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.