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Sony PlayStation 2 prices hit £1000 on UK grey market

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British gaming freaks have paid up to £1000 a pop for Sony PlayStation 2 consoles. London electronics retailer Computer Exchange started selling imported consoles at £999 last week. This is way above the £300 price tag the machines are expected to sport when they officially hit UK shelves in September. Computer Exchange has since dropped its prices to £699, but said it sold out at the weekend and is now awaiting this week's shipment from Japan. The chain of shops refused to reveal how many PlayStation 2s it has shifted. All Mark Lewis, pricing director at Computer Exchange, would reveal was that the "queues of people trying to get into our shop on Rathbone Place" at the weekend made him feel a little "nervous". After all, gamers in Japan have came to blows trying to get their hands on one of their beloved consoles. PlayStation 2s have also been springing up in online auctions. Bids reached $999 (£633) for one console sold from Switzerland on eBay today. Meanwhile, a survey has found that the UK is fast turning into a nation of game-a-holics. According to researchers commisioned by film trade rag Screen Digest, Brits spent £1 billion on computer games in the past year --almost double the £573 million spent at the cinema. UK games sales were the highest in Europe -- nearly double those of nearest rival France. ® Related stories Sony asks buyers to return faulty PlayStation 2 MCs Sony sells 980,000 PlayStation 2 consoles in two days Unauthorised PlayStation 2 exports illegal

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