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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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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.

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher
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