Sony's PlayStation 3 made its highly anticipated debut in Japan to long lines on Saturday, marking the first launch of the video game console that's expected to become a global sellout.
Throngs of people lined up for hours around Bic Camera, an electronics retailer in downtown Tokyo, to get their hands on one of the consoles. The enthusiasm was so great, clerks with megaphones asked the crowd to stop pushing, warning that all sales would end if there were any injuries.
"Standing in line today is the only way to make sure I got one," said Takayuki Sato, 30, among the buyers who queued up at Bic Camera, snaking around the building in a complete circle.
But would-be buyers were turned away even before the store opened at 7 a.m. The retailer refused to say how many machines it had, but said it knew it would sell out based on the length of the line around the building.
Short supplies were reported elsewhere, too. Sanae Saito, a clerk at Yodobashi Camera Co. chain, said her store's stock had already sold out, although she declined to say how many machines were available.
"It's all sold out with the people in line now," she said. "So many people waited in line."