So, first people camp out in front of Best Buys for days at a time to get the PS3, and then they trade them for Nintendo Wiis. Seriously. Tony Conrad, CEO and Founder of Sphere, pointed this out to us and we had to see it […]

So, first people camp out in front of Best Buys for days at a time to get the PS3, and then they trade them for Nintendo Wiis. Seriously. Tony Conrad, CEO and Founder of Sphere, pointed this out to us and we had to see it to believe it. There are people out there trying to trade their PS3s for Nintendo Wiis and some of them are offering to take a loss. In order to check out exactly how widespread this phenomenon is, I had to venture into the dangerous, uncharted waters of craigslist.org and start doing a little searching of my own.

We decided upon looking in some of the hottest cities on craigslist: Austin, New York and San Francisco. In my search of Austin, I only turned up 6 total people who wanted to trade their PS3 for a Wii, so I moved on to New York City, which boasted a pretty substantial 18 desired trades. Here’s where it gets crazy: in San Francisco, there are 48 different PS3 for Wii trades going on at this moment. Now, keep in mind, most of these trades are requesting a Wii plus cash difference, but there is the occasional barter that will take a loss just to get their hands on the latest Nintendo console.

Why would these people want to trade their hard-earned PS3 for a Nintendo Wii, since the Wii’s distribution dwarfs that of the PS3? Most of the people who camped out for a Nintendo Wii did so for maybe 4 hours. While the PS3 lines were plagued with greedy eBayers and shootings, the Wii lines around where I live were full of people drinking cocoa and taking turns playing DS games. There are a few possible answers.

First, it’s possible that the people trading for the Wii are the ones who managed to grab a couple of PS3s during a restock and can’t move them for as much as they’d like on eBay. Being a completist, I can understand this mentality, because I want every console in every generation. What better use of a second PS3 than getting a Wii plus a little cash?

Another scenario could be that they’re trading the PS3s, which are dropping in price on eBay, for the Wii to try and flip it right before the holidays. This theory is given credit by a few traders looking for 2 Wiis for a 60 GB PS3. That would definitely be a profit gain situation.

Finally, it could just be people who got the PS3 and have been terribly disappointed in the software line-up. The only game that seems to be doing relatively well in the ratings is Resistance: Fall of Man, and that’s not really enough to carry a $500-$600 system. I would love to confirm these thoughts, but all of the people I’ve tried to contact to ask why they’re selling their systems either declined to comment or didn’t have time.

No matter what it turns out to be, I would have never pictured this scenario. Sony has or, depending on who you talk to, had very powerful name recognition. It’s impossible to call a winner this early in the console war, but this time it’s going to be a much closer race.

  1. Really interesting that this is happening. It seems like any of the scenarios could be true, but I would be surprised if people bought the PS3 now are changing their mind so early in the game. I would guess people are trying to trade their extra PS3s and get Wiis so they can flip them.


  2. Glad to see that degree in Communications is finally paying off.

    Glad your job does not involve any logical thought.

  3. Actually… in Cleveland all of them are looking to give away wii’s for computer components or xbox 360 stuff

  4. RE: wto605

    Sup, fellow Clevelander?

  5. I see you riled up the retarded playstation fanboys. I have a playstation 3 right now, I would trade it for a wii in a heartbeat. My friend bought a ps3 to sell on ebay but decided it wasn’t worth the time after prices dropped. He wants to trade it for a wii. If he doesn’t find one before Christmas day he is going to return it for his cash back.

    Sony 100% flubbed this launch, their lineup is shit and the situation will only get worse with the advancements microsoft has made in game development. The wii will outsell PS3 by a mile and Xbox will win the hardcore crowd.

    Judging from the boohoos you recieved in comments above I’m going to assume your article is on Digg. What else could explain the ignorance of the commenters?

  6. It’s also interesting that all of the fanboys make sure they are signed in as annonymous before talking out of their asses. :)

  7. I work at a Gamestop in Michigan, and since the PS3 launched, we’ve had 8 of them returned. I can’t recall the reasons every gave for returning them, but we had 3 of them returned within a span of five hours this past tuesday. Two out of the three people returning them said that, after doing some research, they’d rather have a Wii (which we were sold out of). The third one said his PS3 just wasn’t selling on eBay. On a side note, PS3 peripherals languish on the shelves, while everything Wii is snagged as soon as we get it in.

  8. I live in Bangkok,and new consoles are always massively overpriced when released here(although theres more leeway to bargain in a barter friendly society)and its interesting to note that the same shop that offered me a PS3 for 38000 Baht($1000) rang me again this week(they know I usually buy every new console as it comes out)and offered the same 60gb model for 28000 baht($700),thats still more then you guys in the states are paying,but a $300 drop in one week is a clear indicator that something went wrong with the launch…in comparison the 360(and I’m not a 360 fanboy by the way,gears of war is the only game its got switched on for lately,and that was too short) has remained fairly stable in price over here since launch.no Wii’s yet(as far as I know)it’ll be interesting to see how they do in Thailand.

  9. I have to wonder if the PS3 is going to revive and actually stand a chance later on in the game. Titles like FFXIII and MGS bring the system up a few notches, but that’s only if they don’t lose the 2nd party support on those titles by the time they’re ready to launch, if not worse. The console’s launch was sour enough to really scar it, and Nintendo is now racing with Microsoft with Sony licking it’s wounds.

    Right now I have a Wii. I plan to go out and buy a 360. Part of me wonders if I’ll ever wish I got the PS3 instead of the 360, but looking at the titles slated to launch for the PS3, I really doubt it. Besides, at this point I think I want to boycott the console (and company) out of principle. Their business techniques are rather atrocious. It’s almost as if they have a demeaning, condescending complex towards their own customers, the people who formerly loved them.

    I for one am happy to see Nintendo back in a position of greatness. If Sony really does belly flop for good, my dying wish would be for Sega to come back and take another stab at the console world. They deserve one last chance.

  10. Here in Australia you can just go to any big W (its like WalMart (i think)) and get a wii or 360 – no PS3s though…


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