Through all the problems, delays and setbacks, Sony has proved that shoppers still have an appetite for its latest games console, the PlayStation 3, as news agencies and bloggers in the region report that Japan has already sold out of its 80,000 unit quota.

Many shops across Tokyo and beyond, which in some cases had as little as just five units to sell, saw long queues throughout the night with with many shoppers having to return home empty handed.

Some shops even chose to run a lottery system to ensure violence didn't break out amongst fans trying to get their hands on the new console.

Outside electronic store, Bic Camera's flagship Tokyo store, more than 1000 people queued for their chance to buy a PlayStation 3.

However some reports online suggest that the mainstay of the crowds weren't hardened gamers keen to get home and play the latest games, but Chinese men and women paid to stand in line so wealthy Japanese Businessmen and women could sell the new console in online auctions for vast sums of profit.

The shortage of consoles was due to a last minute decision from Sony to allocate more consoles to meet potential demand in America for its launch on 17 November. Sony has said it will be shipping 400,000 consoles for launch day in the US.

The console, which has been dogged by delays, will compete with the Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 in the run up to Christmas.

In Europe, gamers where struck a possible further blow, aside from having to wait another 5 months until the UK launch - that it may be an even longer wait.

Comments made by Sony Worldwide Studios boss Phil Harrison in an interview with The Official PlayStation magazine due to be published next week suggest that Sony is still not 100% sure it will be able to make its announced March launch date in Europe.

In the interview, when asked whether the console would "definitely be out in March in Europe?", the magazine got the reply:

“Given that all of our previous statements about launching in Europe simultaneously with the US and Japan turned out not to be the case, I would not like to make any definitive statements on that."

"It’s not my job to comment on hardware supply issues other than to say some very smart people are working very hard to catch up."

"In fact, the ramp up is already starting to happen in supply and output, just obviously too late for us to have launched in Europe at the same times as the US."

We will keep you posted.