Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What I Learned When I Preorderd a PS3

Yesterday morning I found myself in line with 5 other people at 9 a.m. waiting outside an E.B. to preorder the PS3. I think it’s because I have the word “SUCKER” written on my forehead. I was awakened by a request from my fiancé to please go preorder this for him because he had to go to work. When I got there I found 5 people already in line, some who arrived at an undisclosed time to be sure they were first in line. They were all paying in cash so there were no credit card problems with their preorder!

Why I did it:

Some people would say I’m crazy. In fact, the first guy in line said, “Please tell me your boyfriend didn’t send you over here to preorder this for him.” They couldn’t believe that I would do such a thing (and by 10 a.m. when my toes were very cold, I couldn’t either).

I did it not because I swapped my line standing for 3 days of shopping or because I needed to make up for missing a birthday. I did it only a little to prevent standing in line in front of a Best Buy for 12 hours on November 17th. I really did it because I understand the nature of hobbies. They can be obsessive, time-consuming, and therapeutic. I don’t question his and he doesn’t question mine.

I’m glad I did because I learned a lot in that 45 minutes where we bonded over video games and the dedicated, hard core gamers swapped stories, information, and the anticipation they felt for the coming PS3.

What I learned in line (all purely anecdotal):

Not everyone buys every system. In my house we own one of everything. It’s a hobby, so I understand the need to have the newest, best, coolest, systems ever. So hearing from these guys that they only wanted one system was a little surprising. Only one of the 5 planned on purchasing the Wii.

The Wii is met with skepticism. Most of the guys were interested in the Wii’s new controller technology, but didn’t know enough to trust it yet. After it comes out and they’ll be able to play it they might get one, but don’t count on it. They simply aren’t sure and haven’t heard enough good things about the system to make it worth their while.

People do actually trade in games. Like I said, we have one of everything at my house. I’m pretty sure there’s still a dreamcast and N64 floating around. “Trade In” is a no no at my house. I thought for sure that these hard core gamers who stood in the cold just to preorder a system would never part with games or systems. Apparently it’s more popular than I thought. The 5 guys in line in front of me were more than willing to give up games and even whole systems for the latest greatest technology. They all said they have traded in and will trade in games.

The most popular preorder games in our little group were Resistance and Rainbow Six: Vegas.

Show up early! Do I really need to tell you this? Showing up at 10am for a store that opens at 10am to preorder a system at 10am is not smart planning. It was too bad for the 3 people in line after me. And more importantly, too bad for the person who came at 9:15 and then left because he didn't think he would get one...but he would have.

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