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Friday, November 17, 2006

PS3 Madness

(AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
People waiting for the third coming of the video
game console

Sony PlayStation 3 Debuts to Long Lines

Published: November 17, 2006

NEW YORK (AP) -- Days of waiting paid off for Sergio Rodriguez, one of the relatively few able to buy Sony's PlayStation 3 when the coveted console went on sale early Friday.

He was among the die-hard gamers and entrepreneurs across the country who braved foul weather and heckling by passers-by all week for the chance to shell out $500 or more for the sleek PS3, plus about $60 per game.

With shortages resulting from production problems, many had camped out for days without knowing if they'd be going home empty-handed. At some stores, the crowds got rowdy and stampeded for the shelves, injuring a man in Wisconsin and forcing authorities to shut down a Wal-Mart store in California.

In Connecticut, two armed thugs who got wise to the PS3's high price tried to rob a line of people waiting outside a Putnam Wal-Mart store at 3 a.m. One person who refused to give up the money was shot, state police said. In Lexington, Ky., four people waiting outside a Best Buy were hit by BB pellets, though none was seriously injured, according to WKYT, whose own reporter was hit as she interviewed buyers.

Rodriguez had been waiting outside the New York Circuit City store since Sunday for the midnight launch event, and he was the first to walk away with the PS3 as people still standing in line outside the store cheered.

''This is the best game ever. It's so worth the wait,'' the 25-year-old graphics designer said. ''Some people may call me crazy, but I really love to play.''

With Sony Corp. promising only 400,000 systems for the nationwide launch, the chance of disappointment was high. While retailers tried to keep expectations low, lines snaked around the block at many stores -- even those that weren't going to begin sales until later Friday.

Saby Madrigal, an 18-year-old college student who worked for a month at a liquor store to save for a PS3, waited in line outside the Circuit City for 24 hours without success. Still, she vowed to keep looking.

''For the work we had to do to get all the money to get the stupid system, I'm going to search every single store in town,'' she said.

Nathaniel Lord, who camped out for three nights at a Best Buy in West Hollywood, Calif., spent more than $700 on a console and a game.

''I thought about going home to shower first because I haven't showered in three days, but I think I'm just going to get another energy drink, log on and get started,'' said Lord, a recent graduate of California Institute of the Arts.

When I walked by two different stores, there were lines of PS3's. Guess who was on them? Nearly every single person was a black or hispanic male, most in their 20's. And it was a shitty, rainy, windy night.

The thing is that technology is vastly popular with minorities, it just isn't always seen in the traditional online media. I mean there were fucking riots over these things and they were going to be short. Some people sold theirs for $2500.

posted by Steve @ 5:16:00 PM

5:16:00 PM

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