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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 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.

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