Wednesday, November 15, 2006

it's a video game system, people!

The scene outside of my local Best Buy here in Nashua, NH is one of rampant capitalist opportunism, crippling nerdity, desperation, abuse of sick time, and widespread unemployment. A line of forty people or so have lined up outside the doors, awaiting the release of the Playstation 3. The weather forecast calls for rain and gusty winds for the next few days, leading up to the Friday morning release of the system. These folks get to wait outside in the inclement weather for a chance... a very small chance... to get a video game system.

Don't get me wrong... if there was a single decent launch title for the system, and I had $600 in my pocket with nothing else to spend it on, and suddenly lost all self-respect, I'd be sitting in that line. At this point, of the people in that line, no more than twenty or so are actually going to get to purchase a system. Sony will be lucky to deliver even half of its target number of systems for the launch, and a good number of these people are aiming to flip these systems on eBay.

The people in line aren't the only ones lining up to make a quick buck this week. Best Buy is taking advantage of the fact that the system only ships with a composite video cable to gouge people on HDMI and component video cables. We're talking about 1000% markup. Some retailers, like WalMart, are taking advantage of Sony's complete failure to meet demand by selling much-loathed "bundle" packs, where you have to buy a stack of accessories and crappy games, to the tune of nearly $1500, just to get your hands on a system. I mean, I've never looked forward to a system launch before... I got a Playstation 2 secondhand in 2003, and a PSP from a bankruptcy liquidation sale back in August. I'm stingy.

I guess if I was younger, holding daddy's credit card, trying to get my grubby little paws on a system like this to take to college, paid for by my trust fund, and the only thing I was missing by sitting in front of a big-box store for a week was a couple of algebra classes, maybe I'd understand. But I'm old, paying my own credit card bills, working full time, haven't had an actual vacation from work in five years, and I've got a wedding to pay for.

Maybe I'm bitter. Maybe I'm justifying why I won't have a PS3 for a few months. Maybe I'm just surprised that the predictions of multi-day campouts for this launch are actually coming true. Mostly, though, I'm just happy that I'm going to sleep in my own bed tonight, dry, warm, and with someone I love more than anything in the world... and that's better than any video game can ever try to be.


Kris said...

I was at a impromtu car show in front of a Best Buy last night. (this happens all the time in CA apparently) We made it a point to be like - "Umm - you know they don't have any GAMES out yet right?" As we taunted the 30 kids 'roughing it' in front of the Tustin, CA, Best Buy. (lows in the 50's BTW) What I would give to take an empty PS3 box and go running out of the store like a crazy shouting - "It's MINE! YOU FOOLS! The last one is ALL MINE!"

When the cops tried to break up the car show we just told them that our girl friends were in line over at Best Buy for the PS3. :p
That seemed to work...

2:20 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Powered by Blogger