Sports Rule

Is there anything else???

Would you do it?

Nov 18, 2006 — Camp outside a WalMart for days to buy the new PlayStation 3?

When I first heard about this (and saw it when walking into a local WalMart on Thursday night) I thought these people were absolutely CRAZY! Still do, really. But then I heard the next day that people were selling THEIR SPOTS IN LINE for upwards of $1000! WTF!

So would you take a little 3-day vacation and camp out for one of these? If you bought one, you could sell it on ebay for over $1000.

On the other hand, those people who camped out to buy one for themselves are just crazy! Can you not wait a couple months until more are made? It essentially cost you several days of pay + the cost of the player + your dignity!

My biggest question though is why Sony couldn't make more players to release before the holiday season. I know the demand is through the roof right now, but all these insane prices aren't going to Sony, but rather the people buying and selling them. I'd think they would try to get as many as they could out right before Christmas and they'd sell a ton! Am I missing something here?

rnewhouse says:

There was a local fellow on the news last night. He bought something like three units, then sold them on eBay. He paid some guys something like $500 each to stand in line, then $600 for each unit. He sold one on eBay for about $2000.

Now the big question is, how MANY of these units are going to sell on eBay after the first couple of days? Obviously Sony is going to make more of them. So let's say this guy sells another one for $1600, and then the third one for maybe $700, or maybe even $400 because the market is now glutted with artificially inflated sales...

He ends up with maybe as much money as he could have made in maybe a week's worth of real work.

Or, he could end up like the guy in Connecticut who was shot in a gunfight over who got to be first in line.

See? I told you video games aren't good for you.

lidge_34 says:

My understanding is that the next time you'll be able to buy the PS3 at a store is February. So you have many people trying to buy these things as Christmas presents, since this is their only chance to do so. If I had one, I would hold onto it for a couple weeks, at least until after Thanksgiving. By that point I'm guessing a lot of units will already be sold, and they will be even more scarce, driving up the price a bit more.

BTW, I think that guy is pretty smart--he didn't have to miss any of his real work AND he was able to profit from it. Not a bad deal.

Jackson says:

I liked the news story on a Walmart in Palmdale - it was widely known that they would only have 20 units to sell come midnight - but people would stand in line behind 40 other people, in the hopes that at least 22 of them would give up and go home before midnight.

I would never spend this much on a video game, let alone stand in line for 3 days straight to spend this much on a video game. I've never wanted ANYTHING so much that I would've stood in line for more than a few hours.

Wirehead says:

Sony didn't make enough because they couldn't. The entire PS3 production cycle has been a bad joke almost from the beginning. Sony decided to use Blu-Ray optical drives, that being Sony's pet technology (anyone remember Betamax? No? How about MemoryStick? ...No? Hrm.) of this particular generation. After spending millions promoting Blu-Ray drives (which use blue-laser LED's) as the key next-gen feature of the PS3 enabling larger games with higher res textures etc. as a result of more available storage space (a Blu-Ray drive can store around 50GB on one disc compared to maybe 25GB or so on an HD-DVD or about 6GB on a standard DVD), Sony found out they couldn't make enough blue lasers. Launch quantities in each market plummeted over and over again. The USA was originally supposed to get something like a million consoles on launch day, Japan was to get 100k, and I believe Europe was supposed to get at least something, though the actual number escapes me at the moment. USA got cut to 800k, then 500k, then 200k. Japan got cut to 50k, then 20k. The console won't release at all in Europe for several more weeks if not months at this point.

All of this is on top of a completely ridiculous price for a game console. Would a reasonable person consider buying a console for $600 (the price for the "good" one) when you can get a tricked out gaming computer for a couple hundred dollars more that makes the PS3's much-vaunted 1080p resolution (1920 horizontal by 1080 vertical) look sad? I play pretty much everything at 2560x1600 these days, and my entire system could probably be duplicated for less than the cost of a PS3, excluding the monitor itself.

Anyway, Sony definitely WOULD have had more available at launch if they COULD, but apparently, they can't. They only even got the things into mass production a few weeks ago due to some last-minute design changes, which certainly didn't help matters.

On the other side of the coin, having your widget "Sold out!" for several weeks after release helps to create the impression that it's much-desired by the public and therefore WORTH spending obscene cubic dollars on, which should help them sell more once they get them to market.

I think the PS3's hardware is pretty nice, and it's certainly an impressive machine, but there are some major problems.

First of all, obviously, it's too expensive. The only consoles to release at price points in that vicinity have died rapidly and without exception, regardless of how cool they were. Anyone remember the 3DO? Didn't think so.

Second, it's an utter pain in the arse for developers to work on. Devs are already complaining about optimizing games for dual-core on the PC side of things, and they're not big fans of triple-core on the Xbox360 either. Programming the PS3 involves dealing with the Cell chip, which is essentially NINE cores, and on top of that they're two totally different KINDS of processing cores that are suited to different tasks. It's been said by fairly major software developers that programming successfully for dual-processor systems is approximately four times as difficult. Ok, then what about NINE cores? You do the math on that one.

