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Lancaster lines up for PS3; then for eBay

November 16, 2006

They are out in force and entrenched today at your neighborhood Target, Wal-Mart, Sears, Best Buy, Circuit City and other electronics purveyors.

Please don’t stare or mock them with “Get a Life!” jeers. Trust me, they’ve heard them before. And the upcoming pouring rain will likely make them edgy.

They all want that new shiny Playstation 3, released tonight at midnight or on Friday morning at store opening.

Today, in a report in the Lancaster New Era, Ryan Robinson interviews these die-hards. One man from Maryland actually bribed his way forward in line!

From the article:

Cleavon Tidball drove from his Owings Mills, Md., home to the Circuit City along Fruitville Pike Wednesday night. But 20 people were already lined up, waiting for the store’s sale Friday morning of 20 PlayStation 3 consoles.

Not wanting to wait any longer to play new games such as NBA 2K7 and Madden 2007, the 35-year-old retirement planning specialist paid one of the men ahead of him $1,000 for his spot in line.

“My wife thinks I’m insane,” Tidball said this morning. “I’m not going to tell her about the $1,000.”

In my limited marriage experience, that’s probably a good bet.

But the trend Robinson saw was that many in line are looking to re-sell their PS3 for almost four or five times the sale price on the eBay auction site. That’s forcing eBay to cancel many PS3 pre-sale auctions and put severe limits on who can actually auction one (and only one).

The gamer’s blog Joystiq argues that this is a good move. Personally, I’m a big fan of capitalism, but not of auction fraud, so any controls eBay can institute to keep PS3 auctions on the up-and-up is fine by me. But I’m not cashing out my401(k) to buy one right now, me and my bank account can sit and wait until March.

Joystiq is all over the PS3 coverage today. They are also warning today that many store employees are sending in reports that the stores are not getting PS3s in the amount they were promised. Throw in that angry mob waiting outside your store and this could get UGLY!

And then, add this news that a Sony memo states that only the five biggest retailers in the country are getting PS3s today. Probably bogus, since at least seven large retailers are having launch events.

Check out this HUGE line in NYC at Circuit City below in the clip, courtesy of Kotaku:

One final tip. If you’re a Costco member, the PS3 goes on sale ONLINE ONLY tomorrow on the Costco homepage at approximately 11 a.m. EST (Friday). You must have a membership to snag one.

Good luck, and remember, fortune and glory!!!

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