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PS3 arrives in Europe - first footage

Sony gives out over 300k of free HD TVs to the first 100 in line

It's here! The PlayStation 3 has finally gone on sale on the UK and we've got footage of the first guy in the queue (fumbling through his wallet trying to find a card that would work) shelling out to be part of Sony's next-gen.

PlayStation 3 has just gone on sale in the UK, at Virgin Megastore on Oxford Road. Sony Studios boss Phil Harrison was at the store overseeing operation PS3, as was ex-Sony Europe boss Chris Deering.

But compared to the recent Wii launch last November, the turnout was a bit low key. That's mainly down to the fact that there are plenty of units in stock up and down the country. You should be able to walk straight into a store tomorrow and pick one up without a pre-order or excuse as to why you took a day off work to stand in line. Of course the turnout may also be down to the £425 price tag.

Just over 100 gamers were allowed inside Virgin Megastore to be the first in the UK to buy the machine. But Sony made the 24-hour queuing process worth every bladder-bruising second. The first 100 or so in line were given a free 46" HD TV for their efforts in bladder control. If we'd known this was going to happen, we'd have been in that queue since Wednesday afternoon too.

As midnight neared, an announcer told the gathering mass that they would get their free telly in the post, presumably so they wouldn't have to walk around the centre of London with 'rob me' written all over them. A 46" HD TV is also too big to carry alongside a big bag of PS3. It took two Virgin staffers to carry one out to a waiting taxi.

The UK launch of the PS3 was, for one short moment, in danger of being delayed yet again. Ritatsu Thomas, 17 from Mitcham, was the first person in the queue and the world watched as he had to rifle through his wallet to find a card that actually worked - it looked like the first few he tried crumbled under the £425 weight of his decision. But he got there in the end and you can see his reaction in the movie on your right.

Virgin's promo boss was pleased with how it all went though, saying, "Last night's Sony PS3 launch at Virgin Megastores flagship store on Oxford Street exceeded all expectations. We staged a retail first by allowing eager gaming fans the chance to camp overnight in the basement of the store, to make sure they were in prime position to get their hands on the console. The event culminated with Sony being very generous by giving away 46 inch Sony Bravia TVs to the first 125 the queue."

Stay tuned for more on the PS3 launch over the coming week.