The problem with point two above is that it will take a LONG time for anyone to fully exploit what this system is capable of, if ever. Game devs ALREADY didn't like working on the PS2 which was significantly tougher to deal with than the GameCube or Xbox (Xbox was basically identical to developing for a regular PC, except you didn't ever have to worry about driver issues, differing hardware issues, optimizing different codepaths for different video chipsets ...it's everything good from the PC gaming market with virtually nothing bad, and the Xbox360 tries to continue that tradition).

As a result of the "everything and the kitchen sink" philosophy, Sony still LOSES about $200 to $300 (depending on which manufacturing cost estimate you believe) on each PS3 sold even at their obscene $600 pricepoint.

All that said, I'd feel better about spending $1500 on a PS3 than on a Tickle Me Elmo or similar useless piece of junk that will be forgotten in two months anyway.

spincycle` says:

stolen from eBay:

Please read the amazing story of how i got this ps3

i went out wednesday afternoon to the local walmart to start camping out. when i got there, there were already 12 people ther so i got in line being number 13. i talked around and found out the first 6 people there had been there since monday, total hardcore nerds all planning to keep them. bragging about how only they should get the system since theyve been there the longest. how they are so dedicated and how if you dont want to do the time, you shouldnt get a system. generally being complete assholes. good for them. we had a hours to pass so we became friends and played some cards and whatnot. the 6 guys in front kept to themselves and didnt associate with the rest of us. we were cool with each other leaving the line to get food, bathroom, smoke, etc since we all knew each other and as long as they were back in 30 minutes. i was about to leave to go buy some KFC for a good number of us and when i stepped out of line, one of the nerds shouted that if i left, i would lose my spot. the other guys told him that they were vouching for me and that i was just getting food but those 6 assholes didnt care. they said i leave, i lose my spot and that was the rules and they would call the manager (they had his number) to come out and enforce it. i said whatever and stayed in line.

a few hours later, the manager came out and told everyone that there were only going to be SEVEN available. they have them in their store and theyre not getting anymore. he told the people after # 7 they should leave if they wanted to not waste their time. me being number 13 should have left but i didnt, i wanted to stick around for a little bit more. everyone else left except me and the 7 other people that were getting it for sure. so the day goes on and i try to make friends with the nerds. i play mario kart on the ds with them and talk to them about the games they were getting. about an hour or 2 later, i tell im gonnna head home since im 8 in line and theres only 7 ps3s. one of them made some stupid joke about if i leave the line then i aint getting back in!! har har. so as im about to leave, i tell them im going to the vons next door and if any of them wanted any food or coffee and id bring it back to them. one of them said yea and all the rest like sheep followed and said yes too. they were gonna give me money but i told them it was on me since theyve been out here since monday. the 7th guy in line wanted some food and coffee and i told him id buy some for him also.

so i go to vons and buy 8 coffees, some food, and some x-lax laxatives. i bring it to my car and put some laxatives in 6 of the coffees and seperate them from mine and #7s. i pull back to walmart and bring all the drinks and food upfront. i give #7 his stuff and then the coffees with laxatives to the 6 nerds annd wish them good luck and go back to my car. i park it around the corner so i can still see them.

about 30 minutes later, #2 and 3 in line get up and it seemed like they were yelling to the other nerds. they both ran into walmart. seconds later (i guess all nerds have the same biology) #5 gets up and runs across the parking lot and into the trees and bushes somewhere. #1 is scrounging for this portapotty type thing he'd brought with him but he is squirting everywhere and all over his pants and their sleeping bags. he runs into walmart. at this time, i start my car and drive back to the walmart to claim my spot in line. when i get there #4 and 6 are gone but i dont know where. #7 is laughing his ass off so hard and i just smile at him. i call up 5 of the other people that i had made friends with that were in line with me ( i had their phone numbers cause i was gonne buy to food for everyone) and told them to get back to the walmart ASAP and get in line. Meanwhile, me and #7 threw all their shit into the parking lot and i claimed my spot as #1, him as #2. 4 and the people i had called arrived and got in line just as 1 of the nerds came running back and got #7. he started yelling saying they need their spots back. we all told them to fuck off, out of spot, out of line. it was all of us against him so he didnt say shit. the nerds came back and tried to start some shit but we just laughed, we told them it was their rule and to go fuck themselves and clean the shit off their pants. the called security and security came. security man was like WTF is that fuckin smell and looked at the nerds with shit all of them and kicked them off the grounds screaming LMAO. so that is how i got my ps3.

wonder if it was true, or just a ploy to sell it... hmmmm....

Jackson says:

My roommate (who doesn't know about this website) heard a version of the above story and told us tonight. The way he told it was the person telling the story is a woman did all this (was #13 in line, went and bought the coffees and laxatives for 6 people who were jerks and regular coffee for the 7th guy who was nice).

Maybe it's fabricated then.

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