The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Videogame Systems to Die For

Posted by iusbvision on November 21, 2006

Last weekend eager gamers waited in line of their local retail stores for anywhere from 5 to 48 hours for a chance to get a Playstation 3 or a Nintendo Wii videogame system. The $500.00 to $600.00 Playstation 3 was released on Friday November 17th and the $250.00 Nintendo Wii on Sunday November 19th. 

In Putnam Connecticut, gamer’s excitement turned to tragedy when a man was shot while camping for his Playstation 3 system. At 3:00 A.M. three men with a weapon and ski masks approached the 15 – 20 people waiting in line outside of Wal-mart and demanded their money. When one man refused, he was shot and the alleged teenage gunman ran away empty handed.  His condition is unknown.

It is common knowledge amongst the gaming community that the large gaming developers such as Microsoft and Sony are more notorious than others such as Nintendo for deliberately under-shipping the first wave of consoles to build hype. 

There were 400,000 Playstation 3 systems distributed on the initial release and there is no saying when the next shipment will come in. Rumors suggest anywhere from mid-December to March of next year. Meanwhile, Nintendo is expected to ship 4,000,000 units before Christmas of this year, allowing most gamers interested in their system an opportunity to have one for Christmas and the holidays. Microsoft had released its X-Box 360 system over the previous holiday.

I had an opportunity to participate in the excitement. On Saturday night, I waited in line at Wal-mart for over 6 hours to receive a Nintendo Wii.  One other gamer stated in his excitement, “I’ve been waiting for this system to come out for two years. I just hope I don’t get shot on my way out of here.” Most coined the now highly popular innuendo involving Nintendo’s interesting selection of the console name, “When we’re done here, who wants to come to my house and play with my Wii?”

At 10:00 P.M., Wal-mart faculty handed tickets out to the first twenty individuals in line who would receive the system. One disappointed middle-aged man, who believed he was cut in line yelled angrily to the front of the line “Thanks for line jumping fellas, I really appreciate it.” He then stormed away from the area. Dead silence came over those of us waiting, and excitement turned into fear when we realized some people meant serious business.

After the incident, other gamers and I approached the Wal-mart security asking if they were going to have escorts for those who purchase the system. The gentleman behind the counter stated, “Most definitely, believe me, your safety is our number one concern.” This alleviated most of our fears. 

At the end of the night, gamers were watched diligently as they headed to their cars. Overall, I was impressed with how the situation was handled at the Wal-mart in Goshen. I have had only a small opportunity to try out the Nintendo Wii system, and have been thoroughly impressed with it. This experienced showed me one thing; gamers have a different breed of dedication, and are willing to go through the risk to get what they want. I don’t know whether to be proud or terrified.

Craig Chamberlin
Assistant Editor

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