I camped out all last night with James H in front of Wal-Mart for the Sony PlayStation 3 launch. After many hardships, we scored consoles for both of us.
More detailed updates to come later. In the meantime, check out my spoils, which will be going up on eBay. Shiver me timbers, yarr!
UPDATE 11/19: Well, after much recuperation (and making up for missing most of the day at work on Friday), I can finally get around to updating this post. On with the tale (based on a true story)!
It was a dark and stormy night. Okay, it was just dark, but it was snowing a lot. I had finished work at 16:30, getting the majority of my work done so that I wouldn’t have much to do the next day. I had an appointment with a personal client, so I went there and did an OS rebuild. I finished at around 19:30, so I headed over to James H’s after grabbing a quick bite at McDonald’s (yuck, but it does the job if speed is of the essence). When I get there, what do I find? He’s in the middle of a raid instance on WoW! The moron wouldn’t give up playing until it came to around 20:30. I warned him that it was getting dangerously closer to 21:00, which is when we had agreed to start lining up at Wal-Mart. So, he told his guild that he had to bail for PS3, and like I predicted, they understood and calmly let him go, despite the crankiness they were exuding. Seriously, people THAT edgy should NEVER lead a raid instance, especially over Ventrilo. There’s nothing worse than WoW geeks (actually, hikikomori are at the top of the list, but let’s not get into that right now ^^).
After logging off, JH took a quick shower and gathered things we’d need for the overnight camping, and we were off. When we got there, we realized it was too late. Four people were already lined up. I didn’t want to say, “I told you so,” so I just kept my mouth shut. As I had heard earlier in the day, Wal-Mart was expecting six PS3 consoles, but they only received two with four unaccounted for. After standing around and chatting to the other guys in line, I finally decided that I would stay in line with the hope that the missing four units would miraculously appear the next morning, either by inventory miscount or courier. JH also agreed with my hopeless reasoning, plus we were fifth and sixth in line. So, it began. The first group were two guys I knew. Tim and Greg. Greg is a bit of an arrogant jerk-off, and I still don’t know how I managed to restrain myself from choking him to death, but otherwise, he’s harmless, and I supposed I could have had worse company. Tim is a tech, like me, and he was one of James G’s best friends in high school. The other two were INCO guys I didn’t know too well (and I never got their names T_T), but one was a man who was buying the PS3 for his son, so I’ll call him Superdad. The other guy was his friend who used to live in Halifax, so I’ll call him Halifax. Anyway, the original plan for these two groups were to buy a console between the two of them and share it. However, they reasoned that if the other four showed up, they would buy one each instead, which is why JH and I ended up fifth and sixth in line. Since the original shipping manifest revealed that two of the six units were the 20 GB versions, it meant that JH and I would be left with them.
Anyway, I got our gear out of the car – a dual lawnchair, and a wool blanket that JH brought along for himself. Once we got settled in, JH went to pick up a pizza from the local pizza place just around the corner of the mall. Superdad and Halifax brought out their gear as well – two lawnchairs, a backup battery, a Sirius satellite radio, and – get this – a propane tank attached to a mini heater. I thought that was the most smartest thing ever. The ironic thing is, it’s the first time those guys ever did something like this. Talk about thinking ahead. In my case, all I brought along were two thermal underpants, a hoodie, a winter vest, and a down-filled winter jacket. I would later regret not bringing wool socks or ski pants.
The first hour was spent watching people leave Wal-Mart while it closed and employees went home. Many of them tried to warn us that they only had two units in stock, but we were desperate and crazy. Also, it was only -5°C and it was snowing. For us northerners, it was nothing. Right up until the second hour. It got a bit colder, maybe -10°C or -15°C. That’s when the heater came in handy. I was cozy for a bit, and we were all busy chatting about the PS3 and other general topics. We even got to know each other a bit (except Greg, I already knew he was an arrogant prick ^^). The second hour saw the manager leave the store and tell us he’d see us in the morning. JH watched Family Guy on my laptop in my car, which I left idling all night (good-bye ozone layer). Earlier in the day, I had anticipated boredom and I bought a power inverter from TS, and though it came in handy, it wasn’t for my benefit. Third hour – pizza arrived for both Group 1 (Greg and Tim) and Group 2 (Superdad and Halifax). Fourth hour – James G showed up to visit, and he stole me away to do a coffee run at Tim Horton’s. Hot tea in a paper cup on the lap helps keep you warm. There was more chatting, but I really don’t remember it all. Fifth hour – JH was still watching Family Guy in the warm and cozy car. He came out for short stints that didn’t match his long hours in the car. I could have went into the car, but I wasn’t freezing yet. The asshole night manager showed up and rudely told us to move our cars out of the “fire lane”, which is actually just a pedestrian crossing. Honestly, if a fire happened, we’d be the first to know and we would’ve moved our cars of our own volition. That guy’s asshole was so tight, it could create a black hole in the fabric of space and time. To be continued…
UPDATE 11/20: Wow, two posts and both not updated. Well, it’s to be expected – in between camping out, catching up on sleep, doing deliveries, and doing computer work on the side, I’m surprised I even had time to even play either of the systems, let alone update this blog! Anyway, if you haven’t read my update from yesterday (which is the post after this one… this is gonna be one of those time paradox posts, isn’t it? T_T), I got the Nintendo Wii yesterday. Anyway, on with the continuation of the last paragraph.
