Last night I waited in line in the soaking rain with about 800 other hopefuls in Union Square at Circuit City Store 3679 in New York City for one chance to win a Playstation 3 out of 100 up for grabs. The first 100 in line were guaranteed to receive a voucher to buy the unit at midnight for $600, the other 800 in line, including me, filled out forms to possibly win a PS3. There would be 100 winners including a couple (a young man and woman) behind me where miraculously both won!
Before I go into more details, here's some background:
In a previous post I wrote that I hired a legal Mexican immigrant last month to wait in line to get a pre-order for a Sony Playstation 3. I already sold my pre-order certificate for $1500.00.
A few days after I sold my PS3, Ebay pulled tons of PS3 pre-orders from auction and then relented with more restricted rules possibly causing the bombing of PayPal offices.
Then, 11 Days ago, I read this headline at joystiq.com:
6 Circuit City stores with PS3 midnight launch and 100 units, Excerpt: 6 Circuit City stores will have a midnight launch on November 16 with 100 units up for grabs. [snip] At 10PM vouchers will be given to the first 100 people in line and at midnight you'll be the proud owner of a PS3. Circuit City also says, in what can only be considered a sign of an impending disaster, that five stores will be "giving away" five PS3s each to "win," and the Union Square store will be "giving away" 100. No details on what that specifically means, but there better be cops with an ambulance present and waiting.
So I circled the date and decided to see what it would be like to wait in line just on the off-chance that I might win a PS3. I got to Circuit City about 7:30 PM last night where there were already about 700 youngsters in line. By 8:30 they stopped any new entrants and by 9 PM they started giving out forms for entry into the free drawing. Unfortunately they did not have an orderly system in place for announcing the winners but came out with bullhorns announcing about 20 winners at a time. By the time they got to the end of the line they were down to announcing just two or three names at a clip. They dragged this process out until shortly after midnight when they opened the doors for those first 100 with vouchers. It would have been a lot easier to have simply called the winners on their cells. Everyone had a phone with them, along with video games, Blackberries, and some even watched pre-recorded tv episodes on their MDAs while waiting, hoping to hear their names called. Whenever a winner was announced the crowd let out a hearty series of boos.
At this moment, about a hundred PS3s are being added to eBay's auction every hour with many units reaching $3,000 rather quickly. Unfortunately many of those bids are being done by malicious bidders with zero rating who are so annoyed at people making money that they are sabotaging the process by entering bids they do not intend on honoring. They simply opened a new account which later will be thrown away after eBay bans it.
In the photo above you will see two happy PS3s on the floor of my home.
Destructoid, PS3 campers get shot at
Think you got the stones to wait outside for a PlayStation 3 for two nights in a row? Well, how about you wait for one while being shot at! That's right, some upstanding citizens in Kentucky did an ol' fashioned drive-by with a BB gun on some PS3 campers -- we assume the perps are CounterStrike players and just can't stand campers. What's even funnier is that a local newscaster got caught in the crossfire. Pure awesome...
Kotaku - PS Fight Shuts Down Wal-Mart, Excrpt:
A fight broke out at the Super Wal-Mart broke out in Palmdale in California when store employees decide to move the line from inside to outside.
According to a television station, a group of PS3 line-waiters got angry when they were told they could no longer wait inside a Wal-Mart for the PS3 and would have to go outside instead. The group ran through the store knocking everyone and everything in their path over.
Sheriff's deputies were called and the store temporarily shut down to restore order.
Witnesses say that around 10 p.m. Thursday, around fifty people were waiting outside Best Buy (River Park) when the store manager announced that only 35 Playstation 3 units were available. At that point, the crowd made a rush for the door and the manager pulled down the shutters. Officers on scene labeled the crowd an "unlawful gathering," and, according to witnesses, they used batons on those who were being uncooperative.
TechNewsPulse - [now defunct blog] - Limited Supply of 20GB PS3s Available Online Tonight at EB Games & GameStop, Excerpt: GameStop / EB Games will have an "extremely limited supply of 20GB PlayStation 3 console bundles for pre-order” on their sites tonight, November 17th. These bundles are expected to ship on or before December 1st. There is no mention of pricing at this point.
Planck's Constant - Long Wait for PS3s already started
Clash of Civilizations - [now defunct blog] - I'm Not Risking Death For a PS3, Excerpt: This from Fox News, two armed thugs shot a man in Putnam, Conn. Why is this interesting? Because the man was waiting in line to buy a PS3. The criminals had (what I think is) a good plan in targeting the heavy wallets (on the heavy backsides) of those in line - because the consoles cost $500-600 each! Lets say there were 100 people in line - thats $50,000 - $60,000, of which, maybe $20,000 was cash!
Kotaku - PS3s Averaging $2600 Sell Price on eBay, Excerpt:
According to eBay Marketplace Research, as of 9:30 this morning 174 Playstation 3s have sold on the auction site for an average price of $2,618.47 since the console's availability this morning.
Prior to today, 3,533 PS3s have sold on eBay for an average price of $1,788.88. There are currently about 1,580 listings on the site. The average price for the PS3 for the past week was $1,959.73. While yesterday, 334 of the consoles sold for $2,185.85.
A man drops off homeless people at a local target so they can buy him some PlayStation 3s - Video
MSNBC - Ex-Senator's staffer asked Wal-Mart for game, Excerpt: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Thursday that a staff member for former Sen. John Edwards _ a vocal critic of the retailer _ asked his local Wal-Mart store for help in getting the potential 2008 presidential candidate a Sony PlayStation 3. Edwards said a volunteer did so by mistake.