European videogamers did not have to wait long for Sony's new videogame system to make its way across the Atlantic. Actually getting their hands on the system, however, was a different story. Many stores began selling the systems at midnight on November 23, making it the shortest time period ever to elapse between the release of a Sony product in both North America and Europe. Gamers, however, found it nearly impossible to get a system without preordering one, closely mirroring the North American launch. In other stores, long lines formed, which forced store owners to adopt a "lottery" system not unlike those for eagerly awaited concert tickets. The console is now almost completely sold out across the continent, with some shops selling out within thirty seconds.
The incredible demand for the system caused some shop owners to be less than enthusiastic about the launch. Most of these shop owners expressed security issues, as violence broke out in some stores in France, causing several people to be hospitalized. In countries like Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, however, the launch went more or less according to plan, showing that the PlayStation 2's release was not as crazy as it could have been. The madness should die down as more shipments make their way to Europe, the second arriving in Switzerland within the next few days.