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Wii and PS3 Camp-Out Guide 120

An anonymous reader writes "A Wordpress blogger wrote up a guide to camping out on launch day. From the article: 'This is a download of my experience of over twenty-plus years of gaming and having been a part of six console launch days. No, I've never had to stand on line without knowing that my system was reserved. But I've spoken to enough people and accumulated enough knowledge to share. And with that said, here's my list of guidelines to insure that your camp-out in front of Best Buy, Target, Circuit City or Toys R Us is safe and not in vain.' Good luck to all the readers waiting outside for a PS3 or Wii next week." A lot of it is common-sense, but he has some good advice on pre-planning.
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Wii and PS3 Camp-Out Guide

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  • ps3 (Score:5, Funny)

    by minus_273 ( 174041 ) <> on Monday November 06, 2006 @06:37PM (#16743345) Journal
    I feel sorry for the people who are camping for Ps3s and going to ebay. They will probably end up like this guy [] and lose a few hundred dollars.
    • by eln ( 21727 ) *
      Why would you set your reserve price to lower than you bought the thing for? That guy deserves to lose money. What an idiot.
      • Because setting a reserve costs the seller money. Guess prices aren't going to blow up like the xbox 360 did.
    • by Kagura ( 843695 )
      This man didn't lose a few hundred dollars, and he didn't set the reserve for less than he paid for it. The receipt is in Canadian dollars, and the auction itself is in US dollars. Who knew the PS3 was pushing a thousand Canadian bucks. You know it's expensive when you've almost broken four digits. :)
      • Check again. The receipt was for $903.97 CAD, and the auction closed for $734.98 CAD. He lost $168.99, less whatever his markup on shipping was. Maybe not "several hundred" dollars, but he certainly did fail to set a reserve that was at least his cost, and he lost quite a bit as a result. Assuming he actually shipped the item, that is... He's no longer a registered eBay user. :-P
      • Yes, the recipt says 903.xx canadian dollars.

        And from Ebay:
        Winning bid: US $651.00
        (Approximately C $734.98)
  • by ConfusedSelfHating ( 1000521 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @06:43PM (#16743433)
    Nintendo doesn't seem to have any production problems whatsoever with the Wii, it's very close to the Gamecube. They can easily churn them out to meet demand. Only in the mind of the most deranged Nintendo fan boy will there be a shortage. I think it will sell very well, especially in Japan. But I think that the only people camping out for a Wii will be Nintendo die hards who want to tell everyone that they camped out for one.
    • by HappySqurriel ( 1010623 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @06:48PM (#16743539)
      Personally, I couldn't get a pre-order but I'm not too worried about getting a Wii at launch and I (sort of) plan on "camping out" ...

      My plan is to show up at walmart at 6:30 or 7:00 sunday morning because they open at 8:00; if I can't get one there I will move to Super Store which opens at 9:30, if I cant get one there I will move to futureshop which opens at 11:00. I expect that at one of my stops I will get a Wii but I'm prepared to go hunting for one.

      As I see it the worst case scenerio is that I will get one in the second shipment ...
      • by ploss ( 860589 )
        I'm prepared to go hunting for one.

        Just as long as you're not desperate enough to go hunting with a rifle. :)

        My friends stayed out for the PS3/Wii preorders at Toys 'R Us and it got pretty hectic. Makes for an interesting story when they come back bruised and bleeding...

        Anyways, I thought the next PS3 shipment is going to be in like 6 months, so good luck with your long wait if your lucky stars aren't aligned right that day.

      • I'm in precicely the same situation. My friend camped for the Gamecube at walmart, so I know what to expect though. For him they had him wait in the layaway department from 5pm - midnight launch. Unfortunately no Targets or Best Buys in the area, so WalMart is my only option.
      • by maxume ( 22995 )
        I'm gonna eat a big breakfast Sunday morning, I plan on getting one after the first or second price cut.
      • I've got an email from EB Games (they didn't provide a link) that says they'll be offering a convenient bundle deal on Nov 9th on their website. Ships on the 19th. It goes for $699, but absolutely no details on what it includes. I'm guessing 3 extra controllers and nunchucks, a few games... I'm getting really sick of these bundles.
      • by Epyn ( 589398 )
        Keep an eye on your local Toy's R Us. According to recent news they're getting two to ten times as much nintendo stock at launch as comparable retailers.

