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Chat transcript: National retailer assesses the PlayStation 2 demand

line of shoppers
Shoppers lined up early at stores for a chance to buy the PlayStation 2  
October 26, 2000
1 p.m. EDT

CNN-Host: Welcome to CNN.com, John Woodson, president of Babbage's Internet division. Thanks for joining us today.

john_woodson: Thanks for having me. It is an exciting day for gamers!!

CNN-Host: What did stores do to prepare for the launch of PS2?

john_woodson: We started taking preorders last December and planning for today over two months ago. We had 200 of our 1,000 stores opend at midnight last night. We delivered thousands of PS2 to customers without any long lines or shopping hassles.

gideon: When can U.S. gamers expect the first price drop, and how much will it likely be?

john_woodson: It is too early to predict a price drop especially with demand outstripping supply 5:1.

aceking: When is the next shipment going to come in?

john_woodson: Sony released 500,000 units today and will add another 100,000 each week as we go forward.

does: How do the graphics compare to Sega's Dreamcast?

john_woodson: PS2 graphics are oustanding. The speed and capabilities are the best we have seen on any platform.

mcday: What kind of television is recommended for the console?

john_woodson: The bigger the TV the better for gamers. New picture tube technology enables better processing of the PS2's images.

aggie03: Hey John, I've heard there are a lot of glitches in the PS2 right now. Is that true?

john_woodson: We are not aware of any problems with the PS2, especially since it has been out for over six months in Japan.

x_86er: Does Babbages have enough PS2s in inventory for consumers who did not pre-order?

john_woodson: Babbage's ran an extensive PS2 reservation program with over 200,000 reservations placed. Thus, all of our PS2's for 2000 are already sold. Don't expect to find one just sitting around in one of our stores.

BrawlinJon: When is the earliest you feel supply will meet demand?

john_woodson: Sony is committed to bring in 3 million units by March 2001. So demand and supply should equal out sometime next spring.

PS2: If someone does not have a pre-order, can they realistically expect a PS2 by Christmas?

john_woodson: No -- unless you get very, very lucky.

I: What are the shipping estimates for people who pre-ordered their PS2s in September?

john_woodson: Those orders will likely be shipped early in 2001.

Erazor: Do you think that Sony intentionally lowered their launch number from 1 million to 500,000 just to get demand even higher?

john_woodson: No, Sony would love to have a larger share of the gaming market. Especially with Xbox coming out next year.

gamer1: How many games designed exclusively for the PlayStation 2 architecture are currently available for purchase (i.e. excluding PlayStation 1 titles)?

john_woodson: There are 26 games available now. That includes some games reengineered for PS2 from PSX. As developers like EA continue to build games. They will exploit more of the PS2's true capabilities

x_86er: Do you forsee a "trade in your Dreamcast" promtion simular to what Sega did with its launch?

john_woodson: Babbage's and all of our retail stores (Babbage's, Gamestop, Funcoland and Software Etc.) purchased pre-played games and consoles so you can bring in your older consoles and trade up to PS2 -- assuming you have a reservation.

joey: What is retail price? Does it vary?

john_woodson: The retail price is $299. All of our stores and our gamestop.com Web site charge that price. Some reatilers are reported to be over pricing -- as high as $399.

auser: Does the console ship with any prepackaged games?

john_woodson: No -- you must buy them. It also only comes with one controller.

de-o: What's your favorite PS2 game?

john_woodson: "SSX" -- the snowboarding moves and hang time are great!!

rocko: How much is the Xbox going to cost? How about the Nintendo GameCube??

john_woodson: Prices are not yet available for Xbox or GameCube. Expect them to be priced around the same price as PS2. We are already receiving reservations at our stores for both Xbox and GameCube. You might want to reserve yours now so you get one.

CNN-Host: Thanks for joining us today, John Woodson!

john_woodson: Thank You! It's is a great day for gamers and those of you lucky to get a PS2 -- enjoy!!

John Woodson joined the chat via telephone from Texas and typed for himself. The above is an edited transcript of the chat, which took place on Thursday, October 26, 2000.



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