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PS3 Digital Video Recorder Appears to be a Hit

Early morning lines and sellouts as "torne" hits retail.

Torne turns your PS3 into a digital video recorder.

It's been a few months since we've had one of those "line" stories, where the big Japanese sites send their correspondents out to cover the launches for major games. Famitsu.com came through with some sweet line pics today... although the lines were not for a game.

Today was the release date for three major game products: Yakuza 4 for PS3, Gundam Assault Survive for PSP, and torne for PS3. The first two are games. The last one is a sub ¥10,000 kit that converts your PlayStation 3 into a digital video recorder.

Over the past few weeks, there has been some indication that torne would end up being a hit product. Famitsu has been covering the product extensively, with multiple print features and, most recently, a rare peripheral box review. The magazine's editors scored the device three 9s and a 10 and offered it tremendous praise, with the person who gave it a 10 saying that he wanted to give it a 20.

There's also been indication that the product would be hard to come by. Last month, retail blog Famicom Plaza reported an initial shipment of just 30,000 units.

Famitsu.com sent its reporters out today to cover the launch hoopla in Akihabara and Ikebukuro, and they came back with pics and details indicating a torne craze.

When the site's reporters arrived at the giant Akihabara Yodobashi Camera before 9:00, they saw a line of over 100. The shop had handed out tickets to those wanting either torne on its own or bundled with a 250 gigabyte PlayStation 3. The early morning line managed to grow so big even though the shop had been taking pre-orders.

As the time crossed 9:00, the line swelled to around 200, forcing the shop to open an early torne register at around 9:20, 10 minutes before standard opening time.

Famitsu.com's reporters found a variety of buyers. The first person in the line had arrived on the first train around 5:00 or so and was planning on purchasing the device in peripheral form. Many people were purchasing Yakuza 4 along with the device. Additionally, there were many purchasing the device along with an external hard drive, with one buyer telling the site that they didn't want to fill up their internal drive with recordings.

Yodobashi staff told Famitsu.com that they expected to sell out of torne in peripheral form before noon.

Things were even more heated at the Bic Camera in Ikebukuro. This shop had been promising a small number of same day systems to go along with pre-orders. By 9:30, the shop said that it would be sold out of torne in peripheral form and stopped allowing people into the lines. There were around 70 to 80 people in line at this point.

While both shops had stock issues for the torne peripheral, there didn't seem to be a problem with the PS3 bundle pack. Famitsu.com reports that Ikebukuro Bic had a "large number" of the sets, so there's apparently no worry about sellouts for those jumping into PS3 for the first time.

The Ikebukuro shop was also holding a torne launch event, with product demonstrations. You can see images from that in the Famitsu.com report.

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