Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Launch Weekend Insanity

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the i-don't-queue-like-that dept.

71

There are many people in lines out there already, waiting for their chance tomorrow at Sony's PlayStation 3. Probably the biggest line is at the Metreon, where almost 1,000 people are lined up outside of the official Sony store. Destructoid is carrying stats from eBay's pre-sales numbers. (The average sales price of a PS3 was $1,532.76. 2,165 Wiis have been sold since October 20th.) 1up's intrepid reporters have thoughtfully outlined the dangers of Wiimote use. Somewhat relatedly, Miyamoto reveals in a BusinessWeek article that he wanted the Wii to be even cheaper. From that article: "Originally, I wanted a machine that would cost $100. My idea was to spend nothing on the console technology so all the money could be spent on improving the interface and software. If we hadn't used NAND flash memory [to store data such as games and photos] and other pricey parts, we might have succeeded."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Bend Over (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875366)

Insert Sony Here

- there are hungry people in the world and you choose to line up for a fucking overpriced game. Nice priorities there

Re:Bend Over (-1, Flamebait)

Meatloaf Surprise (1017210) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875490)

You're posting on slashdot rather than help educate and feed the poor? Nice hypercritical view there...

Parent is not flamebait, it's a flame, please fix. (0, Offtopic)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876944)

Some troll wanted a reaction and he got one, there's no sense punishing the poor moron who just couldn't help himself and bit. Could someone mod him back up to fix his fledgling karma and his feelings? Thanks.

Re:Parent is not flamebait, it's a flame, please f (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16877492)

Not until he learns to spell "hypocritical"!

Reviews (3, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875522)

What I've been waiting for is more reviews to come in so we can see how well the games are matching up with people's expectations. Its all good to say that Game A looks so great, or Game B is so inovative, but until there is a final product it is hard to judge. So far it sounds like Zelda is Awsome, and Resistance is Excellent, but there are still a lot of titles that have yet to be reviewed (Red Steel) and some that have remarkably varied Reviews (ExciteTruck).

Ultimately the important thing is the games, the question is whether many of the games have lived up to the hype

Re:Reviews (2, Insightful)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875884)

Well, those reviews are starting to trickle out as the demo units seem to have been shiped out and it is just the time it takes the reviewers to actualy playthrough the games.

We are ofcourse seeing resistance and Z:TP reviews first as those are what everyone is focussing on.

Next week I figgure we will see all of the blog reviews posting their stuff, as well as the (more) credible review sites/mags posting reviews on the lower neame games.

And on a random note:
Exitetruck is awsome as a time killer. It didn't feel like a full "I must play through all of this" tpe game (then again racing games never feel like that to me), it DID feel like somethign that you could easily enjoy when you have 10 mins to kill (or as a party game). I will probably be picking up a copy of it.

Re:Reviews (3, Interesting)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876268)

Exitetruck is awsome as a time killer. It didn't feel like a full "I must play through all of this" tpe game (then again racing games never feel like that to me), it DID feel like somethign that you could easily enjoy when you have 10 mins to kill (or as a party game). I will probably be picking up a copy of it.

A lot of the more negative reviews I have read for Excitetruck (and other games) seem to focus on the lack of a few features and then justify destroying the game in its score; basically they can be summarised as "Excite truck is an amazingly fun game when playing by yourself or with a friend, but being that it doesn't have online multiplayer or 4 player splitscreen 6/10." Now I understand why people want to point that out but it seems like it isn't being scored for the game it is, it is being reviewed for the game it isn't. I think I can explain this better ...

Since about 1999, when I was playing Zelda:MM and Unreal Tournament at the same time, I have thought that you could make an amazing Online Multiplayer (Deathmatch or CTF) game using Zelda as a base; you could make several classes of characters which had different items and health levels or what not. Personally, I think that this is an obvious extention to The Legend of Zelda and I'm disapointed that no one has made a Zelda Clone that has included this. What I was saying about reviewing a game for what it isn't is, would it make sense for someone to give The Legend of Zelda:TP a 6/10 because it didn't include Online Multiplayer?

Re:Reviews (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877416)

The difference there is that the reviews knocking it for missing those features are comparing them against other games of the type. If I have $50 (ok, $60) I want to know what the best bang for my buck is. Comparing that game to another racing style game might show that "its more fun to play this other game because this game lacks 4 player mode" Your best bet is to just go by the review and forget the number. If the reviewer had fun playing single player and you don't care about 4 player games, then why worry about the (seemingly) arbitrary score?

