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How To Get Game - availability of Sony Playstation 2 video game console - Brief Article - Statistical Data Included

Kimberly Lankford

TOYS | Stalking the SONY PLAYSTATION 2 requires patience.

Did you fail in your quest to buy a PlayStation 2 during the holidays? You'd think your chances would have improved now that Santa has made his rounds. Fat chance. The video-game system remains as elusive as the kid who doesn't covet one.

Unless you don't mind paying $400 or more at auction on eBay or Amazon.com-more than $100 over the retail price-you need to stalk the stores. Donna Beadle, a spokeswoman for Best Buy, says the machines trickle in at random, with retailers usually taking one delivery a week.

Like most retailers, Best Buy isn't keeping a back-order list: PlayStations are offered on a first-come, first-served basis (translation: gird for a stakeout and sharpen your elbows). They're usually snatched up about as quickly as they're unloaded from the truck-well before they meet their intended destination on the shelves. Beadle herself doesn't have one yet.

It doesn't hurt to try to weasel information out of a store's sales representatives. A CompUSA salesman, for example, says that the chain isn't taking back orders, either. The machines tend to arrive at certain stores on Tuesday or Wednesday between 9 A.M. and 10 A.M. But the weekly shipments are so tiny (often only one or two consoles) that you may still have little hope of snagging one unless you hijack the truck.

Another option: Search online. PlayStation Reporter, a Web site for PlayStation enthusiasts (www.psreporter .com/ps2status.html), keeps a frequently updated status list of several retailers' shipments and links to their PlayStation pages.

One link leads you to CDUniverse, which advertises that it is taking back orders ("PS2 consoles available on backorder for $299.99!!"). But don't get too excited. One sales rep called the promise "worthless" because the site cancels back orders after 45 days, and he doubts they can be filled by then.

Your best bet: Keep an eye on Amazon.com's PlayStation 2 page. Although all its shipments in 2000 sold out in less than ten minutes, a recent batch lingered for almost an hour before it disappeared.

COPYRIGHT 2001 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group





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