One Guys' Launch Experience with PLAYSTATION 3
We are now near the end of one of the biggest days in video game history. Last night at midnight, stores around the country opened so that they could sell the brand new PLAYSTATION 3 to customers waiting in extremely long lines.
This morning, several nationwide stores opened to sell their preordered PLAYSTATION 3’s, as did a few stores that were doing “lottery” style sales of the PLAYSTATION 3. Here was MY launch day experience!
Early yesterday morning, I began my search of the various stores in my area. I placed calls to every Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Fred Meyer (a “sell everything” type store), and Target within a 50 mile radius of Everett, Washington. The population of that total area is about 1,000,000 people. Not a single store I called had more than 20 PLAYSTATION 3’s, and all the Wal-Marts, Best Buys, and Targets told me that they were all spoken for. Stores that had 12 consoles had lines of 30+ people, while stores that had less than 10 consoles generally had lines of 20+ people. A Fred Meyer employee told me they had four consoles in the majority of their stores. He also told me that the following morning (November 17th), they would hand out tickets to every person in line, and immediately afterward draw four tickets. Those who had possession of the one of the drawn ticket would have the opportunity to buy a PLAYSTATION 3 on the spot.
Late last night, I did another round of calling to the stores in our area, just for the heck of it. From the info I gathered, many of the stores that had 12 consoles now had lines of 50+ people, while stores that had less than 10 consoles had lines of 40+ people. The demand for the PLAYSTATION 3 was very high, even though my area has a relatively low population compared to the major cities. After doing all the calls, I decided my best chance was to split up, and head for the lotteries Fred Meyers was doing.
Waking up this morning at 5:00 AM, my friend and I split up; while he went to a Fred Meyer south of us, I stayed at the local Fred Meyer close to my house. At 6:00 AM, there were around 10 people in the line waiting to get handed tickets at 6:45 AM. In the course of 45 minutes, however, I watched as my line grew to more than 100 people. Of the 100+ people (rough estimates were in the 120’s), only four of us would get a PLAYSTATION 3. The line at the other Fred Meyers was reported to be 100+ also, giving my friend and I less than 2% chance of getting one at either of the stores.
When the drawing occurred at 7:00 AM, the numbers pulled got as close as 20 digits to my number, and numbers pulled at the other Fred Meyers got as close as one digit to my friend (the person in front of him). Unfortunately, while I got to see the excitement and chatter among gamers waiting to buy a PLAYSTATION 3, I walked away with nothing.
The most interesting part of the day’s events was the money involved. People were willing to pay thousands of dollars (literally) so that they could have the PLAYSTATION 3. Immediately after the fourth number was drawn, a man near me approached the winners and told them he would give them $200 cash for one of the winning tickets. I was glad to see that all of the people that won refused the offer. This meant they were true gamers, and were getting the PLAYSTATION 3 so they could enjoy it, rather than the profit generated from selling it.
The day’s events were exciting, and news of the PLAYSTATION 3 is only going to get more exciting in the coming weeks, as more PLAYSTATION 3’s hit store shelves around the country.
For those of us who did not get the first PLAYSTATION 3s, here's a trailer of the PLAYSTATION 3 launch title, "Resistance: Fall of Man".