Re:Reviews (1)

jizziknight (976750) | more than 7 years ago | (#16883846)

I want to know what the best bang for my buck is.
If that's the case, you shouldn't be spending it on games, but on something more... well, fleshy.

Re:Reviews (1)

TheForgotton (995762) | more than 7 years ago | (#16885866)

Since about 1999, when I was playing Zelda:MM and Unreal Tournament at the same time, I have thought that you could make an amazing Online Multiplayer (Deathmatch or CTF) game using Zelda as a base; you could make several classes of characters which had different items and health levels or what not. Personally, I think that this is an obvious extention to The Legend of Zelda and I'm disapointed that no one has made a Zelda Clone that has included this.
It might not be exactly what you're looking for, but Heretic 2 was a 3rd person shooter/sworder. The single player kinda sucked but multiplayer was a blast. I remember some pretty intense staff fights at LAN parties back in high school.

Re:Reviews (2, Interesting)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877300)

Review games yourself.

I've personally found reviews to be rather unhelpful these days. It is extremely difficult to find a review that isn't vague about both what is good and what is bad. Attempting to find anything specific is as timeconsuming as WoW.

Ultimately the best thing you can do is try the games yourself. Does netflix rent games yet?

Re:Reviews (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16878796)

Does netflix rent games yet?

No, but Gamefly does, and they've got a 21-day free trial promotion [dealmein.net] running.

Re:Reviews (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16881160)

Re:Reviews (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16883126)

Are you dumb?

Bundling ahoy! (3, Interesting)

Channard (693317) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875546)

I don't know if this kind of thing happens in the US, but in the UK most manufacturers were only selling the 360, come launch day, on the condition that you bought three games with it. And because the units were so scarce, people were happy to do this. Bear in mind this was when the selection of 360 games was pretty mediocre. You can bet this will be happening again when it finally hits the UK.

Re:Bundling ahoy! (2, Interesting)

MWoody (222806) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875856)

That's actually a result of a bizarre market strategy that's been in place for game consoles for years: the stores themselves sell the base hardware at cost. $599 for a PS3 is what Sony charges the store, not just an MSRP. The idea, from a stores' standpoint, is that a) it's better for their game sales overall for more consoles to be sold, so it's generally in their best interest to assist this dissemination, and b) if they sell a console to a customer, they can hope that customer will either buy games and accessories at the same time or remember the store and come back for them at a later date. Online retail has made this a bit less effective, as customers these days are less likely to rely on the same local game store for all their gaming needs; as a result, you see more "bundles" being sold, so that the store can insure it makes a profit.

Re:Bundling ahoy! (1)

ectal (949842) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877622)

Not true. Sony doesn't charge the store 600 bucks for the PS3, and Nintendo doesn't charge 250. No one's sure of the exact numbers, but one article I read estimated that the margins are narrow for the Wii and PS3, but they're there. A store should make about $15 per PS3 sold and about $12 per Wii sold. Here's an article that claims to source a CompUSA markup sheet for Wii products: http://www.engadget.com/2006/10/07/wii-retail-deta ils-markup-and-endcaps/ [engadget.com] But of course the stores want to bundle. A Wii and 5 games is as good as selling 4 Wiis.

It's also (2, Informative)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875594)

Miyamoto's birthday today.

Re:It's also (1)

badasscat (563442) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875810)

Miyamoto's birthday today.

It was Miyamoto's birthday yesterday. It's the 17th in Japan.

Re:It's also (0, Offtopic)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876198)

Sigh, having lived there 6 months I am aware of what time it is(it's almost tomorrow here in Germany). I said "today" because many of the people reading this are still in the 16th. I could have said "It's Miyamoto's birthday on the 16th, which is today to people not in Asia but yesterday in Asia", but what would have been the point?

Re:It's also (1)

blighter (577804) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876658)

I think the point would have been to avoid the inevitable pedants.

I just hate people who can't just let stuff slide without commenting on it.

Oh wait...

The best part... (1)

Neovanglist (566939) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875606)

It's actually kinda funny to watch the hecklers at work. The guys in the front of the line won't give up their spot for Armageddon, so people can, and are, doing damn near anything.

Re:The best part... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16876234)

Wait... you can get a job as a professional heckler?

What an great job!

Herding the sheep (4, Funny)

Dewser (853519) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875668)

I have been tempted to go down to my local BestBuy dressed up as a sheep herder with a Sony Logo on my chest and just wander around the idiots waiting outside in the rain for days.