        Failing that I would suggest camping circuit city, they are getting on average more stock than places like Best Buy and Wal Mart, much less Gamestop/EB which will have the least. You might not even have to be there early out to receive a nintendo at launch.
      • by squison ( 546401 )
        It may not be the case in your area, but many Wal-Marts are going to be selling Wii's at 12:01 on 11/19. So, you might want to give yours a call and see if they'll be open -- if you wait till 8 they could be long gone.
        • All the Wal-marts around here are 24-hour. I'm off the 18th and the 19th, so I can just head up there around 8-10pm or so and wait by the games. There's a Wal-mart very close to where I live, and 3 others (all 24 hours) within 15 miles.
    • With ~400k available in N.A., what's the point in camping out for a PS3? If you're not one of the first 10 people in-line at EB/Gamestop or most other retail outlets, do you think you'll get one?

      As an aside, anyone planning on camping out in the Portland, OR area may want to see if they can borrow someone's house boat. That is, provided the weather we're experiencing now is still around in ~2 weeks. Just pull up to a Best Buy and throw a line around one of the big yellow concrete posts out front.
    • by doormat ( 63648 )
      I really wouldnt consider myself a Wii or N fanboy, but I do think there will be a sellout. If not on Sunday, then on the friday following (Black Friday).

      There is a certain amount of planning with these launches with respect to marketing. You want the console to sell out on launch day, but you want a steady stream of units in the pipeline for adequate disbursements every week between launch and Christmas. Long queues and selling out means news coverage. No lines and adequate supplies doesnt attract as much
    • I asked the guy at the local Walmart, and he said they were getting 7 Wiis for release day. I think that may create a little bit of a shortage. Although there's many other store in this city, I still think there will be a shortage. Assuming each store getting Wiis gets the same number, then there's about 200 Wiis for a city of 1 Million people. That's not too many to go around. Granted, I don't know how many they will be able to get after release date, but as it stands now, getting one on release date is
    • by ClamIAm ( 926466 )
      Nintendo claims 4 million by year's end. []

      One thing I think we should keep in mind is that, even though the "average gamer age" continues to rise, a significant amount of consoles are bought as Christmas presents (at least in the US). This may be an advantage for Nintendo, as there will certainly be a shortage of PS3s. The Wii is also has a much friendlier price point than the 360 or PS3 (cf. PSP vs. DS).
    • I think it's pretty lame to "camp out" for a game console or for any product or event. Is it to reaffirm the nerd identity?
    • Yep, kinda like the Star Wars prequels. I never understood people standing in line for MONTHS for a movie that most people could just go to theater on release day and buy tickets for.

      That being said, I'll admit that I did stand outside a store for 3 hours waiting for it to open on Gamecube's release day, though I don't know if that qualifies as camping (the system did sell out to people in line so the demand was there :)).
    • After having preordered at an online store that I usually buy from, the guy told me last week that he'd be getting 20, although he'd already taken over 800 orders. He reckonned he could get 60-80 by christmas. Because I was only number 270, I cancelled my order, along with hundreds of others, so you can imagine the guy was pretty pissed with Nintendo for losing out on business.

      That's in Europe. It might be different in the US, depending on how they supply the different regions

      I got onto number 7 on the list
    • Actually, after speaking with several Best Buy customers, I've learned that there's going to be quite a line opening day morning, or the night before, in some cases. These aren't all just die hard fans- even a few parents are going to be out there. Its really unfortunate that there won't be more casual gamers, as this system is supposed to really open things up for them.
  • ... says that demand for the Wii is very low. They're not expecting to sell very many at all. The PS3 pre-orders, though, were snapped up in 5 minutes.
    • by Jartan ( 219704 )

      The PS3 pre-orders, though, were snapped up in 5 minutes.

