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Just a random picture of queuing gamers from
We chronicle our own experience of lining up in hopes to snag the PS3 and Wii

Yesterday came and went, and with it were the last (of the first) round of EB Games/GameStop PlayStation 3 and Wii pre-orders for USA and Canada. With all the news of the PS3 pre-order fallout, we decided to check things out first-hand.

Nearly everyone who tried to get a pre-order has a story to tell, DailyTech staff included. Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki somehow found himself in line at a local GameStop an hour before opening Friday morning to snag a Wii pre-order. Even with the widespread news from Nintendo that Wii should be in plenty supply, gamers still waited at stores before opening time and snatched up all pre-orders within minutes.

DailyTech's Canadian editor shared a similar experience, except EB Games Canada lumped together the pre-orders for both new consoles on the same day. EB Games stores that were not situated in malls opened early at 8:30AM specifically for pre-ordering. We arrived on the scene at 7:00AM (we would have been there earlier, but there was news to be done) to find about a dozen gamers standing outside in the cold. Some had brought their own foldable chairs along with blankets for warmth. Nine people were there waiting for PS3 with the rest for Wii. The first person for PS3 was there just before midnight, with the 8th hitting the line by 3:00AM. We knew ahead of time that most EB Games stores would only be doing 8 pre-orders for PS3, so we left for another location -- one in a mall that opened at 10:00AM.

We were half expecting an even larger group inside the mall, mainly because it was in a more popular location and gamers didn't have to wait out in the cold, but we still took our chances. It turned out to be a wasted effort (except for the comedic value) as we saw well over 50 people by the store doors.

With nothing else better to do, we returned to the original 'outdoor' location to see what kind of pandemonium there would be at the 8:30AM opening. The crowd had split into two: a line of 8 for PS3 and a line of 15 for Wii, which yours truly managed to be the last one for the latter. While the PS3 line were all composed of young adult males, the Wii line was a bit more diverse with the addition of females, some of which were buying it for themselves and others for their children who were in school.

Our experiences were largely uneventful, but we've heard reports of mall security guards abusing their mall-cop powers by letting select individuals of their choice into the malls before the doors opened to the public. Others report extremely positive line-mates stories of sharing pizza, coffee, McDonald's breakfasts, and basically everything short of campfire singalongs of Goombaya.

We're sure that some of you have your own stories to tell, so please share them with us all in the comments section below.

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Links, Chiefs and Bandicoots.. Oh My!
By Aikouka on 10/17/2006 10:08:57 AM , Rating: 2
I was just about to finish reading the article and I saw "Goombaya". It threw me for a bit of a tizzy in the morning ( not enough coffee I guess! ) "Did he typo that... I know not of a 'Goombaya'"

After a good minute I finally had an epiphany and understood it. Then I felt dumb... DailyTech people are quite witty... even in the morning! ;) So now that I admited that I'm one of the "special" readers here... I'll get a bit back on topic.

I was going to preorder a PS3 and a Wii... then I realized, "Hey wait.. I'm a WoW-aholic... I barely even play my XBOX 360 (albeit I do have good games for it)... why don't I just build a better off-the-wall PC instead?" So yeah, that's my new plan. Now, I just need to wait for the new Kentfield EE and G80 this November :).

RE: Links, Chiefs and Bandicoots.. Oh My!
By silicondreams on 10/17/2006 10:57:17 AM , Rating: 2
unless I am mistaken it is Kumbaya.

Power to the PC!!!

By Aikouka on 10/17/2006 11:01:43 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, I know... just a bit thrown off in my lack-of-sleep state. :) Coffee's not doing anything, which makes me surmise that you'll never know how bad the world can be until caffeine has no effect on you anymore :(.

By OvErHeAtInG on 10/17/2006 11:19:53 AM , Rating: 2
Goombaya is the Italian version.

By Marcus Yam on 10/17/2006 5:56:14 PM , Rating: 2
LOL, yeah... okay that would be what I meant to say.