I'm sorry but nothing out there would ever get me to waste that much time of my life for something that will be replaced in 3-5 more years. Not to mention wasting that much money on something with less moving parts than my mountain bike.

Re:Herding the sheep (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877004)

But... you're not thinking laterally.

If you buy a PS3, your mountain bike's moving parts will probably stop moving for about 3-5 years.

Re:Herding the sheep (1)

dracocat (554744) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877112)

Ok, but would you wait in line for $2,000 cash?

Re:Herding the sheep (1)

HiVizDiver (640486) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877708)

I was thinking something similar... almost makes me wish I didn't have a real life (wife, baby, job, etc.) so that I COULD go make $900 for 12 hours' "work". Almost.

Re:Herding the sheep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16877274)

I'm sorry but nothing out there would ever get me to waste that much time of my life for something that will be replaced in 3-5 more years.


Do you think the same way about girls?

What am I talking about? This is /.

Re:Herding the sheep (1)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878326)

I have been tempted to go down to my local BestBuy dressed up as a sheep herder with a Sony Logo on my chest and just wander around the idiots waiting outside in the rain for days.

No rain here in Las Vegas, but people are camped out [slashdot.org] in front of the local Fry's. They've actually pitched tents on the sidewalk in front of the store. Back at the office, we had a few good laughs at their expense.

You can't make this sh*t up.

Re:Herding the sheep (1)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880510)

Tha'ts funny. I've been wanting to do the same thing. Only my sign would say "Slashdot." And I'd walk around in front of the line of guys who're waiting to find out from Slashdot whatever they should be hating next. Well, I guess there's no physical line, so my idea is kind of dumb. But not quite as dumb as being led like a sheep into thinking some other company is leading their fans like sheep.

See, the guys in the Sony line, even if they are sheep, are at least getting something they think they'll enjoy. You, on the other hand, are getting a bad attitude. Even if they don't enjoy their game $600 and three nights in the rain worth, at least they don't have the bad attitude. They win.

TW

People... (0, Troll)

IflyRC (956454) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875688)

Just need to get a life!

Re:People... (2, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876174)

When's that being released? Where can I get in the line?

KFG

Like Miyamoto says... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16875806)

the Wii is a Gamecube in a white shell with an improved controller. Selling a console that retails for $80 at $250 is pure marketing genius. Nintendo for the win!

Re:Like Miyamoto says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16877716)

ZOMG, wow! I've never heard anyone call the Wii an overpriced GameCube! You should get a reward for most creative person EVER!

Re:Like Miyamoto says... (1)

antek9 (305362) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878028)

I'm sorry: I can understand the fanboy attitude of some moderators (not that I approve of it), but parent is clearly not flamebait. It's rather accurate if you had read Miyamoto-san's quotes. What you get is a gamecube update with better memory and accessories.

Note: This doesn't necessarily have to be a Bad Thing (TM) at all, Nintendo just ticks differently and focusses on other aspects than their competition does, as the NDS has demonstrated very convincingly. Anyway, there is some risk to limiting the technical specs of a new console to last gen capabilities in such a decisive manner. Those very limitations will show up sooner or later. Just my 2 cents.

Re:Like Miyamoto says... (1)

justchris (802302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879786)

Why are you failing at logic? If they could have sold the Wii for $100, they would have. They are selling it at $250 because it isn't just a Gamecube, it's a Gamecube with extras, extras which couldn't have been added to the existing gamecube because it would require opening it up and making hardware modifications, which is not something they want to encourage. You can't add the Wiimote straight onto the GC without the internal infrastructure to use it.

Re:Like Miyamoto says... (2, Insightful)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880628)

You can't add the Wiimote straight onto the GC without the internal infrastructure to use it.

And why not? Do you need to modify the internals of a PC any time you plug in a new controller, steering wheel, keyboard or mouse? Of course not; it's all software driven. Nintendo could, in theory, easily produce a Wii remote for the Gamecube.

This is not to say the $250 price is unjustified, because it almost certainly is. As much as some people decry the latest innovations in graphics once they've gotten used to a certain level of quality it's difficult to go back to something more primitive-looking. I'm the first to argue the virtues of gameplay over graphics. Some of my favorite games are 2D games, but often older 3D games have become to primitive-looking to effectively enjoy. 3D doesn't age nearly as well as 2D does.