      All two of them eh?
    • by Fozzyuw ( 950608 )

      ... says that demand for the Wii is very low. They're not expecting to sell very many at all. The PS3 pre-orders, though, were snapped up in 5

      Odd, the manager at our EB-Games said just the opposite. He had around 60 people on the 'call' list when it went on Pre-sale. He had, I think, 12 consoles. Took him over 24 hours to fill his pre-order. The Wii? 16 gone in the first 10mins.

      The funny thing is, the 60 people on the 'call' list where mostly like "How much? Oh, never mind". Though that did pre-orde

      • by Psiven ( 302490 )
        Yeah my gf hates games too. Im hoping the wii will entice her, but she's still resistent. I just hope the actual eexperience changes that.

        PS You know you're not getting a wii the 19th ;) But you may be abl to snag it that saturday night at midnight, which isnt really sunday. Just don't blow your date money!
      • by dlc3007 ( 570880 )
        I am right there with you!
        Nov. 19th is my wife's birthday! Fortunately, she likes to sleep in very late so I should be able to pick up my pre-order and get home before she gets out of bed. Unfortunately, I'll probably have to wait until the next day to take it out of the box.
    • by AuMatar ( 183847 )
      I was camping for the Wii preorders. 50 given out, and they turned away at least that while I was there.
      • That was one of the funniest stories I heard. People camping out for preorders? What's next? Preordering tickets for a raffle which decides which people get to stand first in the preorder line?
    • by ectal ( 949842 ) *
      I'm not sure what area you're in, but everyone I've talked to about it says demand for the Wii is insanely high. And I stood in a line for three hours for preorders (didn't get one) that grew to maybe 70 or 80 by opening time (Cary, NC). Of course, that was TRU, so there were also PS3 and Elmo (pre)orders. But the buzz from the line was "Wii, wii, wii." The PS3 folks were the 5 at the front of the line with sleeping bags. Everyone else was there for the Wii, with scattered Elmo fans here and there. One Elmo
      • I'm down the street from Cary. You gotta remember that Cary is FULL of kids, and most of them are rich, spoiled kids, to boot (as if you didn't know). That would explain all of the interest in the Wii in Cary...
        • You're down the street from Cary... where demand for the Wii is really high because, you say, there are lots of rich, spoiled kids (as opposed to the poor kids pushing for the PS3? But anyway)... but then you also say that your "local video game store," which presumably is in or near Cary, says there is no demand for the Wii.

          Care to explain the apparent contradiction?

    • Tell that to the two dozen people who were turned away from my local Toys R Us on preorder day before the store opened because there were already 20 people in line for the 20 systems by 7:30 AM.
    • Wow. Yeah, I had the same thing back when I worked for Microsoft and I went to the company store^W^W local software store, they saw surprisingly little demand for copies of MacOS X. I don't see why everyone is talking like the Apple market share is increasing, since judging by what the store employees said, people couldn't get enough of Windows software. If what you say is true, Mr. Sony Employee, Nintendo is in trouble...
  • I worked at Best Buy for the '96 Christmas season... some big console was released that year and people waited and waited outside the doors for that release. I don't even remember what the console was.

    We sold out instantly, most of the people left without one.

    One week before Christmas we received a huge supply. People who waited until the last minute to get their gifts all went home happy. How's that for irony?
    • by Madpony ( 935423 )
      I'm guessing that was the N64...?
      • Yep. N64 was released on September 29, 1996. I got mine that day, as I had it preordered for months prior. That was back in the days when a "preorder" meant that they'd actually set one aside for you and tell people they were sold out if they just walked in. These days, it's just a list for people who want to give the retailer a loan and get notified when the shipment arrives so they can get there before their "reserved" item is handed out to the next walk-in customer.

