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$500 for place in PS3 line?

Are people willing to pay hundreds for a better place in the PlayStation 3 queue?

SAN FRANCISCO--There are about 1,000 people waiting in line at the Metreon here, all of whom have their eyes on the prize: Being one of the very first people to be able to buy a PlayStation 3.

Sony tells me that everyone in line will get that chance, but only some people have been given wristbands guaranteeing that right.

So it seems as though there may be a perception, among those at the end of the line, that they won't be able to get one.

Daniel Terdiman/CNET Networks

And that may explain why, at around 7:30 p.m., a gentleman calling himself Nick Mardigras, who said he is 22 and from San Leandro, Calif., walked to the end of the line and began offering his place in line for cold hard cash.

He said he had place No. 55 and was willing to part with it. How much? "$500," Mardigras said.

The folks he was talking to seemed a little taken aback and when they asked if he'd take less, Mardigras said $400 was as low as he would go.

Everyone wanted to know why he didn't just buy a PS3 and then sell it, as everyone here expects to be able to get more than $1,000 for their booty. But he said he wasn't here to buy, just to hang out with his friends.

The couple at the end of the line talked to him about the procedure for how they would do the transfer, since Mardigras couldn't take off the wristband. It was a very complex process, and they lost interest.

Mardigras shook his head and began moving further up the line, presumably still in search of a buyer.