Nintendo likely abandoned the $100 console idea because they realized that they needed a more significant upgrade if they wanted to be competitive. Hence the $250 Wii.

Re:Like Miyamoto says... (1)

justchris (802302) | more than 7 years ago | (#16894472)

Well, the GC CPU was barely fast enough to handle 50% of the content generated by it's GPU. While I/O is admittedly not resource intensive, I would presume that the Wiimote's data is both significantly different and more computationally intensive than what the GC is used to dealing with. A faster CPU was a requirement, whatever else they did, as well as a new I/O controller. The other expense results from the addition of memory, a wireless device and who knows what else they stuck in their for the extra Wii features.

I'm just saying, if they had tried to release the Wiimote for the GC, the Wiimote+Nunchuk would probably be more than a $60 upgrade, because it would need to add to the base infrastructure of the GC to handle the additional information input.

Target. Fredericksburg Virginia. (4, Interesting)

AsnFkr (545033) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875838)

Ok, so this is hilarious. There is a PS3 line outside the local target that formed yesterday morning. Today we had a HUUUGE storm. Look at the water [adventure-today.com] flowing off the roof of my building after the storm had passed. To make matters worse for the people in line at Target [adventure-today.com] , last night Target's management had all their cars towed while they stood and watched, everyone afraid to lose their spot in line. My question is....if they are too afraid/stupid to stop their car from being towed...where are they going to the bathroom for 3 days?

Re:Target. Fredericksburg Virginia. (2, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875960)

My question is....if they are too afraid/stupid to stop their car from being towed...where are they going to the bathroom for 3 days?

You don't think the answer to the question was percolating through their heads as they watched the cars being towed away?

They can also observe where the managers park...

I would NOT want to be a Target employee this week. At any level.

Re:Target. Fredericksburg Virginia. (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876782)

"They can also observe where the managers park...

I would NOT want to be a Target employee this week. At any level."


The parking lot likely has security cameras, the store itself is private property, and most places have people called "police officers." If the store suddenly decides they don't like you camping on their sidewalk, you will, to say the least, lose your place in line.

Re:Target. Fredericksburg Virginia. (1)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877808)

The parking lot likely has security cameras, the store itself is private property, and most places have people called "police officers." If the store suddenly decides they don't like you camping on their sidewalk, you will, to say the least, lose your place in line.

I'm actually surprised that we don't see more of this ...

As a customer I really hate having to "brush" through a crowd of local teengers who decide to hang out at the doors of my local 7-11; I understand why they do it (I'm not that old) but it is not something I enjoy. Anyways, I can't imagine that the average person who is 30+ wants to walk into Target when they have a shanty town that is full of mostly 18-22 year olds.

Re:Target. Fredericksburg Virginia. (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878650)

I had to brush past a Hooverville (Sonyville?) to get into the local Sam's Club and get some groceries. I really wouldn't be surprised if stores were losing business because of these lines (personally, I went off to line-free Toys R Us to pick up Children of Mana instead of Best Buy). Between intimidating other customers and the razor-thin profit margin (if any) on consoles, one has to wonder what it is that's causing these stores to allow such behavior. All I can think of is either the store worrying about the loss of future business from the sacred 18-24 year-olds they'd be frustrating, or there's some deal between the retailers and Sony that requires the retailers to tolerate these lines.

Re:Target. Fredericksburg Virginia. (1)

Nevyn (5505) | more than 7 years ago | (#16885838)

I would NOT want to be a Target employee this week. At any level.

Well, personally, I think it's a great thing. My local target had about 10-20 people outside it on Wed. night and it was obvious it just wasn't designed to have a small tent city (my local store told them they would be removed if they put tents up though). This screws the store over in a number of ways, from fire code, general liability and people not going to the store due to the eye sore.

Also, from interviews, most of the people in line seem to be doing this so they can eBay the box immediately for a $1,000 ish profit. Which makes me doubt their intelligence, in theory if they were only waiting all day Wed. and Thur. they're getting $21 per. hour ... but that also assumes they were alone (most weren't), they don't get sick, food doesn't cost significantly more etc.

It's seems very likely that if the minimum wage "speculators" had no insentive, it would be better for everyone.

Re:Target. Fredericksburg Virginia. (2, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875964)

I just got an improv everywhere flash: The manager should get to gether with 20 friends or so, and give them large, colored tickets. Have them queue up 15 minutes before the store opens, and open one door ten minutes early, asking for "anyone with a PS3 ticket, please come to the front of the line." Then again, that might not be very safe (but the video would probably make a bundle of ad revenue on youtube).

