the tragedy of choice

It turns out that Playstation 3 console supply problems started easing before Christmas, enough that pretty much anyone that really wanted one could have gotten one without much pain. Now that you can actually find one, though, should you actually buy one? The thing still represents a sizable investment, yet offers little immediate return, especially for family game play.

Oddly, there are reports from industry analysts that suggest that the console drought will stretch well into next year, but that doesn’t agree with the experiences of gamers on the ground. For example, in comments to this piece on the drought, someone comments, “I walked into a gamestop at a local mall and they had a bunch of PS3’s just sitting there.”

I’ll test the waters on Dec 31st, which is the next date that says that local retailers will have Wii consoles. But given that the Wii is cheaper, significantly more fun and family friendly, and truly innovative, I think that it’s more likely that any console drought will be limited to Wii and PS3’s will be plentiful after New Year’s.

UPDATE: PS3 officially a dud?

As soon as people realized that you couldn’t make a profit with PS3s on eBay, they started returning them to the retail stores. It wasn’t rare to walk into a Circuit City or Best Buy the week before Christmas and find 3 or 4 returned Playstation 3s.

In fact, when GamingMoments returned its PS3 to Circuit City after failing to sell it on eBay, the employees told us that more and more people were starting to do this, confirming a trend.

However, even with a surge of Wii supply on December 17th, Nintendo Wii continues to be totally unavailable. No returns at the stores. You can’t get one on eBay for less than $450, almost 2x retail.

I’ve got nothing against the PS3 – you won’t see me go all Sharikou on you and proclaim “SONY BK in 3 Quarters” or anything. It’s just frustrating to some extent that the high-end, Bluray-equipped, godlike trancendent machine is sitting on shelves, while what amounts to nothing more than a souped up Gamecube with a cool controller is impossible to find.

Speaking of sharikou, even he’s on board the Wii wagon. As are the linux geeks.