PS3 launch special: Currys says pre-orders up by 100%

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PS3 preorders have increased by more than 100% in the last fortnight at Currys, according to the UK retailer, which has also released some stats on who’s buying and why. Of those pre-ordering Sony’s console, half already own an Xbox (I’m assuming that’s the original Xbox, not the 360) and one in four own a Nintendo Wii.

One in 20 PS3s will be bought primarily because it’s the cheapest available Blu-ray player, while one third of Currys’ pre-orders have been made in-store rather than online – which it says is down to people wanting to upgrade to a HDTV or other AV accessories at the same time.

Currys isn’t having a midnight PS3 launch tonight though. Instead, its Oxford Street branch is opening at 7am tomorrow, and holding a special PS3 v Xbox 360 v Wii event at 9.30am, with one of the Frag Dolls giving her opinion, as well as customers getting a go.

“The launch of the PS3 today marks the start of the latest battle between the three biggest brands in gaming,” says Currys MD Peter Keenan. “As well as an incredible gaming experience the PS3 also offers consumers the cheapest Blu-ray player on the market. With the popularity and increased ownership of HDTV we expect the blu-ray capability to be critical to its success. As is always the case ultimately it will be the customer that decides but this weekend is only the first round. The battle begins in earnest once the launch excitement has faded.”

For other retail plans for the launch, check what Virgin Megastore is up to (and Kat’s on-the-spot report), and news on Game cancelling its planned midnight launch.

Stuart Dredge