As for towing the cars...that's the way I would treat all of my customers waiting to spend their money in my store. Not.

Re:Target. Fredericksburg Virginia. (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876016)

> if they are too afraid/stupid to stop their car from being towed...where are they going to the bathroom for 3 days?

Hint: You know that water that's everywhere? That's not because of the storm.

Re:Target. Fredericksburg Virginia. (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876050)

where are they going to the bathroom for 3 days?

Let's just say that that wasn't water flowing around the parking lot afte the storm...

soo many decisions (1)

forrestf (1028150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16875890)

these people are insane waiting in line for the ps3, why cant they just stream buy. i dont think im ever going to buy ether of them, there are too many decisions to make and ill just stick to my gamming rig

So what are people in line for? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876072)

I can see the hardcore 10 or so people in line at Target, it's hard to say how many units they would get but ten seems possible (though unlikely).

So what are 1000 people doing in line in San Francisco? There's no way there are that many units to be had, even at a Sony flagship store.

Re:So what are people in line for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16877688)

Please, RTFA:
Despite the deteriorating sense of order, a Sony rep on hand said that everyone in line--which was pushing 1,000 by 8:45 a.m.--was still guaranteed a PS3.

Re:So what are people in line for? (1)

Weedlekin (836313) | more than 7 years ago | (#16881700)

If that's the case, then why not just turn up and stand in line five minutes before the place opens instead of suffering for several days?

Hard Core Machismo (3, Insightful)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876214)

With apologies to any women waiting in line, lining up for a game console is just a modern day display of good old fashioned machismo. There have always been badges of honor associated with doing physically difficult things, no matter how silly or unnecessary. Human beings have a need to test their limits, and occasionally show off to members of the (usually) opposite sex, or at least one's peers. So I say just let them have their fun!

Re:Hard Core Machismo (1)

Deagol (323173) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877184)

Some just want to make a buck.

I know a dude you left his state yesterday to camp out at some place in Idaho (which borders his state) with a wad of cash in hand. He wants to pick up as many units as he can afford and hawk them online for mucho profit. I'll give him credit for having a brass pair, as I'd never risk the kind of coin he was proposing on a gamble like that. But a minimum of 100% profits for a couple of days' work must a siren's song to some folks. I wish my friend well. :)

Re:Hard Core Machismo (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 7 years ago | (#16881472)

Machismo? Camping out for a game console? Showing off to girls? Umm, yeah.

Wii watch (1)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876300)

I'm pretty much expecting to walk into the Bloomingdale, Illinois Meijer and walk out with a Wii, no problem. Everyone else seems to be addicted to the PS3.

If not, well, I'll try again in a couple weeks. Or head out to the Fox Valley, because that's where I picked up a Gamecube not one week after launch - they had 10 other ones, and the hype for the GC at the time then felt more like the hype for the Wii now.

In any event, I would've thought that the general public had gotten over waiting in days-long lines for an entertainment device.

Re:Wii watch (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#16876438)

Well, that and the fact that there appear to be enough Wiis to go around, unlike the PS3. I suspect the lines wouldn't be quite as long if people didn't think each store was only going to get a small handful of units.

You go line up at EBX and Target (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877342)

I'll be with the 133L H4XX0RS lined up at Fred Meyer and ToysRUs.

Out-of-Control PS3 Lines! (1)

mattnyc99 (1008511) | more than 7 years ago | (#16877900)

Popular Mechanics visits Sony headquarters [popularmechanics.com] in New York City, where 500-some people have been camped out since Monday. At least they get to test MotorStorm. The magazine also has its Top 5 games [popularmechanics.com] for PS3 and Xbox.

Horrible PS3 line management (3, Interesting)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878056)

Let me preface this by saying that I have stood in lines before. I have slept in lines before. I have camped in lines before. I have had tailgate parties in lines before. So I know how normal lines work. I have seen bad lines, good lines, friendly people, other people, clueful managers and store employees, and not. But the PS3 debacle as I am calling it was by far the worst in most categories that I have seen.

My camp started pretty simply. I called all the local Wal Mart stores and asked for their timing and policies, etc. Almost universally they said they would have a line in the (soon to be closed) Layaway department. So I pick out the store closest to a friend's house, so he can come hold my spot while I go shower/etc at his place, and we hope to perhaps do a little word of mouth about our local gaming group.

