Tuesday, October 10, 2006

PlayStation Three Luck!!

Hooray!! Last night, The German found out that GameStop/EBGames was going to begin taking pre-orders for the new PlayStation 3 (PS3) that's due to come out on November seventeenth. He's been talking about it ever since the 2006 E3 previewed it back in May. In my opinion, at $499.00 for the 20 Gb version and $599.00 for the 60 Gb model, it's really quite expensive but the graphics on it are amazing plus it features Blu-Ray technology which makes it well worth the money.

The German is a pretty serious gamer and a total PlayStation addict, so he's been pining away for one ever since it was announced. At first Sony was slated to produce 1,000,000 units for the U.S.A. but that number was slashed a few months ago. The "reason" why is because of trouble with the production of the Blu-Ray components. If I were in Japan, I'd be pretty aggravated because Sony is only allocating 100,000 game units for the entire country. Considering the fact that Sony's headquarters are in Japan, I'd have figured it they'd have more of them available there than that.

Anyway, even with the initial number of units at one million, The German was not very confident about being able to get the PlayStation 3 when it first came out. We figured that there wasn't going to be a snowball's chance in hell of getting one once we found out that the U.S.A. is only going to get 400,000 units. Then yesterday he got the e-mail announcing that EBGames/GameStop was going to begin taking pre-orders the next day. When we rode past last night, we didn't see any people camped outside the store. We began to suspect that the word must not have gotten out to many people. The German started getting his hopes up even though he'd tried not to.

Every time we'd stopped by or called the store we were told that they didn't know what day they'd begin taking pre-orders. We knew that even if all of the people who had called the store yesterday were given the same answer that we'd received, if the pre-ordering was happening today, word would definitely get out to at least a few people via the same EBGames e-mail that we'd received. We decided to give it a shot anyway.

This morning we woke up as usual and got VanGoghGirl ready for school. The plan was for us to bring her to school and then go directly over to the game store. In our excitement, we actually forgot to feed her breakfast, so we had to stop at the gas station and buy her a muffin and some apple juice which almost made her late for school. I swear, that girl needs to hone her self-preservation skills. I think she'd waste away and die if we didn't remind her to eat every day.

On the way from VanGoghGirl's school, The German's stomach-ache (which had been brewing since he woke up today) worsened. He wanted to go home and take some medication and then come back out to see about the PS3 but I was really not going along with that. I wanted to see what it looked like in front of the store and then decide what to do from there. Well, I'm glad that we listened to me and not to him. When we got to GameStop around 7:30 a.m. there was one car out front. I made him let me out and save a spot while he went to our flat down the street and took care of his belly.

The two people who were in the car got out once they saw me sit up against the front of the store. They turned out to be a really nice newly-married couple that was only a few years younger than me and The German. They'd been sitting out there since 6:00 a.m. with the same intentions as we had. The guy hadn't received the e-mail that we got even though he'd signed up for it; He'd gotten wind of it on a message-board online somewhere.

None of us were really sure how many pre-order spots would be available. Some people have said that each store would get about 16 PS3s and others heard it would only be 5 per store. Either way, we felt pretty hopeful given the fact that we were the first four people in line. Last night, The German and I had discussed whether or not we should attempt to get two units if the opportunity presented itself. EBGames has a strict one pre-order per household rule in order to keep people from simply buying out a store's entire stock. Fortunately, The German and I have different addresses on our IDs so we could still by-pass that little hurdle. The other couple was doing the exact same thing since their IDs still had their pre-marriage addresses on them.

It was just the four of us out there in front of the store until around 8:30. Then a really sweet looking older lady sauntered over and asked us if we were waiting in line for the PS3s. I was a bit surprised because she definitely didn't seem like a gamer. It turns out that her grandson in Florida had called her and asked her to come and stand in the line out here. He's buying as many as he can in order to re-sell. Another guy around our age got there for about 9:00 and we all just sat out and talked about all of the other toy fads from the past.

I still remember the great Cabbage Patch Kids shortage that took place when I was a kid. I wanted one of those dolls so-oo-oo badly. I really wanted an African-American one but living in New Orleans meant that there were a bajillion other folks who also wanted a black one. I was more than satisfied to get a female Cabbage Patch kid with red hair and freckles. Her name was Wendy-Sue. Hey, it could have been worse; Some kids had to settle for the boy Cabbage Patch Kids if they were lucky enough to get one at all.

When the PlayStation 2 first came out, they were also in high demand and short supply. Even though that unit was selling for $300 with 500,000+ units available, they were going for around $2,000 on EBay. So, there's definitely going to be some money to be made this time around too for those who can get their hands on one early. In order to pre-order the PS3 you have to put down a $100 deposit. If you can manage to get two of them, the profits from one will essentially pay for the other one and that's just a conservative estimate. Depending on how many go up for auction on the first couple of days, you may be able to make more than double what you paid for it at the store but at the very least you won't lose a dime at all. We're playing it by ear but right now our goal is to sell one and keep the other for The German. However, if it looks like we could make a nice profit based on how much the PS3s sell for on EBay, then we've discussed selling them both and just waiting until later on in the year to get another one for The German.

To make a long story short, at about 9:30 an EBGames employee arrived at the store. By then another guy had come to wait in line too. After setting up for around 15 minutes, the store employee came out and told us that there would only be six pre-order slots which meant that all but the last guy who showed up would be able to pay the deposit and pre-order the PS3. We all were careful not to say we were together but I'm pretty sure the employee knew that with six people and only three cars (the older lady had walked since she lived right behind the store) in the lot besides his, at least one person must have come with someone else. He didn't ask for IDs but we did give him separate phone numbers and e-mail addresses just to make sure he didn't have an excuse to turn us away.

I am really, really hyped up about actually having been successful with this. I can't wait to call up my brothers this morning and gloat!

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