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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.
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!

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
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