        That was the first time I preordered an
    • by ClamIAm ( 926466 )
      Another strategy for launch years is to scope out the most game-unhip stores that for some reason sell video games. The unwashed masses will all run to Best Buy, Wal-Mart, etc. During the N64 launch, I got mine from the neighborhood's chronically underperforming K-Mart.
      • That's a thought! I had completely forgotten about K-mart. There's a K-mart and a Micro Center right next to each other about 5 miles from my apartment. Target is also an idea. I'm sure I'll be able to pick up a Wii on launch day if I go to one of those places.
        • by ClamIAm ( 926466 )
          I think Target's popularity varies in different regions. Of course, I live in its "home" state, so you can imagine it makes a bit of difference...
  • i'm only second in line, and all I had to do was miss eight days of work.
    • TFA had it right when it mentioned being social... At least have a good time while you're spending 3 days out in the rain for a system that will probably fry itself 30 seconds after you turned it on... I made some good friends camping out for tickets to Game 7 of the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals...
  • Alaska... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 7Prime ( 871679 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @07:38PM (#16744417) Homepage Journal

    Not sure what I'm gonna do, I'm up here in Fairbanks, Alaska, and I'm gunning for a Wii at launch. The only thing is, it's probably going to be at least -10F by the time the 19th rolls around, so I don't know how much "camping" is going to go on. I'm thinking about parking the car close to the store a few hours before openning, and waiting to see when people start to show up. I'll have to ask around about previous launches. Wal-Mart already sold out their pre-orders, as did GameStop, so I'm going after a state-wide chain department store instead, they're usually pretty on top of things.

    Anyone else been faced with cold weather system launches? What was your experience?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by joggle ( 594025 )
      I'm sure I don't need to tell this to someone in Alaska, but be sure not to kill yourself with carbon-monoxide poisoning. While I haven't camped out in Alaska in that weather, I have in Colorado and a nice, toasty sleeping bag does the job nicely, especially if you have something hot to drink too.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ClamIAm ( 926466 )
      it's probably going to be at least -10F by the time the 19th rolls around

      As a Minnesotan, I usually laugh at people's "omg it's teh cold" stories. Looks like I can't do that this time. Good game, dude.
    • I live in New Hampshire (not as cold as Alaska but still pretty cold) That's exactly what I did for the Xbox 360 launch... I went to Walmart around 5PM with a friend, they didn't have any premium tickets left so we good a good dinner picked up some soda and snacks and waited all night in our car in the Sams Club parking lot. We got the spot closest to the door and kept an eye out for other campers... throughout the night a few other cars had joined us and at about 5AM (the store opened at 7) someone pulled
    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *
      I'm thinking about parking the car close to the store a few hours before openning, and waiting to see when people start to show up.

      And become easy prey for the Best Buy Rapist? I don't think so! I'll take my chances outside with the crowd, thank you very much.


  • Careful (Score:2, Funny)

    by mmbroda ( 1023731 )
    My favorite comment from the article... "My friends and I plan on getting a total of 6 ps3.. 3 of them will be mine. i plan on selling 2 on eBay. my goal is to make $5000. we will be getting in line Wed. around 5pm. Im just worried about security. I heard way too many horror sorries for the 360 launch and for that reason we will have a .45 in the car just in case. "
  • by ColaMan ( 37550 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @07:41PM (#16744455) Journal
    Heh. I notice that the first photo linked in that article has a guy opening what looks to be very much like a bottle of wine out on the footpath.

    Pretentious snob. Beer would have been perfectly fine for that occasion.

    Unless that photo was taken in France, of course.

    • Ravenswood is not a very expensive bottle of wine. It goes for about 10 bucks. Also, red wine is better than beer in cold weather IMHO.

