We all knew it was inevitable. The entrepreneurial amongst us woke up early, climbed out of their warm beds, and dragged themselves to the local Gamestop to claim their spot in line. A couple short hours later, and $100 down, a handful of lucky gamers that were early enough walked out with a slip of paper that sort of promises them a shiny, new PlayStation 3 ...

... which they took home and promptly placed on eBay, in the hopes of reproducing last year's outrageous Xbox 360 profits. Yup, eBay is being overrun with PlayStation 3 pre-order promises, priced as high as $2500 to start! Of course, "eBay permits Pre-sale listings only on a limited basis." What sort of limits are placed on this basis?

For starters, the "seller must guarantee that the item will be available for shipping within 30 days from the date of purchase," with date of purchase meaning "the day the listing ends or the date the item is purchased from a store front listing." So, if the PS3 isn't available until November 17th, and it's only Oct. 10th, then as long as your auction ends on Oct. 17th or later, you oughta be hunky-dory. But then why are auctions disappearing left and right? Note the auction screen-capped above, or the one screen-capped after the break, both of which were due to end within the 30 day limit, yet both are now gone. We've gotten a dozen tips to various auctions from our readers, all were gone within an hour. Other tipsters tell us they've had their auctions pulled and their accounts cancelled (a little much, don'cha think?).

Perhaps there's another reason. Note that Gamestop said, "As we cannot control production and shipping issues by the manufacturer, a reservation deposit does not guarantee receipt of a system available to purchase at launch," which would certainly make it difficult to "guarantee that the item will be available." If and when PlayStation 3s are in short supply this November 17th, eBay doesn't want any of the flak Gamestop is gonna be getting to rub off on them. Chances are these auctions are simply a violation of eBay's policies, and not the gloved hand of a shadowy video game company manipulating everyone's favorite online auction house.

[Thanks to everyone that sent this in]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

Call of Duty 3 to have Online Multiplayer, fo' sho'