'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
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
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
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