      Also, some people prefer a red wine buzz to a beer buzz.
      • by ColaMan ( 37550 )
        Try that on the street here and you'll get a "finish it now or bin it" response from your friendly local law enforcement officer.
        • What would he do if I finished the entire bottle?
          • by ColaMan ( 37550 )
            Probably he'd be a little surprised, then make sure that you disposed of the empty bottle correctly, but that's about it really. And likely he'd wander back that way in about half-an-hour to make sure you weren't making a drunken ass of yourself.
  • Delay gratification (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Aceticon ( 140883 ) on Monday November 06, 2006 @07:46PM (#16744539)
    The ability to delay gratification (i.e. don't do it now because it will be easier or the reward will be bigger later) is one of those personal traits which highly correlates with success. It's also one of those things people are supposed to learn when they're kids.

    I reckon that anybody wanting to study those which never learned this valuable ability just has to go check the lines on launch day.
    • by CaseM ( 746707 )
      Ouch, what a trollish post.

      Have you thought that perhaps people who are "highly successful" are those who often need to spend a lot of time in their careers - so much so, in fact, that they don't have time to stand in line?
      • by gfxguy ( 98788 )
        No, he's right. Let me rephrase what you just wrote:

        People are successful because they don't waste their time unnesessarily waiting in line for something as trivial as a video game console when they'll be able to get one without waiting in line if they just show a little patience.

        If someone is that much of a business man that he wouldn't even have the time, he probably wouldn't have use for a video game console anyway. We're not talking about the kind of guy who does nothing but business, just the kind of
    • Oh don't be mean. How will the reward be "bigger later" by waiting to buy a videogame system? A toy is the same whether bought today or tomorrow. Waiting to buy a system is a good idea when the system has bugs yet to be worked out (such as the Intel Macs), but, based on Nintendo's history, the Wii will probably be rock-solid.

      The people getting theirs on launch morning are the ones who will be playing it when you can't.
      • by Psiven ( 302490 )
        I think the reward is perceived better (and therefore is) when you delay gratification. Kind of like the zen mindfulness, not thinking about the dishes while you drink your tea.
        • by twistedsymphony ( 956982 ) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @10:18AM (#16750869) Homepage
          When waiting in line you're conscientiously waiting for gratification for a number of hours, the reward seems sweeter once you actually get it. Not only that the product is brand new and you're one of the few people to lay eyes on it is mythical in a sense.

          Waiting to buy your console months later it looses that sense, the prize isn't as sweet because you can just walk in and get one, and seeing it become common place for people to talk about it kiosks popping up everywhere maybe you've played it a couple times at a friends house it's not as special once you get it.

          I've had my consoles both ways, while buying any new piece of entertainment equipment is exciting, there is something particularly special about bringing home some tech not just new to you, but to the whole world, and waiting in line to get one makes it even sweeter because once you get one you fee like you've earned it. You're entitled to your opinions on the subject but that's genuinely how I feel about it.
          • I'm not going to wait in line, but I completely agree with what you just said. Having something like that the very moment it becomes available feels good - you've got your hands on something both fun AND scarce at once.

            That said, I'm going to call the stores around noon to find out whether they're sold out, then get one the next week, because I don't have any time to waste standing in a line all day.
  • Having only recently gotten to the age where I have both the money and the time to afford for a late night launch I am rather ignorant of how this all works. The article was helpful, but some questions remain.

    1. Where do preorders fit into all of this? I was #7 in line for the Wii preorders, assuming there are 7 Wiis left over after the store employees get theirs am I guaranteed one?

    2. When they say the system launches on Sunday, do I camp out Saturday or Sunday night? (This has confused me in the past with
    • by Reapman ( 740286 )
      I don't get the camping thing either... ok camping for a movie... you wanta good seat, that I can see. But with preorders.. what are you accomplishing? It's preordered... assuming they're not gonna jerk you around it will be there when you show up at noon or whatever. The only way I can see it work for the Wii is if they're not allowed to have all their units for preorder, and you weren't able to preorder in time... then ya, standing in line for the remaining units might make sense (assuming standing in
      • Your average EB or Gamestop employee is not above selling peoples pre-orders to themselves, family or friends and politely informing real pre-order holders that, not as many units came in as expected. I've had it happen with games over and over (special edition games and the like). Also with the PS2 back in the day (just got my money refunded after my bro's PS2 was DOA). A friend of mine was the ast manager at a gamestop for a while and would frequently offer to 'sell' me other's preorders of games and t
    • 2. When they say the system launches on Sunday, do I camp out Saturday or Sunday night? (This has confused me in the past with game releases)

      Availability on a Sunday generally implies that you need to be there on Sunday.