Though in my defense, they could all have been crazy Mario fans, so it really could be Goombaya. Heh.. get it?

K, I got nothin'.

RE: Links, Chiefs and Bandicoots.. Oh My!
By Alphafox78 on 10/17/2006 11:53:16 AM , Rating: 2
I concur!
theres nothing like WoW on a 20" widescreen with a Core 2 and a 7900GT OC with FSAA enabled!! mm!

By Aikouka on 10/17/2006 5:39:06 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I do want to say that although my original post could be misconstrued as a joke and that I didn't really want a PS3. I did actually go to EB Games to preorder a PS3... got there too late... felt bummed... then realized that I'd never play it anyway and that I didn't care for any of the PS3 launch titles :P.

Computer upgrade commencing soon... 2 new Widescreen 20" LCDs on the way ;).

My experience.
By Kilim on 10/17/2006 1:21:27 PM , Rating: 2
This is my experience TAKING the pre-orders.

We found out Monday at 4p.m. PST, that we were going to take them tomorrow morning for the PS3. We had heard the internet rumors, of course, but nothing was official. We had told a lot of people that morning that we were not going to take pre-orders tomorrow because we had not been told that and being aware that the internet is full of Sh!!.

Anyway, there was one person there when we left at 9:30pm. In the morning there was around fifty people there. We were only going to take sixteen pre-orders, with two being held for employee's, and one for a regular. I wasn't supposed to do this but when you spend thousands at Gamestop and pre-order everything, I will take care of you.

That left us with 13, and I told the rest of the customers about this and had about 37 pissed off people leave. Funny thing was, this was around 9:15 and people kept on getting in line! So every fiteen minutes I would tell the stragglers (the other people waiting in line would also tell them) that I could not help them. I apprecaited the poeple in line telling these late people, but they would consistently knock on the door, and ask, i.e. bug me, to confirm this.

The phone calls were hellish as were the customer complaints. The Eb at City walk got fifty customer complaints in one morning. I did not hear how many i got, because the company stopped taking them seriously. The problem was so bad company wide, they stopped creating tickets for customer complaints to be taken care of, if you could get through. So if there ever was a morning to tell a customer to suck it while showing them the goods, that was the day.

Th rest of the week was getting yelled at by people who missed the effectively 15 hour window to know about and get in line for the PS3. One guy freaked on me, yelling that he was told to call every couple of days and he would be fine, I did tell him that too, I had no idea the company would spring this on us so quickly. Well, eh started cussing so I hung up on him, and i never heard from him again.

RE: My experience.
By kilkennycat on 10/17/2006 2:44:19 PM , Rating: 2
Now the $64 questions.

Will you actually receive enough PS3s in the first shipment to satisfy the 16 orders ? And if you don't, will the employees give up their 2 preorders to help make up the difference ? I would expect Gamestop to have a policy in place that gives all customers priority over employee pre-orders in the event of actual shipment shortages.

RE: My experience.
By Kilim on 10/17/2006 3:33:32 PM , Rating: 2
We are supposed to receive that many. The allotments were based on what Sony promised to deliver. As to us actually getting them, that's on Sony, so I do not know.

At my store, we told about from #4 on, that we may not get theirs on launch day, just to be cautious, I do not think it will be that bad. We got 26 360's on launch day at my store, so the numbers should even out if Sony actually ships 400,000.

Well, I am not sure if the company will tell us to hold off on employee purchases. The customers will not know how many we got, so there is little chance of creating bad blood with them, since we cannot control how many Sony has.

Me? I would figure out some way to get my employee get one on launch. There may be some disconnected guy in the corporate office who would make the employee's wait, but I do not think so.

We are not taking the PR hit, Sony is, so there is nothing to gain in making the employees wait, when Joe Consumer has no idea how many we got in the back.

