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The scene at Northland Best Buy at 5 a.m.

Lawn chairs, blankets, inflatable beds, and a Mazda

The scene at Metrotown Future Shop at 4:30 p.m.

A quick count concludes a sell out

A sign marks the start, and an empty chair marks a missing first

Alone sits an acoustic guitar
Camper stories, scouting reports, drive-by shootings, self-inflicted injuries and more

'Twas the night before Sony's new machine, when all through the nation, not a creature was stirring... because they were all waiting in line for a PlayStation 3!

In what was previously a phenomenon common only among the most hardcore Japanese gamers, lining up hours, or even days in advance of a gaming release has hit North America at full force. 

Gamers camped out at most a day in advance for a chance to secure a pre-order at GameStop/EB Games, but now with the imminent launch upon us, some have decided to take camping to a level previously only known to The Phantom Menace. Some set up camp almost two weeks ago, though they were ejected from their site less than a week into their campaign. 

After missing out on pre-orders, gamers all across North America are taking no chances and have started to form line camps several days before the system's release. A video taken from outside Circuit City in Union Square in New York shows the lengthy line with 35 hours until launch, and another shows a Best Buy in Melbourne, Florida, complete with classical music and tents for the refined camper. Things are not much different in the Great White North (though likely a good bit colder), as shown in a video by Alan D. of campers waiting outside of a Future Shop in Ontario. Notable is that when campers were asked whether they were planning on selling their system or playing it, the majority responded with intentions of selling.

Our personal experiences after scouting various locations over the past 24 hours are varied. At a Best Buy location set to receive only 10 units, there were already seven people camped at the location at 5 a.m. on November 16. Instead of bothering with a tent, a young couple decided to park their car directly in front of the store, marking the beginning of the line. As number one and two, the couple said that they had been there since 1 p.m. the previous day. 

At a Future Shop located in Vancouver, Canada, around a dozen sitting in chairs, wrapped in blankets, were seen lining up against the wall today in the late afternoon. Taking a page from the Japan launch, a couple of homeless people were hired to sit in line for those who didn't want to brave the wait first-hand. The Canadian retailer announced that every store would carry a minimum of 10 PS3s, and those who wish to buy an Xbox 360 on November 17 instead of a PS3 would receive a $50 discount plus free copies of Gears of War and Ridge Racer 6.

A smaller Best Buy location in Bellingham, Washington, set to receive 20 units of the 60GB machine had one of the quieter scenes we've encountered. Aside from the couple of unattended foldable chairs at the front of the line, the entire walkway was populated by a half dozen tents. Campers were nowhere to be seen, but a lone acoustic guitar was on display, perhaps hinting at Kumbaya singalongs once our cameras left the scene. 

While many have been reporting positive experiences in waiting for a PS3, there have been several isolated incidents where campers had to endure some pain and suffering. 

At a Best Buy location in Lexington, Kentucky, a group of campers were victims of a drive-by BB gun shooting. Four people were hit by BB pellets, including a television reporter who was there on the scene to interview the queue. Two of the people who were shot packed up and left the scene, saying that it wasn't worth the risk for the video games machine. 

Some others are undeterred by the attack, one man saying, "I'd do it again, even if I get shot again." Police say they'll stay at the Best Buy to make sure people in line stay safe. Click here to read and watch the news report from WKYT. 

In another incident at West Bend, Wisconsin, a person was injured outside Wal-Mart racing for a chance to buy one of 10 PS3s available. According to the local police, an assistant manager announced to a crowd of about 50 people that the store was only going to receive about 10 systems and placed 10 chairs outside of the store. Customers were told to run on signal to try to occupy one of the chairs to secure themselves a PS3 when it goes on sale at midnight.

Sadly, a 19-year-old man with perhaps a bit too much exuberance ran into a pole and struck his head, injuring himself. He was taken to the hospital for treatment, reports the AP.



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why
By GhandiInstinct on 11/16/2006 10:13:56 PM , Rating: 1
Would you risk your health to waste so much money for such an over priced and not worth it product?

WHY?




RE: why
By qdemn7 on 11/16/2006 11:37:28 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Would you risk your health to waste so much money for such an over priced and not worth it product?
Worth is largely subjective but also driven by market forces. What YOU find valuable, other may not and vice-versa. Obviously these people find worth investing their time and money. Just because you do not, does not mean you are right, and they are wrong.

IMO, someone camping out hours for tickets to an overpiced concert appearance by some over-hyped, or over-the-hill rock and roll band is an utter waste of time and money. By that's just me.


RE: why
By The Sword 88 on 11/17/2006 12:26:02 AM , Rating: 2
I bought a 360 on launch day at Costco and it was well worth it.


RE: why
By Parhelion69 on 11/17/2006 2:44:44 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
IMO, someone camping out hours for tickets to an overpiced concert appearance by some over-hyped, or over-the-hill rock and roll band is an utter waste of time and money. By that's just me.


Best post ever!

