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Japanese eBay PS3s marked up 300%

And it's all thanks to Chinese migrants, apparently

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What was the easiest way to get a PlayStation 3 on the day of its Japanese launch? According to one guy who braved the rain and the cold this past Saturday, the best thing to do is pay a Chinese migrant cash to queue up for hours on your behalf.

According to a correspondent of website Kotaku who claimed to have been present at the launch, the real winners on Saturday morning were Japanese businessmen, one of whom, the witness claimed, paid "a homeless-looking Chinese man, in his sixties or seventies" ¥20,000 ($170/£89/€133) to wait in line for a PS3.

Indeed, the first person to get his mitts on one of the next-generation consoles proved remarkably unwilling to answer questions from congratulatory Sony personnel and eager Japanese media. How come? It turns out he too was Chinese, with little or no Japanese language skills.

Whether the buyers acquired PS3s for their own pleasure or simply to get them quickly up on eBay isn't clear - both, probably. Certainly, there are plenty of consoles available through the online auction site, commanding prices of up to $1,500 irrespective of the unit's hard drive capacity. The 60GB PS3's ¥60,000 price tag is equivalent to $510.

That said, many, many more eBay-offered PS3s are units US-based sellers have on pre-order - let's hope there are sufficient stocks a launch to ensure they get the machine(s) they've asked for... ®

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