RE: My experience.
By dnotarnicola on 10/17/2006 4:02:37 PM , Rating: 1
The memo from your corporate office clearly stated that the store should not open before 10:00 am and that no holds or employee orders will take precedence over customers waiting in line. Your best customers be damned, you had clear instructions. let them wait with everyone else. The losers at my local gamestop tried the same crap and got into a boatload of trouble. A couple of us overheard an employees phone call that they recieved 18 units, and then he tried to stop the line at 12. This nonsense was corrected after a few of us called company headquarters. I know you work there, but that doesn't give you any privilege to jump the line. I heard that Gamestop was going to set up a separate program for employee orders. Not good enough for you? Too bad. Go back to school and get into another line of work. Most of the cosuomer complaints were probably justified. You and everyone else who tried to flaunt the rules should be fired.

RE: My experience.
By Kilim on 10/17/2006 5:13:34 PM , Rating: 3
The employee program was for each store being able to hold two for employees out of their allotment. Which means I only had 14. As for me holding one for my best customer and having him drop off the money the night before (just the $100) since he could not make it?

Well, Golly!

My Wii Experience
By Ibrin on 10/17/2006 10:04:07 AM , Rating: 4
My local EB opens at 10am. I had planned to get there about 9am, but didn't end up getting there until about 9:20am. I was the 9th person in line, and the store had 14 units for pre-sale. The first person had gotten there at 3:30, with the second getting there at 7:30. Most people had started to show between 8:30 and 9:15. A few people ended up coming past the 14 unit cut-off, and the opening employee would come out periodically and tell those people that they wouldn't be able to get a pre-order unit. That saved those people from having to wait for nothing. And, the opening employee also brought donuts for people standing in line. Nice touches both.

I live in a fairly small town, and most of the people in line were regulars. While no two customers knew each other, everyone was on a first name basis with the employee who opened. We were let in the store, five at a time. She had another employee (who was off the clock, but there to pre-order) helping her. He would take down everyone's name and number. While she (the on-the-clock employee) would ring up one customer on a register, the other employee would pre-populate the other terminal with the next persons name and phone number. That way, when she was done with the first one, she could jump to the second machine and have it ready to add items to the ticket.

Each person was checked out in a very fluid, quick manner. The store opened at 10:00, and I was home by 10:30 - after stopping at Starbucks on the way home.

My experience at EB Games
By Solema on 10/17/2006 11:07:03 AM , Rating: 4
Well, seeing as Marcus asked for our stories here (and not immature fanboy ranting) I will provide mine. Unfortunately, it's probably not as interesting as most.

I arrived with my brother and a friend at EB Games in Mayfield, OH, at 1am the night before PS3 preorders. We were the first to arrive. About an hour later a fourth person arrived. It stayed just the four of us for several hours, and we talked and surfed the net (courtesy of the Carribou Coffe accross the street) and drank lots of Mountain Dew.

The weather was actually pretty pleasant, at about 55 degrees around 2am. Around 5:30am two women arrived to secure one for their sons. Talk about kick-ass moms! The line balooned from 6 to 10 people around 8:00am. It stayed at 10 people until the store manager got there at 9am.

After the store manager went inside to confirm his system numbers, he came outside and gave the rest of the line the bad news. They were only getting FOUR units on launch! So much for the GameStop "representative" publicly stating a minimum of 8 at each store.

Fortunately, the store manager was very nice and wanted these people who waited in line to get a system, so he called around to nearby locations and found one that was getting 16 units, with only TWO people waiting in line. He arranged with the manager to secure 6 spots for the remaining people at our location, and they all rushed over there to get their preorders in.

After that, at about 9:30 he let the four of us into the store and took our preorders. As we were leaving around 9:45-9:50 we saw lots of people come up and get this surprised look on their faces that they were too late to get a PS3. Well, DUH! These people had to know the demand would be huge and traditionally supply is not, so anyone that really thought that they could just walk up at 10-till open and get one was sadly mistaken.

After we left that store we went to the other location that the manager had sent people to, with the intention to get another system for my brother, whow as home with Mono and couldn't wait in line with us. They sold out before we even got to the store.

