- Firstly, a disclaimer - any GSW editor's individual experience at a game store is obviously not precisely symptomatic of the situation throughout North America. But nonetheless, figured you might want to hear about the hardware availability at a certain major Bay Area game store branch that I visited this evening.

This particular store is located in a major mall, and the fact that there was a paper notice with 'We have PS3s' on it pasted to the open front door of the store clued me in to one important fact - they had PlayStation 3 consoles! In fact, they had two of them left. I couldn't get the kind clerk behind the counter to discuss exactly when this latest shipment (which I believe was of 3 PS3s) had come in, but he did reveal that the previous PS3 shipment, which arrived last week, took a total of about four days to completely sell out.

As a comparison, this particular GameStop (there, I said it!) had precisely zero Nintendo Wii-s in stock, and more than one person asked for a Wii in the quarter of an hour or so I was in the store (though, to be fair, there was also one phone query about the PS3.) I then asked how long the previous Wii shipment (which I think had also arrived the previous week?) had taken to sell out. While I was openly wondering if it took days or hours for the Will hardware to disappear again into the hands of hungry consumers, the clerk grinned and simply said: 'Minutes!'

So there you have it - more anecdotal evidence that the PlayStation 3 is a little slow to sell through when it gets to stores - IMHO at least partially because of the marginally eye-watering $599 price for the 60gb model that most retail stores are selling.

Even though GameStop offers $100 toward trade-in if you swap your PlayStation 2 and some extras at the time of purchase, this is the second time that I've avoided buying a PS3 when GameStop/EB has actually had one in stock - and I'm the EIC of a game magazine/website. And it's really the price (and the amount of unplayed X360/Wii games I have) which is personally holding me up - though we have a work PS3 to keep me ticking over.

So, a question to GSW readers - if you saw a PS3 in stock at a game store, the next time you walk in, would you buy one? And if not, why not? (Having said all this, I'll probably get my PS2 packed up and trade up to a PS3 some time in the next couple of months, likely when MotorStorm and downloadable Tekken 5 debut in the States.)