Wednesday morning I walk through the store, see where the bathrooms, food, magazines, chairs, etc are. No one is in line, and I am not desperate to be first, so I head out for a little while to get some things done. I come back around 12:30 PM and there is a console-gamer-looking teenager sitting in the one non-bench chair in layaway. I take this as a sign that the line has started, but I left all my stuff (books and a deck of cards) in my car so I go back out and get them. When I get back inside the guy has disappeared, so I take the chair and start to wait.

Over the next 20 minutes or so a number of employees either ask what I am doing, or comment on it since they already know. The layaway attendant finally gets done with her customers and makes a call to her manager, and I hear "You'll have to come tell him that yourself", which soooo does not bode well. I then see a pallet jack full of chairs come out of the back of the store, and am enthusiastic about them putting together a real line. Sadly the chairs continue past me and out of sight, another bad sign.

Shorthly thereafter an assistant manager comes out and tells me the line will have to be outside, AND that they are getting less than the 10 promised units. I don't mind either bit of news so much. An indoor line is why I picked Wal Mart, but I figured outside wouldn't be too bad, they have covered and even heated outdoor areas. I head outside and am greeted by cloudy skies. I figure worst case, I step inside and buy a tent like most outdoor line campers do. The line gets set up as 10 shoulder-to-shoulder chairs in front of one side of the building, directly in the water runoff path of a large slanted roof with no gutter. Bad sign number 3 I think?

I sit down, and am shortly joined by two more guys who thought they would be the first ones there. No worries, the employee rumor mill has hinted at 6 units and 4 rain checks at this point, so top 3 is a fine place to be. At this point the store manager comes outside to talk to us. He vetos the idea of having tents (wtf mate?) which is really scary for that kind of line location and weather, and also tells us we can't have extension cords to the distant power outlets, and can't have cars any closer than the parking spots 30 feet away across the 'street'. So much for almost any sort of group entertainment, and any prayer of keeping dry.

The line fills up to the 10 chairs pretty quickly, and comments are made about selling seats. I jokingly offer the #1 spot for $400, which would have been a hell of a sale that early in the camp. No takers though. We hang out, a few people tag team friends into their spots, generally nothing happens for a few hours. It's a friendly line, we are letting people make food and bathroom trips into the store without losing their spots. All seems well, except for the previously noted poor location and rules. The evening manager comes on duty, and parrots the store manager's answers to all the questions, still no tents.

And then the rain starts. The rain is pretty light, but theres a difference in getting hit by 2 square feet worth of light rain (drizzle) and getting hit by 100 square feet worth of light rain (waterfall). Umbrellas are useless, they just shift the water onto the two guys next to you. I make up my mind pretty quickly that I can't handle 30 more hours of this camp (weather for today was predicted even worse), so I drop my seat price and make a sale to the 11th person in line for $220, which in the end turns out to be my only profit from the endeavor. I could have gotten more for it later, or just toughed it out and actually gotten a PS3, but I am not man enough to sit in those conditions for that long.

Camp #1 is over for me, small profit, and I learned one place I won't camp again. An outdoor line without tents or even an awning is ridiculous. That manager obviously had no clue, and was being sadistic as well.

I then spend about 4 hours making a large loop back 'towards' home, stopping at every PS3-recieving store I can find (Wal Mart, Circuit City, Best Buy, Target). They are all full save one. Around 8PM I find a single Wal Mart that has posted a sign that they will not start their line until 8AM (10-20 hours after every other line started), and has security posted to eject loitering gamers. Those of us there around the same time all know this is going to be a bad idea, and we tell the assistant manager on duty as much. She is firm on the time, and we leave. I make a note of this location, and continue my search.

While making this search, I notice that every single outdoor line is allowing tents, including other Wal Mart stores, confirmation that our manager was a dick. Not only that, but the majority of them have indoor lines in their Layaway departments as planned, and one even has it in the Electronics department right in front of the console game displays so people in line can play on the demo machines. I will definitely investigate camping there in the future.

I arrive home with no further useful information. It is 11PM at this point, too late to call anyone but other Wal Mart locations. I call every one within 60 miles of my house. They are all camped to capacity and then some. Unfortunately later information would reveal that a location 87 miles from my house was only 1/6 full at that time, so next time I am calling a lot farther out, it would have been worth the drive. Now I turn to google maps, and I start making a list of all of the closed-at-night stores within a 60 mile radius of home. They tend to come in small clumps (around malls and cities), so I plot out a path that will take me to a dozen stores in a few hours.

