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Launch Weekend Insanity 71

Posted by Zonk
from the i-don't-queue-like-that dept.
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."
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Launch Weekend Insanity

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  • Reviews (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @04:00PM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Thansal (999464)
      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
      • Re:Reviews (Score:4, Interesting)

        by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @04:41PM (#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?
        • 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
          • 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.
        • 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 He

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      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?
  • Bundling ahoy! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Channard (693317) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @04:02PM (#16875546) Journal
    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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MWoody (222806)
      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 an
      • by ectal (949842) *
        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
  • It's also (Score:3, Informative)

    by antifoidulus (807088) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @04:04PM (#16875594) Homepage Journal
    Miyamoto's birthday today.
    • by badasscat (563442)
      Miyamoto's birthday today.

      It was Miyamoto's birthday yesterday. It's the 17th in Japan.
      • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

        by antifoidulus (807088)
        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?
        • by blighter (577804)
          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...

  • 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.
  • by Dewser (853519) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @04:10PM (#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.

    • by Ant P. (974313)
      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.
    • by dracocat (554744)
      Ok, but would you wait in line for $2,000 cash?
      • 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.
    • by ncc74656 (45571) *

      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.

    • 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 enj
  • by AsnFkr (545033) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @04:17PM (#16875838) Homepage Journal
    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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SuperKendall (25149)
      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.
      • by Guppy06 (410832)
        "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.
        • 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 i
          • by Guppy06 (410832)
            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 ab
      • by Nevyn (5505) *

        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 l

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Overzeetop (214511)
      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 mon
    • by Kamineko (851857)
      > 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.
    • 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...

  • 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
  • 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.

  • Hard Core Machismo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blueZhift (652272) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @04:38PM (#16876214) Homepage Journal
    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!
    • by Deagol (323173)
      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. :)

    • by Raenex (947668)

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

  • 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
    • by jandrese (485)
      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.
  • I'll be with the 133L H4XX0RS lined up at Fred Meyer and ToysRUs.
  • 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.
  • by Sparr0 (451780) <sparr0@gmail.com> on Thursday November 16, 2006 @06:54PM (#16878056) Homepage Journal
    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
    • 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...
    • 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!

    • by gotgenes (785704)
      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.
    • by jo42 (227475)
      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 i
  • "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 som
    • 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. Th
    • 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.
  • 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.

As in certain cults it is possible to kill a process if you know its true name. -- Ken Thompson and Dennis M. Ritchie

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