I agree, everybody has his/her own tastes, so don't flame others. I'll get a PS3 but not a Xbox360 (I'll just get gears of wars on PC), but some others will rather do the opposite


RE: why
By cochy on 11/17/2006 1:19:51 AM , Rating: 4
Cause they want to flip it for $700-$1000 profit. That's why.


RE: why
By rushfan2006 on 11/17/2006 8:58:07 AM , Rating: 4
I agree with the guy who summed it basically by saying to each their own.

Hey what you do with your time is what you do with your time. You think its worth chewing up your vacation time, sick time or personal time on something like getting a PS3 - that's your business. I have to allow you that right, because this is a free country...doesn't mean I have to endorse it or even like it.

I enjoy movies, and concerts and I'm diehard PC gamer for many years (probably more years than some of you have been alive)....only one time in my entire life did I ever wait at midnight for a game to be released...I was like 14 years old and it was 11:30 at night anyway when we finally pasted by the Electronics Boutique and figured "what the hell"....can't even remember the game it was anymore (this would make more sense if you seen how many games are in my collection).

Anyway...I only think perspective is strange when....

1) Folks will CAMP out in torrential rain with high winds blowing for a game system, but less and less folks turn out to vote (and it doesn't matter what you are -- dem, lib, con, rep, whatever).....or how last month I went to donate blood and the line was hideously small.

2) People fighting huge brawls over a game system...then hearing the legit buyers having to have security escorts to their cars.......that's just screwed up.

3) 90% of everyone is hoping to flip the system....for supposedly $500-1000 profit....A) the people who pay that much for the system are either filthy rotten rich or B) out right insane. So anyway people say for their reasoning "dude because I'm gonna make $1000 on the system"...so they get all excited for months and months leading up to the event that is launch day...they probably organize with their friends on when/where they are going to camp out....use up time from work or play hookey from school....for $1000 profit potential....which does sound tempting.

I think to myself "funny if these guys put as much energy into savings and investing that $1000 profit would look like child's play"... ;)


Anyway to each their own...


RE: why
By Kanti on 11/17/2006 4:33:41 PM , Rating: 2
To each their own...until it starts to hurt others. These scalpers ruin the launches of systems, and force actual buyers to pay huge sums. That is predatory and exploitive, and NOT okay. There should be nation-wide laws against scalping (if we can agree that spamming should be outlawed, then scalping should be outlawed, these bastards will just have to actually work or create something to make their money).


RE: why
By Oregonian2 on 11/17/2006 1:35:12 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, doing it for the money is what makes it sad. I had done similar crazy camping in my youth for prized student basketball tickets (my school had college basketball's all-time best player David Thompson at the time). I lined up (a ways back, but they had a lot more than 20 tickets) a day in advance in 25 degree weather and still think it was worth it. But it was for the glory and the fun. Not for money (despite being in ownership of nearly none at the time!).


RE: why
By leidegre on 11/17/2006 1:57:18 AM , Rating: 2
I'ts a thing you do togehter with people who share your passion, that shouldn't be so hard to understand. While I don't care about it anymore, I once did, and have been camping outside places for movie-tickets.


RE: why
By thejez on 11/17/2006 10:03:38 AM , Rating: 3
you mean the passion to sell things on ebay?


RE: why
By peternelson on 11/17/2006 3:57:54 PM , Rating: 3
In a way I can even understand the common bond you share in camping to flip it on ebay....

Kinda like the original gold rush.

After initial selling, these people may well be back in a months time when more stock arrives to buy the console for keeps.

It's just an extreme experience, you might do with your friends, or make friends in the queue.

So yes, fellow ebayers may have that passion.

So long as things don't become polarised fights between the "I'm going to ebay it" and the "I'm a real gamer and want to play it".


RE: why
By Frank M on 11/17/2006 8:01:52 AM , Rating: 2
Well, it may be a lot of things, including too expensive, but overpriced isn't one of them.

I'm curious to see how many of these actually get sold to gamers, since it appears that most people are looking to flip them. If people don't buy the games, then Sony just lost a whole boatload of money.


RE: why
By peternelson on 11/17/2006 4:13:10 PM , Rating: 2
Nobody will ultimately own this console and not own either of:-

a) PS3 game(s)

b) bluray movie disks.

Either way Sony will make income from this.


RE: why
By MonkeyPaw on 11/17/2006 3:15:45 PM , Rating: 2
What I really wonder is why you'd camp in a huge line when each store will probably only have 5, maybe 10 units to sell. Unless they place limits on how many you can buy, the first guy in line could very well buy them all!


RE: why
By CascadingDarkness on 11/17/2006 5:30:43 PM , Rating: 2
Every place I have seen it one per. Which is why there was statements of people paying homeless people to wait with/for them so they could get more than one. Also, often times not everyone in line is buying there own. Four guys go together because they are going to split it. (or the guy buying it says hey, if you wanna play you gotta cover my back)


RE: why
By GhandiInstinct on 11/17/2006 10:05:43 PM , Rating: 1
RE: why
By crystal clear on 11/18/2006 2:39:19 AM , Rating: 2
eBayer bids $89m for PS3?????????????????????

Why-because the SKY is So HIGH.

Enjow it.


"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki

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