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Stores: Whew!, Us: Woohoo!

November 17, 2006

[SECOND UPDATE: Mall at Millenia in Orlando, Fla. was mobbed by 600 people, looking to buy one of 16 PS3 systems available this morning.

Mall chaos!The mall would not let campers line up outside overnight, so the scene outside was chaotic as the opening neared. Police had to call for backup.

Check out these details from Local6.com. Yowzers!

“I’ve been circling around since like maybe 11 p.m. last night,” shopper Matt Bullen said. “People were (hiding) in the bushes and people were hiding under the dock. This is chaos, man.”

The hundreds of people who rushed to the front of the mall were not aware that there were just 16 game consoles available.

“A huge crowd of people just slammed everybody into the wall,” Michael Williams said.

Security guards rounded up the 16 people in line and eventually escorted them into the building to receive their PlayStation 3.

A security guard said when they were rounding up the 16 people, he pointed to three boys and said, “Get over here” to get your game console. He told Sanchez that the boys apparently thought they were in trouble and fled.

A local shopper reported that he was robbed of his PlayStation 3 Thursday. Police are investigating.]

[UPDATE: More PS3 crime from Grand Theft Auto wannabes. This time, five PS3 systems were stolen from an Ohio store, according to the Dayton Daily News.]

Finally! We can go home happy (and soon to be wealthy, if you’re a fan of eBay).

woohoo!

The lines have disbanded and wandered off into the night with their newly-found gains. The Playstation 3 has been set loose on the American public.

Be afraid.

Actually, to be in line for a PS3 was a scary experience for some Thursday. Here’s a quick rundown from around the Web of what went down:

  • Former Democrat VP candidate Sen. John Edwards tried to snag a PS3 for his son by using his Congressional clout, according to Engadget and a Wal-Mart press release. Wal-Mart DENIED his request, referring to a story about Edwards’ son teasing a friend about getting his shoes at Wal-Mart in the past (Edwards has been an outspoken opponent of Wal-Mart’s labor practices in the past). Oooooh, Edwards just got served. (ugh, can’t believe I just typed that…) Edwards told the AP that it wasn’t him calling for the PS3, but a volunteer staffer that name-dropped the Senator’s name to try to improve his own chances. Bad volunteer! To the phone bank dungeon for you!
  • Locally, in Lancaster (Pa.), a Circuit City employee told the Intelligencer-Journal that there would be no more PS3 systems arriving in their location until FEBRUARY! Are you kidding me? But kudos to all those in line at the store, who braved a monster of a storm Thursday afternoon to hold their place in line, some weighting down their tents with cinder blocks hurriedly bought from the nearby Home Depot so they didn’t blow/float away (Link).
  • PS3Some eBay sabotage is already underway, as some PS3 auctions are being bidded up to their maximum, just to punish those “unscrupulous” capitalistic PS3 sellers seeking to max out their investment. What? $99,999,999.99 is too much for a PS3, honey?
  • Engadget has pics from the Sony launch event at the Sony Store in San Francisco. Hey, that’s Slash on stage! And a possible William Shatner sighting too!
  • To make a point, PC Gamer magazine offered a guy in San Francisco a $7,500 Falcon Northwest custom gaming PC for his spot in line. The man took off his wristband, and signed a contract that he would NEVER own or attempt to buy a PS3 in return. Wow! I’d take that in a second…there’s always the Xbox 360 or Wii anyhow for my next-gen fix.
  • A Columbus, Ga. dentist reportedly hired 60 temp workers for a day to stand in line at various stores in the city to try to get PS3s for all of his young relatives (*wink wink*). The dentist is rotating the workers in shifts. Now THAT’s dedication.
  • Now for the crime round up: In Kentucky, the PS3 line at Best Buy was pelted with BBs from a drive-by shooter, injuring a TV news reporter in the process.
  • Gunmen in Elk Grove, Calif. stole several PS3 systems from a Gamestop store, along with four Xbox consoles (360’s?). Also, an armed robber mugged a good chunk of a PS3 line in New York City. Same in Springfield, Ore. And a Connecticut man was shot in a PS3 line robbery attempt.
  • Near riots occurred Wednesday and Thursday at Wal-Marts in California and Wisconsin. The Wisconsin fight happened as a manager put out 10 chairs (for the 10 PS3 systems in stock), and had customers race for the chairs (this is where your nursery school “musical chairs” training comes into play). One customer suffered facial injuries in the scuffle.
  • One PS3 wait was marred by a window-smash-and-grab attempt that didn’t result in anything but hurt feelings and busted car windows.
  • Amazing riot footage from a Wal-Mart in Fresno, Calif. on YouTube. Call in S.W.A.T!!!:

But it’s not all crime and bad stories. Joystiq has a really touching story about a man who bought hot chocolate for the entire PS3 line waiting at Best Buy in his Canadian town. Mmmm…someone give that guy a gift card! (What? You want a spot in line too? I need coffee and cruellers, STAT!)

And if you want your heart to stop, you can always visit these guys later today (or these guys), who plan on smashing their new PS3, just to crush the souls of Sony fans everywhere.

Meet you back here same time Sunday (for Wii launch mania)?

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