2 EB's
By bennyboi on 10/17/2006 11:44:56 AM , Rating: 4
I showed up at my mall at 9:50 even though the stores open at 10 to preorder wii... oops. However, my mall has 2 EBs. I showed up at the first one, and there was no line. Getting excited and thinking that no one remembered this eb because it's in a corner, I walked in with a confident stride. They briskly informed me that they decided to open early without telling anyone, and sold out over half-an hour before hand. She then told me, with a sh**-eating-grin she has a bunch more, but they're being reserved for employees including herself. On to the next EB. There was a line of about 12 people, I jumped on and about 10 more proceeded to get in line behind me immediately. Made it by the skin of my teeth. I'm thinking that the reason the second store sold out so late was because most people didn't realize there were two eb's in the mall and jumped on the first one without thinking about the second or vice-versa. Either way, the line was too diverse for comfort. While it would have been good to see nearly every kind of person there, there was one group that was making me a little sad: Middle-school kids with parents. Parents, if you are going to bring your kid to get a video game system, do it on the weekend, or don't bring them. I'd hate to think that you broke down and let them miss school to buy a wii, because you didn't feel like being bored by yourself in line. If this was the price you were making them pay in exchange for you buying them a wii, you should have just waited till the actual release date. If i'm mistaken, and people didn't pull their kids out of school for this then good, sorry for ranting. Now more ranting...

I really hope the wii does well. I think the ps3 is gonna be huge, but like everyone has already said, it's not going to sell as quickly as the wii to start. However, the wii looks like it will be the most fun and hopefully its the sleeper that proves all the "experts" wrong and continues to outsell everything until the next console war.
Remember when nintendo became the ubiquitous system (I was 7 at the time). My girlfriend always refers to that, trying to convince me that she was a really big gamer... we'll see. The point is that she says that this new inspiration finally has her jonesing to play video games again. So as far as saying the wii system will score you a hottie... I'm not so sure. However, saying that this system will be an inspiration for everyone to try gaming again... that's dead on.

My take: I have a 360. Fun games, good graphics, xbox live is awesome. I'll stick with this for at least a couple years. I love sports and driving games, so this is my system for now

Ps3. Gonna be amazing. However, I'll just play it in a store until the price is reasonable, hopefully before 2014. Unless blue-ray doesn't become obsolete, in which case, this system a step ahead of itself.

Wii. Pre-ordered and ready to go. Zelda, Metroid, Mario, and any new FPS. Plus party games are ridiculously fun, when you actually have enough people to constitute a party. Ravin Rabbids will be my second purchase after Twilight Princess.

Similiar Experience
By UserDoesNotExist on 10/17/2006 9:49:11 AM , Rating: 2
I had a similar experience with my Wii pre-order. There were actually double the people in line at the outdoor location than there were at the store in the mall. Keep in mind this was in Fargo, ND, where the temperature was around 25 degrees Fahrenheit at the time and the wind was blowing about 20 miles per hour. Yet the store in the mall had more Wii's for pre-order. I guess that the outdoor locations have more visibility and hence more gamers, who would never be caught dead in the mall along with the 14 year olds, flock there.

