If you wander into GameStop a month from now and ask to buy a PS3 Slim, don't be too surprised if they say they're out of stock.
Thing is, although the new system has a launch date of September 1, many retailers have already begun selling it…and as a direct result, they're flying off both physical and virtual shelves. PSXE readers have reported finding the system at their local Best Buys, and according to GameSpot , calls to San Francisco Bay Area retailers have confirmed that the PS3 Slim is available, but already sold out. One GameStop employee said:
"I think Sony's probably trying to keep supply tight, so it will be in high demand like the Wii and the PS3 were at launch. We had less than a week's warning it was coming. We had reserves only open for two to three days, and the shipment only had 12 to 13 consoles. We don't know when we'll be getting our next batch."
We all remember the launch of the PS3, when Sony didn't even have enough systems ready to cover pre-orders on the first day, and the console was essentially impossible to find for the first few months. Now, we really don't expect something like that to happen this time around; the console is cheaper and easier to produce, and this late-August/early-September release is better for the holidays than that mid-November launch in 2006. Right now, GameStop's online store and Amazon.com are listing the PS3 Slim as shipping within 24 hours, but Best Buy says the Slim is already on back-order. The good news is that the majority of Slim shipments haven't gone out yet; those should be shipping on or around the first of September.
But the bottom line is this: if you plan to get one, we advise not waiting. There's little point to it (the price ain't gonna drop again) and if you wait, you're risking a lot of, "sorry, we're sold out."