We got our first glimpse of the PS4 Slim on Gumtree a couple of days ago, even though it's not due to be announced for another couple of weeks. As it turns out, that wasn't the only one to have made it out into the world. There are at least six more of them on eBay. Possibly more.
A lot of people (myself included) assumed that the Gumtree console was fake, until Eurogamer went to the buyer's house to inspect it for themselves. There was always the chance that it was still an elaborate hoax, but that looks a lot less likely given there are quite a few more out there.
These ones are selling for more sensible prices than the Gumtree console, which went for a measly £295. That was one of the things I was confused about on Monday morning. Why Gumtree of all places, and why ask so little for a console that's not been announced - let alone released?
I can only assume the original seller had no idea what they had, but it looks like other people have worked out they can make a decent bit of cash. I just wondering where they're getting them from. They appear to be dotted all over the country (Manchester, Leicester, London, and just outside Glasgow), so it's a little bit weird. My guess is that some sort of shipment has been nicked, or some dodgy warehouse worker is letting these out into the world.
[Update #1: 09:53] One of the eBay sellers claims to have bought the console from someone in a factory. Apparently two were available, and he bought both. He couldn't tell me how the factory got their hands on them, but sounds as though some dodgy selling is going on.
[Update #2: 10:00] A second seller claims to have purchased three consoles from Gumtree last week, and had to collect them in person in Liverpool. Unfortunately we can't work out where those came from, since they were picked up in a public place.
[Update #3: 10:10] A third seller immediately went on the defensive when I asked where the consoles came from, claiming that they had already been announced. They insisted that it's a leak, and that the consoles have not been stolen.
[Update #4: 10:34] At this point I'm not entirely convinced everything the sellers have told me is accurate. One seller claimed to only have two consoles, but shortly after the initial listing sold an identical one appeared promising two more consoles.
Another claimed that writing on the back of the boxes indicated that their PS4 Slims were supposed to go to the Middle East. I'm doubtful of that, since the picture in the listing features a PEGI rating and a link to the EU PlayStation website.
Another says that the PS4 Slims in their possession were supposed to go to the Middle East, going so far as to send me a picture of the small print stating that the consoles were licensed for sale in both the Middle East and Africa. I was sceptical of that, given that the boxes are clearly EU models, but I've been informed that Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe does cover the Middle East. So it's more than possible that that's where these particular consoles were headed.
Finally a third seller has exactly the same photos as a different listing, albeit in lower resolution. This makes me wonder whether they even have any consoles in their possession.
If we get any more information about where these consoles have come from, we'll be the first to let everyone know.