      3. What do I do if I've recently moved and have no friends in the area?

      Don't worry, nobody else in line will either.

      Thanks, I'll be here all week.
  • Camping out for the Wii: Bring cash.

    Camping out for the PS3: Bring a weapon.
  • by British ( 51765 ) <> on Monday November 06, 2006 @09:33PM (#16745925) Homepage Journal
    I postd this to the ps2 newsgroup..

    1. get a legit PS3 box
    2. Stuff it full of computer parts(small ones). Go into store.
    3. Walk out of a busy Best Buy or WalMart or Target and yell out loud
    "hey I got a PS3!" while holding it over your head
    5. Accidentally drop it
    6. pretend to be sad and open the box as onlookers watch & pull parts out.

    If you do this, have a friend videotape it and post it to youtube. If
    it doesn't work, put it all back into the box and try another store.

    If there's enough onlookers, or better yet, PS3 campers, it might be
    • by 10Neon ( 932006 )
      A box? Why not go for the real thing? []
      • by Neoncow ( 802085 )
        Ooh man.. What evil bastards. I can't wait to see the video.
        • by ricree ( 969643 )
          I hope it's better than the people who smashed the 360. They set up a tent and waited (I think for several days) to get one, but then smashed it in a mostly empty parting lot. Seriously, it would have been funny if there were a bunch of people in line or something, but the way they did it just ended up being lame.
    • You forgot:

      #7 - dodge the people yelling "faker" who read this post on slashdot who then encourage the crowd to stomp your ass.
  • Sorry, I already did my camping out on the 13th for the Wii pre-order. When the 19th rolls around all I have to do is walk in remind the manager of the local EBGames what my last name is and walk out happy! And personally, I have a large Turkish friend with a heavy accent and enough girth to be intimidating. He waited with me to pre-order the system, he's going with me when I go to pick it up. I think I will be fine!
  • ... not. I was walking through the mall yesterday and decided to poke my head inside the video game shop (n.b. I live in central Japan in a city of 150,000). There was a sign up saying "Now accepting Wii pre-orders", which must have happened in the last week or so since they didn't know when it was going to start on the 1st when I asked. I said "Excuse me, I'd like to pre-order a Wii". I put my name and phone number down on a ticket, got my copy, and told them I wouldn't need a reminder phone call. The
  • There's a bunch of stores here in Brazil pre-selling Wii for R$ 2,500.00. That is like a thousand dolares!! I could go to Miami and buy me one console for that price! Actually, I could buy two and travel for free.
  • On a tangentially related note, ran story about one of their writer's experiences waiting outside Toys R Us in upstate NY for an evening in the freezing cold. Might be of interest if you liked this article. []
  • I refuse to camp out for either system. I got burned with my 360. I live in a small town and I only had to wait in line about two hours to get my 360 but after playing it for three days I got the "Three red lights". So I called tech support and about an half and hour later they told me to expect a box in the mail to return my system. So I packed up my system and sent it off to the Holy land of Microsoft and about a week later I hade a refurbished 360 sans my hard drive which I had also sent back. So af
  • My friend and I have been planning to camp out since September. We are going to camp out in front of the Best Buy in Tukwila, WA.

    I've spent at least 30 min on the phone with the local branch as well as corporate, and the local branch was saying that they've been bugging their property management company enough that they finally agreed to send out a official bulletin to Best Buy about what is and is not allowed (logistics and all that).

    I am so jazzed.

    I got the week off of work, there's a Costco about 5 minut

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