Buying one is hardly an impossible feat; however, recently there do seem to be a higher percentage of retailers with the machine sold out.
Take that sign, which says that all colors of the PS3 are sold out.
At a Sofmap retailer, there are no laminated PS3 tickets you can take to the register to exchange for a PS3 — meaning, this shop has no PS3s in stock. There are PS2, Xbox 360 and Wii tickets as those consoles are in stock.
All this comes as a notice surfaced, stating that 80GB PLAYSTATION 3 sales would cease on August 9. The surfaced notice was apparently from retailer 7-Eleven (7-Eleven sells video games in Japan) and stated that pre-orders for the Black, White and Silver 80GB PS3 will cease on Sunday, August 9 at 10am.
And now, look, days later and Japanese stores are out of the Black, White and Silver PS3! Though, it's still unknown how widespread this actually is and if this phenomena is only occurring in isolated stores or is nationwide.
The rumor is that Sony will be unveiling a new PS3 model at the Games Convention in Germany and the decision to take the 80GB off the market in Japan is to make room for that new model.