HMV has scrapped its controversial plans to force gamers to pay £625 for a launch day PS3 bundle. HMV announced to customers last Friday that it was offering them the chance to get hold of a PlayStation 3 on 23rd March - providing they also buy a 4GB Sony PSP and games at the same time.

HMV said in an email to customers, "Anyone who takes advantage of this offer will get priority over other HMV.co.uk customers for the PlayStation 3."

But this did not go down well with customers, who were already miffed at having to pay nearly twice as much for the £425 console as fans in Japan. As a result, HMV has revised its strategy and will now be offering its PS3 stock on a first-come-first-served basis.

An HMV spokesperson told tech.co.uk, "One of the key factors behind our original arrangement was a desire to secure as much stock as we could in order to meet the large anticipated demand from our customers.

"Now that we've been able to confirm our stock position with Sony, we've been able to revise our online offer and have written to all the customers who expressed a desire to make the dual purchase to advise them that they can now pre-order the PS3 console by itself, if they prefer. HMV will continue to treat their pre-orders as a priority."

The HMV website is still offering the optional deal, but does not actually guarantee that customers who order the pack will get a console on launch day.

"We will shortly e-mail all other customers on our database to advise them that we will be making a limited quantity of PS3 consoles available to pre-order online in the next few days, with the majority of consoles being made available to pre-order through our chain of stores," the spokensperson said.

"This will be on a 'first-come-first-served' basis, with priority going to those customers who registered an initial interest to receive PS3 pre-order details once they were confirmed."