By siskoeva on 10/19/2006 11:34:08 PM , Rating: 2
It's friday morning...I get up at around 5:30 shaking...the weather is cold, and is calling for another dip into the unbearable until tomorrow morning. I bundle up for what will be a sad and gloomy day. Our schools' Homecoming parade and assembly is what I've got, along with mandatory 3rd and 5th periods during and throughout the half day, which incidently ends at 10:30am. I've known about the Wii Preorder launch at our local gamestop due to the email, internet hype, and 2 really great friends working there; also in school that day missing out on their chances.
1st block rolls off, and we all head to the Gym to listen to a bunch of glad-handling and a$$ kissing, illiterate chear leading and peppy Song-singing. The assembly drags on for an hour and 15, till 9:20am, and I solemnly follow my fellow class mates out the door to go to our 5th period, aka AP Bio, but before I could make it to the door, a good friend of mine with an absent 5th block offers to take me home, instead of me sitting through 20 minutes of class and an hour of prepping and riding a makeshift float for our MMO Geeks and Co. eX-curr club. I greatfully accept, as my cheeks get all rosie red and my eye brows shoot up as if proppelled by a higher power. He takes me to my house, and I quickly drop everything inside and run to my motor scooter, shooting down the road to a mid-size strip mall containing my peers location of occupation. I see a line...oh god...
I don't even take my helmet off, I just run up to the line and get in it as around 15 stand in front of me. I must be doomed.
Colin opens the door and walks out. The Tempo is 9:50, and he is running through "the Count", Asking all people in line if they were buying a wii, for the PS3 had already sold it's preorders a day before. He counted silently in his head, and I truly believed I would have to go back home because of the quantity of persons in front of me.
"We have 13 Wii Consoles for the Wii that you all may preorder today" Colin states, and asks for everyone that was going to buy one personally to raise their hands. I was # 16 in line out of people, and I was #14 in line regarding a Wii pre buy. He says that everyone after 13 should leave, but doesn't shoe me off because I usually talk to the guy anyways. when you have friends working at a hobby store like EB/Gamestop, you tend to know every employee quickly.
The line goes through, dwindling down to 5 people left and myself after 20 minutes. 2 people with a baby are next, but they do not speak english very proficiently and even worse, are both trying to buy a console each, while being married and living together. To my Utter fortune was this actually happening...I became the final wii pre-order, the 13th Wii-ior. After reserving Zelda;TP, an Extra Troller and Chuck, and a free classic Colin hooked me up with, we basically sit there talking and sharing sandwiches and sodas/beers in Gamestop on windy friday morning, all united under a common interest, and all chatting to town for a good 2 hours more until customers started coming in asking for something other than Wii and PS3 consoles. Timeless memories were had that day, with Timely Luck, nice people, a Truancy from my 5th block class, and a heck of a lot more luck to explain it off my record regarding a "material misplacement" for my float that I more than definitely worked on the whole 5th period. Now, if only midnight on the 12th would be so magnificent and lucky.

By GTaudiophile on 10/17/06, Rating: -1
RE: 2 Comments...
By Exodus220 on 10/17/06, Rating: -1
RE: 2 Comments...
By Don Cel on 10/17/06, Rating: -1
RE: 2 Comments...
By NotAok on 10/17/06, Rating: -1
RE: 2 Comments...
By Spivonious on 10/17/06, Rating: -1
RE: 2 Comments...
By FITCamaro on 10/17/2006 11:10:46 AM , Rating: 2
I'm thinking about getting a Wii because I wanna play Super Smash Brothers as Snake. All hail the cardboard box of doom.

But then I might decide to just sell it on Ebay to some moron who'll actually pay $600 (or more) for it. Then I'll be closer to affording that $3500 engagement ring for my girlfriend. Gonna be crying when I buy that thing as I think about the TV and surround sound system I could get instead. :(

RE: 2 Comments...
By KenGoding on 10/17/2006 11:30:09 AM , Rating: 5
I hope that your priorities aren't that messed up... you might wanna reconsider the engagement ring at all. :)

RE: 2 Comments...
By VooDooAddict on 10/17/2006 11:32:30 AM , Rating: 5
If you aren't happy spending $3500 on an engagement ring ... you shouldn't be doing it. It should be something you want to spend the $$ on.

RE: 2 Comments...
By Targon on 10/17/06, Rating: 0
RE: 2 Comments...
By FITCamaro on 10/17/2006 11:44:33 AM , Rating: 3
That was a joking comment. I wouldn't spend that kind of money on something unless I wanted to. Sure I would prefer to spend less, but I want her to be happy and figure if I'm buying an engagement ring it might as well be something good and what she wants. The only good thing is at least diamonds hold their value.