Where was I? Two days and two game consoles later, my memory is a bit hazy. Oh, right, I was talking about Mr. Asshole Ass-istant Night Manager. We complied with his rude demands and parked our cars in the parking lot. Superdad and I parked as close as possible, which was hard enough with the night staff’s vehicles in the way, but Greg parked in the handicap zone. Real smart, there. The fifth hour was a bit uneventful. We all chatted a lot about various subjects – mostly the PS3, what games we were interested in, and the latest events regarding PS3. Eventually, those topics could only go on so far, and we moved on to other subject matter, like where worked, where we are from, etc. I was surprised to find out that even Superdad knew that my parents owned a Chinese restaurant, since he orders from it a lot. About halfway through the fifth hour (2:30), a truck showed up and parked in the parking lot while still running. We were a bit concerned, since nobody was leaving the vehicle, and they all seemed to be staring at us. However, eventually, a guy came out and joined us, dressed in black jeans, a black leather jacket, and a black cowboy hat. He was also lining up for the PS3, and we warned him that there were only two available with a very slim chance for the missing four. Regardless, he stuck around, but didn’t say much. Since I never found out his name, I’ll refer to him as Cowboy (remember him, because he showed up for the Wii line-up – see next post). I tried to order a pizza, but the pizza place wouldn’t answer the phone, so I went hungry. Jerks.
The sixth hour, 3:00, rolled around, and we were all busy chatting up a storm, and the snow just kept falling. And falling. And falling. It got a bit colder, but that was probably because of prolonged exposure. JH finally joined us outside after his fill of Family Guy, so I took my cue and went to warm up my feet in the car (because the wool blanket I wrapped around my legs were covered in snow and dirt from the ground and that stuff fell into my shoes, giving me a mix of dirt and freezing snow). I decided to refresh myself too and I took a fifteen minute nap. When I came out, everybody was chatting away about paintball. Even Cowboy said a few words, revealing that he was from an aboriginal reserve further north. JH eventually took off to get something from Tim Horton’s (he walked, since it’s right around the corner, sort of).
The seventh hour, 4:00. Cowboy started chatting more with us, especially when Greg started talking about FINAL FANTASY XII. Although he seemed more like a lurker in a community forum, Cowboy revealed his gaming geekness by joining the FF conversation. The conversation then shifted over to Team America quotes, and then they all lost me when they started talking about Red versus Blue or something like that. I dunno, I’d never even heard of it before the conversation. JH eventually came back from Tim Horton’s, and Tim even had a chance to go there and come back with doughnuts.
The eighth hour, 5:00. I was freezing again, so I retreated to the car to warm up my feet. Once that was done, I went back to the line and realized that it was getting colder outside. I tried to get closer to the propane heater, but it did me no good. As the hour drew on, I paid less attention to conversation and more to my feet. In my frozen stupor, I may have made another trip to the car to warm up. It soon became crazy, though. People started showing up, and even after telling them the situation, most of them still stayed in line. My legs were chilly and my feet were continually frozen (stupid socks don’t thaw fast enough). I eventually stood up, and it helped for a little while. However, at 6:00, as per Greg’s experience from last year’s XBox 360 line-up, the manager would show up and give out tickets. I put up with the cold for a while longer.
