The PlayStation 3 launched today in Japan to long lines around electronic retailers. The system attracted 1,200 people to one store, with Ken Kutaragi, the head of Sony’s game unit, appearing for the crowd at 7 in the morning. “I’m grateful that so many people are waiting for the PS3 … I hope you will enjoy the next-generation entertainment to your heart’s content,” Kutaragi said. PlayStation 3 is being challenged by Microsoft’s struggling Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s Wii, which launches December 2 in Japan.
“I’ve been waiting for this day to come for so long. I’ll play it all through the weekend. No time for meals,” said Tomoaki Nakamura, a gamer that owns every Sony game system to date. “It’s the newest system, the latest and greatest thing … although the Nintendo Wii looks very interesting, too,” said Robyn Sinclair, who waited for more than 12 hours in line. Sony is counting on dedicated gamers like them to overcome the price differential that PlayStation 3 faces against its competitors. The standard price for a 20 Gig PS3 is $425 in Japan.