Predictably, they are all camped to capacity. Later information would reveal that a particular Best Buy was getting 10 more units than they expected, so I could have gotten one had I picked THAT line to be the past-the-cutoff guy in, but there was no way to know that at the time. I end up an hour from home at 2AM, also an hour from the 8AM-line Wal Mart, which is itself an hour from home. I head for that Wal Mart. They still have security posted along with the sign come 3AM, so I get a room at a nearby cheap hotel ($35 of my $220 gone) to get a bit of sleep better than I could get in my car.

I get up at 6:40, have a quick breakfast, and show up at the store at 7 AM. There are around a dozen people in a rather un-line-like grouping at the end of the aisle leading to the layaway department. I ask around and it seems like people started to stay around 5:30. No one is really concerned about ordering at this point. It seemed obvious to us all that the only way they could handle starting a line after this many people showed up, most of whom had been there they night and day before, was a raffle or some such.

Just before 8 we have grown to about 25 people, and a few stragglers have snuck around the neighboring aisles and are standing right next to the sides of the door to layaway, a good 15 feet closer than the rest of us. We all shuffle forward to 'compete' with them and begin to form some semblance of a line, not able to stand in a cloud any more because the aisle we are in is a heavy traffic aisle to the back of the store and the employee break room.

At 8 AM the manager shows up and tells us the line starts basically where the 3 groups met at the head of the aisle. We ask how the lack of ordering is going to be handled and he says he has to talk to his superiors before any sort of tickets can be handed out. We are still unworried, a raffle at this point would still be somewhat fair, the sign said 8 AM so it wouldn't be unheard of to give an equal chance to everyone there at that time. We mill around for another 20 minutes and the manager comes back and tells us we are blocking the aisle and exit. He maneuvers us all along the back wall in a double-ish file line.

This is where I start to worry. The maneuvering ends up with half of the sneaky stragglers, the ones who picked the 'correct' side of the door to sneak to, at the head of the line, along with their 3 kids who mysteriously materialized at some point, all of whom had been there less than an hour and almost certainly had not been there the previous day (they did not claim so at least). Following them were the 5:30 arrivals, who at least have some legitimate claim to being in the lead. Behind that is a random assortment of everyone who arrived after 5:30, except for the stragglers from the 'wrong' side of the door, who have given up when they see the line did not favor their attempt at positioning. I am around number 15 in line, but the manager is still making promises about dealing with the problems once he hears from his superiors, so I stick it out.

2 hours go by. After 9AM I have started calling KMart locations, as a contingency. They are all unsure, and tell me to call back later. 10AM comes and goes with just a few words from the staff, "dont lean on that", "dont sit on that", etc. The manager finally shows up and makes like he has been all thoughtful by setting up chairs for us in their lawn and garden center (technically outside, but still roofed and heated). He then says that moving the line there will happen single file, in the order we are in now. This scares me, and I make an explicit question out of whether or not the pseudo-random order he put us in is the order systems will be given out. He says yes, producing the expected "wtf"ery from the back of the line, including myself. I bail, followed by a number of the others who got fucked over by this guy.

Now it is 10:15 and I am out of places to go, but I have a new list of places to call that opened at 10AM. I work through the all of the nearby Sears and Game Crazy locations, getting mostly negative or uncertain responses. One Sears says they were supposed to get 3 and still expect to get more than zero, so I head there. This is my last chance. I get there, and am almost immediately followed by someone with the same idea, and we spend an hour or so talking to Sears management about their plans for the line, of which they have none, and mall security and management about when/where we can wait outside overnight. We end up allowed and encouraged to form a car line in the Sears parking lot nearest the electronics section, so we do. The Sears manager tells us that they get their confirmed shipment numbers around 2PM. We hang out, the other guy who works at the nearby Olive garden makes a food run while some of his friends hold his spot for him. 2PM comes and goes with no information. 3PM arrives, and we get the bad news. No shipments to any Sears (or their sibling KMart) for release day. Bummer. My camping saga ended here, and now I am home.

Gain:
I now know where every console release participating store within 60 miles is, covering about 60 locations. Useful information in 2-3 years.
I know which two stores to never camp at again, and likely never do business with again.
$220 for my #1 spot seat in a horrible line.

Loss:
$35 for the hotel room.
$20 for gas to drive the ~250 miles involved in the hunt.
Approx 8 hours of effort (driving), and 8 hours of nothing.

