Marketed as the most realistic game console, the Playstation 3 had attracted an unreal amount of people in the days leading up to its release.
From Monday Nov. 13 to its release date Friday Nov.17, people lined outside the Best Buy on 2300 S. Columbus Blvd., and formed a small campground-like line by the entrance. Sidewalk tents lined the way as their dwellers watched customers walk into Best Buy for other reasons.
These passersby could not help but stare at the anxious people waiting to get a hold of a Playstation 3. With the store claiming to only have 32 Playstation 3 consoles in stock, the fastest way – and possibly only way – was to get in line as early as possible.
Tyree, a West Philadelphia native who formed the line on Nov. 13, explained how the staking out process has been for him and for fellow line pioneers.
“I’m going to stay true to the game and play it,” said Tyree, who would not disclose his surname and said he will not be selling the system like others. “We’ve been out here since Monday and have been sleeping in cars and stuff like that. We’ve been switching shifts so we could go eat and use the bathroom, and everything has been smooth so far.”
Once people began to line up behind Tyree and four of his close friends, they became acquainted with one another and formed a system that would ensure everybody a console.
“We worked our own number system out. Everyone has a secret number that lets us know that we are the original people” he said. “So when the time comes we know our numbers and we know how to line up. This will create a safe and smooth environment for everybody. This way everyone who’s been here gets a system.”
Two types of the Playstation 3 are being sold: a 20-gigabyte memory system, selling at a hefty $495, and a 60-gigabyte system going for a whopping $600.
Although Tyree will be keeping the system for his own enjoyment, others waiting in line have other plans. Bob Debrazzio, a Temple student, explained what his plans were once he held the system in his hands.
“I’m going to sell mine – that is what I’m looking to do” he said. “I just talked to my friend and the 20-gigabyte one sold for [$]2500 on eBay, so at the worse, I should make about [$]1200 in profit.”
Many people said they plan to sell the system.
One woman, however, was in line for a different reason – to buy one for her grandson for Christmas. South Philadelphia resident Mary Ann Guardioso did the math – she’s waiter No. 33 in a supposed 32-console lottery – an unpromising equation.
She expressed her anger toward the people who are waiting to profit off the system.
“I think that’s bulls**t. They shouldn’t be doing that [because there are] kids that actually want it,” Guardioso said. “My husband said to me ‘Nobody cares anymore,’ but I don’t think they should be doing that. That’s not really the Christmas spirit.”
Guardioso is not new to waiting overnight and, in fact, was in line for the release of the original Xbox. She banked on the availability of extra consoles to make her wait worthwhile.
“We got here and they told us they only have 32 [consoles],” she said. “My grandson wants to wait and see what happens so I told him we could. So we’re just hoping because you never know.”
Dan Cappello can be reached at email@example.com.