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PS3 feebly limps onto market in Australia

The Aussies are not too kean to hand over AU$1,000 for a PlayStation 3 console

While the most hardcore of the UK's PlayStation loyalists queued up around Britain last night waiting for their consoles, counterparts in Australia were already at home playing with them. The time difference meant that Sydney-based fans got hold of their PS3s 11 hours before we did in Europe.

Unfortunately for Sony, however, despite the scorching Australian heat, the Aussies have given the console a fairly icy reception.

Over 500 retailers across Australia swung open their doors at midnight, but the frantic PlayStation enthusiasts were nowhere to be seen. Despite Sony's claims of 20,000 Aussie pre-orders, most stores that opened at midnight were deserted.

This was in stark contrast to the launches of the Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii.

At the official launch in Sydney, just one hour before opening time the PlayStation buyers were still outnumbered by security, staff and journalists.

The crowd was so subdued and unexcited that the TV crews attending the scene had to beg them to feign enthusiasm. Radio broadcasters resorted to chearing themselves to try and make their reports sound more interesting.

This fairly frail PS3 launch was echoed 11 hours later across Europe , when only a tired 100 or so people queued up at the official event in London. The feeble nature of the London launch was mirrored in Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam...