Sony puts measures in place to ensure safety.
A spokesperson for Marylebone Police has told GamesIndustry.biz that there are "genuine concerns" over the safety of consumers planning to attend the midnight launch for PlayStation 3.
"We do not support these midnight launches, that is the bottom line. There are inherent problems we can't deal with easily," the spokesperson said.
"If the launches do go ahead, we have to negate the issues as far as we can, but we can't remove the risk factors for people coming to or going away from the store."
The PlayStation 3 will launch in Europe on Friday March 23, and Virgin Megastores's flagship Oxford Street branch will host a special midnight event to mark the occasion.
According to the spokesperson, police have had meetings with Sony and Virgin about how to handle the expected crowds. "In fairness, the store is meeting us half-way," he said. "There won't be any crowds on the street."
The spokesperson explained that the location of the Virgin store makes external crowd management difficult. It's set on a narrow stretch of pavement, which means it's not possible to set up crowd barriers, and is in close proximity to Tottenham Court Road tube station and busy bus stops.
Police are concerned about the safety of consumers travelling both to and from the event, particularly if they leave carrying bags which indicate they are in possession of a PlayStation 3.