RE: 2 Comments...
By GhandiInstinct on 10/17/06, Rating: 0
RE: 2 Comments...
By FITCamaro on 10/17/2006 12:28:51 PM , Rating: 2
Pretty much. I don't think of it as signifying love though. It's more of a promise than anything. But I guess when you love someone, spending what seems like a ridiculous amount of money on so trivial a thing gets 1% easier.

Of course drinking heavily before the purchase also helps. ;) (again, being sarcastic here people)

RE: 2 Comments...
By gramboh on 10/17/2006 1:40:10 PM , Rating: 2
I'd rather spend the money on a down payment on another house or other investments which will benefit our life together in the future rather than a stupid diamond. My GF agrees, or at least so she claims :). Maybe $2k or something small. Any girl who wants her fiance to spend a significant amount (e.g. 15% of annual salary) on a ring is a moron who will probably be broke when they retire.

RE: 2 Comments...
By FITCamaro on 10/17/06, Rating: -1
RE: 2 Comments...
By THEREALJMAN73 on 10/17/2006 10:13:51 AM , Rating: 2
by GTaudiophile on October 17, 2006 at 9:31 AM

1) The Wii will outsell the PS3 at least 2:1.
2) If you want to pick up the hotties, best to use your Wii!

Well if you can only get 8 PS3s and 15Wiis - yes the Wii is going to sell double because there are twice as many. (well close to double).

But like someone else said in the long run it won't matter PS3 will sell more until in 2 years.

Despite how much people are bitching now in a year or two when supply problems are over, prices drop and everything is smoothed over people will forget all about how messy the PS3 launch was while they are playing their brandy new PS3 in their living rooms.

RE: 2 Comments...
By othercents on 10/17/06, Rating: 0
RE: 2 Comments...
By Decoy26517 on 10/17/2006 12:56:11 PM , Rating: 1
Actually its more then double the production of Wiis than PS3s.

Yeah thats over 12 times as many, not twice as many. and i dont think the PS3 is going to last as long as everyone thinks. the System is almost already out of date with DX10 coming out next spring and the PS3 not being able to use it. neither is the Wii however, do you want to pay ~$300 for something that is fun and out of date or ~$787 for something thats fun and out of date (599system + $99HDcable + ~$89game = $787 for an HD PS3)

RE: 2 Comments...
By NotAok on 10/17/2006 2:11:30 PM , Rating: 2
...the ps2 was out of date almost instantly too yet that seems to be doing just fine ;)

and dx10 isn't that big of a deal, most of the stuff it offers good developers will be able emulate anyway.

RE: 2 Comments...
By Decoy26517 on 10/17/2006 10:43:10 PM , Rating: 2
Negative, Bernd Diemer, the senior game designer for Crytek said that Next gen consoles do not have the power for Crysis because of the DX10 issue. There are talks about making a DX9 version of Crysis which would just be an uglier version of the PC/vista Version.

its not a software issue its a hardware issue. the GPUs in both the x360 and ps3 Cannot support the DX10 API, so an emulator would not fix this issue. sure the PS2 was out of date but now developers are faced with making a game that has both DX10 and 9 support which would take alot more time and money to do, or making better looking games for the PC using DX10, or making games that wont look as good for these consoles...

By DigitalFreak on 10/17/06, Rating: -1
By othercents on 10/17/2006 10:48:28 AM , Rating: 5
Anyone who waits outside in the freezing cold to get a video game machine is a moron.

Depends if that freezing person is able to sell the PS3 on eBay for $2000 or more.

By kilkennycat on 10/17/2006 2:37:36 PM , Rating: 2
Ebay has been pulling PS3 pre-order offers off their site. I believe that they are requesting sellers to prove product on hand before accepting bids. A result of the Ebay fiasco on the Xbox360 preorders last year .... not good for Ebay's (already tarnished) image. Apparently Ebay may extend these restrictions to Wii pre-order bids ....

By NotAok on 10/17/2006 11:23:02 AM , Rating: 5
If you say so... Although I'd think you would change your mind if you found out you could have gained $1000 bucks or so if you too would've camped out.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs
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