HMV has decided to cancel the planned midnight opening of its Oxford Street store for the launch of the PlayStation 3 (PS3).

The decision follows police fears over customers’ safety at midnight launch events. The Oxford Street HMV store will now instead open at 7.30am on 23 March. However 50 other key HMV stores around the country will still open at midnight.

In addition to running promotional activities and hosting game demos throughout launch day, HMV will be teaming up with SEGA to give the first 150 customers to buy a PS3 a free copy of the game Virtua Tennis, according to Gamesindustry.biz.

The company hopes that by opening at 7.30am it will benefit from passing commuter traffic. HMV said that after the successful midnight launches of the Wii and World of Warcraft, if it was unable to do a midnight launch as spectacular as that it would rather not do it at all.

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