The long awaited and highly anticipated debut of PlayStation 3 finally occurred Nov. 17.
If that wasn’t enough to get tech-jocks excited, the scarcity of Xbox 360s rival competitor was. With only 250,000 units currently available in the nation, Sony’s new gaming system sent the gaming community into a frenzy.
Much like Microsoft’s Xbox 360, which premiered this time a year ago, the PS3 is available in two packages. The basic 20 gigabyte version is usually priced around $500, while the advanced 60GB package will cost approximately $600.
One of the biggest reasons why the price has been set so high is due to the clearer picture and more realistic graphics. The PS3 also features a cell broadband engine and PS3’s Blu-ray Disc, a digital videodisc system, offers next-generation, high-definition entertainment.
Similar to last year’s situation involving the release of the Xbox 360, some people were doing the unthinkable to get their hands on the PS3.
Across the country individuals were standing in lines and setting up tents days before the PS3 hit shelves. Some were even paying for spots in line. One gentlemen waiting outside a Target store in Tallahassee sold his spot in line for $650.
Another woman sold her spot at a Wal-Mart store for $400.While some people are reaching deep into their pockets to purchase a PS3, others are choosing alternative ways to take part in the gaming experience of Sony’s flagship product. Wednesday, a Target was robbed at gunpoint, resulting in five stolen PS3 consoles.
“I think it’s ridiculous how Sony has basically made people make fools of themselves,” said Mike Wilcox, a Tallahassee Target employee. “For people to be out there two and three days in advance, there is something really wrong.”Steve Russell, senior associate at Circuit City agreed with Wilcox. “It was bigger and worse than anything we had ever seen before,” said Russell. “Bigger than Xbox 360, PS2 – anything.”
Circuit City was the only store in Tallahassee with PS3s that did not allow customers to form lines prior to midnight Friday. Russell said Circuit City was not letting people line up in advance “for security reasons.” The store did not want people to block customers trying to leave the store during business hours.
But the crowd continued to stand out in the parking lot. Russell said the crowd got so huge they had to change up their original plan. Around 11 p.m. Thursday, the manager of Circuit City announced they would no longer have a first come first serve line at midnight. Instead Circuit City managers decided to have a raffle for the six PS3s the store received between 11:45 p.m. and midnight.
To the surprise of Circuit City workers, once the raffles were called out the rest of the anxious customers went home quietly. Although the PS3 is sure to be a popular commodity this holiday season, Sony may need more than just bragging rights. According to Devin Leonard of Fortune Magazine, Sony needs a resurrection. “I think the stakes are high,” Leonard said. “I think Sony needs a hit.”