5:57. *beep* 5:58. *beep* 5:59. *beep* 6:00. “Wal-Mart only got two PS3 consoles in stock, four consoles are unaccounted for, I’m fifth in line, and other gamers may be plotting the death of the people ahead of me. I’m Heihachi, and this… is the longest day of my life.” And… no manager. Oh, he showed up, but he didn’t give out tickets. We had to wait around for another hour before he actually showed up. Once he made the announcement that there were only two consoles available, many people left. Greg got the first ticket and Superdad got the second. By 7:30, even more people showed up, and we all started putting our stuff away. We formed an actual line and waited for 8:00 to roll around. My feet seemed to go from freezing to frostbitten during that time. Yes, JH and I still waited in line, hoping against hope.
The eleventh hour, 8:00. There was a bit of a delay (and a Wal-Mart cheer), before the doors opened up slightly late. Although there were about 16 of us, we all walked in and marched to the electronics department in an orderly fashion. Greg and Superdad got their consoles, and we got a chance to actually see it. Ooh, nice. JH and I stuck around with Tim and Halifax. We were all sure that we were waiting for nothing, but hope is an illogical human trait, and we just happen to be human.
The twelfth hour, 9:00. Purolator showed up with four PS3 consoles to prove that hope actually means something. It was a [gamer’s] miracle. Unfortunately, it meant that JH and I were stuck with the last two 20 GB versions, since we were fifth and sixth in line. Also, Cowboy didn’t get one – it was really too bad. Anyway, I picked up two games – Genji – Days of the Blade and Call of Duty 3 – to bundle with the PS3. However, when I got home to take a shower and go to work, things took a turn for the worse. I fell asleep for four hours.
When I woke up, I high-tailed it to work and tried to do as much as possible. I even got to chat with Candace. After I got home, I started this blog entry and took the pictures I posted here (and will use for eBay). However, JH called me up and said he decided to keep his PS3 because it was one of six in town and he waited a long time to get one (spent more time in the car watching Family Guy, in my opinion). I ended up having to drive him to Wal-Mart to return his game because it was rated low on gaming sites. Then, we went to Rogers, got some snackage, and rented Resistance: Fall of Man and Gundam – Crossfire. We went back to his place where we ordered pizza (half with no cheese for me) and proceeded to unpack and set up his PS3. My hell, it was huge! Bigger than the old XBox, even! We turned it on and I was not amused as I watched JH fumble with the on-screen keitai-style keyboard while he screamed in frustration. Watching JH throw a temper tantrum is akin to watching a kid throwing a temper tantrum at a non-plussed parent. It makes you want to slap that kid (and sometimes slap the parent for their lack of parenting skills). Anyway, it took him so long to get the console set up that the pizza showed up and I finished my half! We eventually moved on to the games. He played Resistance first, which looked graphically good and even conceptually good, but since me+FPS=violent nausea, I left the room after a while and surfed GameSpot’s website on JH’s PC, checking out launch footage for PS3 and launch information for Wii. I managed to gather some eBay prices (somebody paid $15,000 for a PS3!), so I was quite happy that I was selling mine. Anyway, JH called me back to the living room to check out the Gundam game, and as it turned out, it sucked. I think I hated it even more because JH was screaming in frustration like… well, read the simile above. You get the point. I made an excuse and left as fast as possible.
The next morning, I decided to check out Rogers again, because they had a better game selection than Wal-Mart did at launch. I picked up Ridge Racer 7 and Resistance, because they were both the best launch titles according to many user and editorial reviews. I also went to Wal-Mart and found out that they got in some Sixaxis controllers, so I picked one up. I also checked to see how many Nintendo Wii consoles they were getting in for the next day – 54. See the next blog entry for the launch details.
After taking pictures of the new stuff, I checked eBay prices again so I could determine a good starting bid and reserve price, but to my shock and dismay, PS3 consoles were going for retail or less! Apparently, according to analysts, people bought launch systems for crazy prices only on the launch date, so there was a huge swarm of PS3 auctions the next day, which dropped the prices drastically. However, the same analysts believe that the prices will start to soar again as it gets closer to the holiday season, because people will be wanting them as gifts or otherwise, as long as Sony doesn’t release more units before that time. If they do, then they will be the biggest frakkers in the world for creating a fake shortage, and I’ll be selling it for retail so I can buy the 60 GB, which I’ll keep, because I’m interested in playing Ridge Racer 7 (because of Nagase Reiko – she calls to me!) and waiting for the upcoming titles for next year. If that’s the case, so much for my genius plan. T_T