Is a PS3 shortage in the offing?

Limitations on PlayStation 3 preorder campaign by retailer GameStop suggest console could be in short supply.

Online retailer GameStop.com unveiled its in-store PlayStation 3 preorder campaign to GameSpot, and looks to be bracing for a shortage of systems on launch day.

Starting Tuesday morning, GameStop and EBGames stores will begin accepting "limited" preorders for the system with a $100 deposit. Per-store allotments for preorders are relatively small, and customers will not be guaranteed a PS3 on Nov. 17, when the system is scheduled for launch in the U.S.

"Most stores will receive a preorder allocation of eight units, while a few select stores will receive 16," a GamesStop official said. "In either case, employee purchases will be restricted to a total of no more than two systems per store."

The $100 deposit can be paid in cash, or via credit card or credit for a trade-in. Last month, the company conducted a test run of preorders for Nintendo's Wii and the PS3 at its Hawaii stores. In that one-day campaign, the company required that customers pay a $50 deposit with trade-in credit.

Reservations for the retailer's in-store program will be limited to one per household. The company's online preorder program will be revealed at a later date, the GameStop official said, "after software and accessory availability dates are confirmed."

Brendan Sinclair reported for GameSpot.

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