Net Profit:
$165 for 16 hours of my time.

Re:Horrible PS3 line management (1)

LearnToSpell (694184) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878790)

Net Profit:
$165 for 16 hours of my time.


And a good story, which is always worth something. :-) I have a similar one, involving four U2 tickets, ferries, a linear algebra final and sleeping outside in the rain, but I only tell it when I'm drunk, to ease the pain. Thanks for typing all that up. Entertaining, even if I'll never understand...

Re:Horrible PS3 line management (1)

firewrought (36952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879942)

Net Profit: $165 for 16 hours of my time.

...and (like the other guy said) a great story! If you're still that hardcore for playstation 4, more power to you!

Re:Horrible PS3 line management (1)

gotgenes (785704) | more than 7 years ago | (#16880678)

I wouldn't count on any of those stores having the same setups for the next console launch. In 2-3 years, all those Wal-mart managers will have left, replaced by new cool guys/dicks.

Re:Horrible PS3 line management (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 7 years ago | (#16888922)

The best way to underline the total stupidity of all of this is to replace "Sony PS3" or "PS3" with "Bag of Shit":

So...

"Horrible PS3 line management" becomes "Horrible Bag of Shit line management".

"There are many people in lines out there already, waiting for their chance tomorrow at Sony's PlayStation 3" becomes "There are many people in lines out there already, waiting for their chance tomorrow at Bags of Shit".

"average sales price of a PS3 is was $1,532.76" becomes "average sales price of a Bag of Shit is was $1,532.76". ...and many, many more...

So the Answer of the Wii as a GC 1.5 is YES... (1)

jmordoj (256283) | more than 7 years ago | (#16878294)

"Originally, I wanted a machine that would cost $100. My idea was to spend nothing on the console technology so all the money could be spent on improving the interface and software." ...And there you have it...the first official statement from Nintendo when ask if the Wii a GameCube 1.5...

The answer is YES, they didn't want to spend ANY money to develop a new gaming platform to keep cost down.

(I don't see that as a bad thing, the standard income in my country makes a purchase of a console of 600 dollars something impossible for 99,7% of the population)

Re:So the Answer of the Wii as a GC 1.5 is YES... (1)

NotthatFrankie (1004384) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879470)

No, that's only what Myamoto wanted. There HAS been development on the chips (to make them faster, smaller, less energy-consuming (thus greener), etc.). If they hadn't, we would all have our 100$ console, but we don't, so yes, they DID spend money to develop a 'new' chipset. So, essentially, we're talking about a Gamecube 2.0: Full compatibility with older software at increased performance. Which brings me to my nest point. Computer hardware companies have been doing this prectically from the beginning. The new Kentsfield quad-core processor? Intel 286 version 50.0. Computer hobbyists are willing to spend hundreds of dollars for the next step in hardware. So why the complaining when Nintendo applies this philosophy to consoles? P.S. jmordoj, I don't consider your post a flame, I just think you're wrong. The first paragraph adresses your point. The second one is more general.

Re:So the Answer of the Wii as a GC 1.5 is YES... (1)

LunarCrisis (966179) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879496)

the first official statement from Nintendo when ask if the Wii a GameCube 1.5...
The answer is YES, they didn't want to spend ANY money to develop a new gaming platform to keep cost down.
Err, actually, that sounds like a NO, but they wanted it to be a YES.

The nice thing about a cold climate (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 7 years ago | (#16879494)

It kills the bugs, snakes and mall squatters. A local TV station here could only find 18 people camped at a Best Buy last night. It's been a few degrees +/- freezing all week.

can't wait! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16883338)

Can't wait to see thoses new consoles SMASHED!!

http://www.smashmyps3.com/ [smashmyps3.com]

http://www.smashmywii.com/ [smashmywii.com]

note that the Xbox

Re:can't wait! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16883434)

*** note that the Xbox as already been smashed! ;)

The other story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16913838)

Just to be clear, I camped out for over 14 hours this weekend to get my Wii at the nearest Target. It was cold, but that was about it. There were almost 100 people in line at the end - only 70 of which got a system. There was no line-hopping, no arguments, no pushing, and they sold out in 20 minutes. A perfectly civil launch.

The PS3 launch with its insane wait times, people robbing and trampling each other is totally overshadowing the real story here: there were about twice as many units here in North America as Sony had for their entire worldwide launch. Those units are sold out, and nobody was hurt in the process. Amazing, yet true!
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?