Diehard gamers around the world finally got their hands on new Sony Playstation 3 games consoles after midnight launches in Europe, the Middle East and Australasia.
Sony and other major retailers had talked up the long-delayed launch, organising special late-night events for those who couldn't wait until Friday morning to pick theirs up, though the console's hefty price tag appeared to have dampened the consumer frenzy that greeted launches of its earlier versions.
However, the excitement feeling is not very seen compared with putting it on the market in last year's Japan and United States where a lot of people including the staying up all night class formed a procession.
The PS3 does not come cheap, costing 599 euros (800 dollars) in Europe and 425 pounds (836 dollars/626 euros) in Britain.
The PS3 was originally scheduled for worldwide release in November, but production problems meant it was only made available in Japan and the United States, where there were punch-ups and at least one shooting at frenzied launch events.
In the United States, Nintendo's cheaper Wii console outsold the new Sony in February by more than two-to-one, according to the NPD Group consultancy, while Microsoft's Xb
Some gaming fanatics were not buying into the hype, criticising Sony's decision to sell only the top-of-the-line 60-gigabyte version of the PS3 in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Australasia. Possible incobatibilities with the PS2 and PS games was also critisized by many gamers.