Touts on eBay have been thwarted in their attempts to make a quick buck from people desperately searching for the new Playstation 3, as plenty of the games consoles are available to buy through regular channels.

Based on launches of previous gaming devices, like the PSP and Xbox, touts expected that the demand for Sony’s new machine would soon mean that shops would run out of stock and gamers would turn to eBay.

However, it seems that the delay in launching the console in Europe has allowed Sony to build up its stock, with over 200,000 PS3s allocated to the UK.

Previously, desperate gamers have paid more than double the list price for the Xbox, the PSP, and other gaming devices on the auction site.

But the high price of the PS3 – compared to its Nintendo and Microsoft counterparts - coupled with the mixed reviews, meant that the launch has been relatively muted.

A quick look at listings on eBay for the PS3 reveals that, although a couple of gullible buyers have paid more than £500 for the console, most are going for less than the retail price, with more than 1,000 of the devices on sale.

Heather Hopkins at Hitwise reported last week that, though the PS3 was the most searched for games console for that week, previous launches of the Nintendo Wii and the Xbox attracted a larger share of UK internet searches.

The Times suggests that touts would have been better advised to sell the Nintendo Wii, which has sold well on the high street, and is currently going for far more than the £175 retail price on eBay.