europe for the first time tomorrow, with hundreds of retail stores across the UK planning to open at midnight tonight in order to sell the handheld console early.

Sony's PlayStation Portable goes on sale officially in Europe for the first time tomorrow, with hundreds of retail stores across the UK planning to open at midnight tonight in order to sell the handheld console early.

Leading retail chain GAME plans to open 250 of its stores at midnight, with 1500 staff working overnight to meet demand for the new console, which is launching with around 30 software titles and 30 UMD movies.

Many other retailers are also planning to open tonight, with several planning special launch party events - including Sony's official launch event, which will take place at the HMV store on Oxford Street.

The PSP launched nine months ago in Japan, and five months ago in the USA, with the European launch being delayed as Sony struggled to manufacture enough units to meet demand in other territories.

Despite the wait, most retailers expect to sell out of the PSP this week in Europe - and demand may not be met fully until a rumoured second, larger shipment of the hardware arrives later in September.

Some retailers claim to have sold out of their launch allocation on preorders alone, and may have no unallocated stock to sell on launch day - with customers being advised to shop around to find stores which still have stock available.

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Rob Fahey avatar
Rob Fahey: Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.