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Author Topic: Previous Launch Console Experiences  (Read 701 times)
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gellar
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« on: November 04, 2013, 06:46:39 PM »

The other thread got me thinking about this. I've had some level of disposable income since the PS2 launch and here's my history of purchasing launch consoles:

PS2 Launch - The night before launch, the girlfriend and I lined up at a local Best Buy (in the rain) around 3 or 4am. We were probably around #20 or so in line... they ran out at around #10. Not sure what I was thinking really. One week later I went to another Best Buy to buy NBA2K1 for the Dreamcast and they were just unpacking their shipment of PS2s... grabbed one, considered selling it for about 10 minutes, then went home and played. I don't remember what the hell I bought at launch, but I do know I played a comical amount of SSX shortly thereafter.

XBox 360 Launch - Just moved up to the Bay Area a few months prior and actually just had the startup I was at acquired by Microsoft (a few weeks prior), weirdly enough. Didn't help me get a console though. Preordered at the local EB but didn't get a launch unit. Was estimated not to get one until after Christmas, I think. A few weeks passed and a preorder showed up on Walmart.com a week prior to launch. Ordered it. To this day the only thing I've ever ordered at Walmart.com. Arrived a few days after the official launch. I remember not being very impressed with the vast majority of the games other than PGR3, which I loved. I got nearly all the MSFT published titles due to my sweet employee discount. A few weeks later, prior to Christmas, EB called with my other preorder. Sold it to my best friend with no markup.

PS3 Launch - I was all out of fucks to give at this point, I think. No preorder made. Wanted to get one at Costco so I showed up a few times looking for one with no luck. Eventually Austin at OO (or GT, CG, or BC, or whatever forum we were on at the time) had one for sale for no markup (guess I had good karma for not marking up and selling my extra 360 a year earlier) and I bought it for no reason in particular. I remember playing a lot of Resistance but not a ton else at launch.

Basically launches suck in terms of quality, from my experience. The excitement is pretty high but the games themselves, in retrospect, were pretty meh. It seems like this time around may be different, given the crossover games from the previous gen.

And for this time around, I ordered a launch PS4 from Amazon and it will be delivered to my house on Release Day. Unfortunately for me, I'll be in Korea until the Monday after.
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2013, 06:50:03 PM »

I've never bothered getting a console at launch.  I'm sure I'll jump into this next gen eventually, but there's really no rush.
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TiLT
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2013, 06:50:49 PM »

This is the first time I can afford to be part of a console launch (disregarding handheld consoles), so I'm pretty excited from that alone.
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2013, 07:02:13 PM »

I can't really remember the Xbox/PS2 launches. I'm pretty sure I didn't get either one right at launch - the PS2 was a considerably long time after launch, while the Xbox was probably a few months.

For the 360 launch, I had pre-ordered so it was shipped to my door. However, I was not allowed to open it until Christmas. Man, that was painful knowing it was sitting RIGHT THERE and I couldn't play it. However, it made Christmas morning so sweet. I remember playing that stupid Hex puzzle game they bundled with it for HOURS.

This launch is going to be pretty epic. I've taken the entire week off after launch. (This wasn't just for the Xbox - both my birthday and Thanksgiving are that week, so I wouldn't be doing much work anyway). When I told my wife, she replied, "But I can't take the whole week off!" To which I replied, "Exactly." That didn't go over well.  icon_biggrin
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2013, 07:06:07 PM »

I bought an N64 at launch in a mall electronics boutique.  I remember it was already pre-ordered by someone and they sold it to me anyway.  I had just walked in with no pre-order of my own.  I got Mario 64 (if you recall, N64 games were hard to come by as well and there were only 2!!! *I think).  Good thing Mario 64 was one of the most amazing launch games of all time.
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2013, 07:21:41 PM »

I didn't try to get a PS3 at launch, but I don't remember having any fuss with any other launch purchases except for the Wii.  Count me in among the masses who were eyeing every report of possible Wiis for sale for months after launch day.  I think I finally got one around February or so.
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farley2k
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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2013, 08:16:38 PM »

I remember very fondly standing in line for my PS2.  It was a fairly nice autumn morning.  We actually saw a deer run through the parking lot around 4-5 am.  It was nice group of people and everyone was having a good time.

Same with the Wii launch - although it was much colder.  I stood out from around 5 am on that one.

I don't think I would do that anymore - my backlog is too large to justify buying another console but I certainly enjoyed standing out there when I did it.
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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2013, 08:52:47 PM »

Preordered my WiiU two weeks before it came out.  FedEx delivered my package at about 6pm the day of release.  Had a blast with New Super Mario Bros U and multiplayer Nintendo Land.  Waited 3 months to buy my 3rd game…
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rittchard
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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2013, 09:24:10 PM »

I did the same stupid thing for both the PS3 and Xbox 360 launches.  First I convinced myself I didn't care about the launch.  Then after launch I let myself get sucked into the hype of the console not being available.  The more unavailable it was, and the more I heard about other people having fun with theirs, the more obsessed I became with getting one.  So I went onto Ebay and ended up spending some godawful amount to get one.  BOTH times.  You'd think I would have learned after the first one.

So now as I mentioned in other threads I pretty much just pre-order any new console that comes out on Amazon and figure out later whether I really want it or not.  I figure even if it ends up collecting dust I still save the extra money it might have taken to get it off Ebay.  So pathetic, I know.
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farley2k
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« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2013, 09:30:13 PM »

Quote from: Lordnine on November 04, 2013, 08:52:47 PM

Preordered my WiiU two weeks before it came out.  FedEx delivered my package at about 6pm the day of release.  Had a blast with New Super Mario Bros U and multiplayer Nintendo Land.  Waited 3 months to buy my 3rd game…

A great way to do it but somehow it lacks the excitement of standing there on launch day.  I just found it fun to be with all those people excited about something cool and new. 
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« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2013, 09:31:11 PM »

I've never bought a console at launch. Captain Caveman did (or tried) a few times, though. From what I remember he got a PS2 at launch (I remember playing a bunch of Madden and SSX) but failed miserably in his quest to get a 360 at launch. He got one eventually, but I can't remember how long it was after the launch.
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« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2013, 10:15:04 PM »

Quote from: farley2k on November 04, 2013, 09:30:13 PM

Quote from: Lordnine on November 04, 2013, 08:52:47 PM

Preordered my WiiU two weeks before it came out.  FedEx delivered my package at about 6pm the day of release.  Had a blast with New Super Mario Bros U and multiplayer Nintendo Land.  Waited 3 months to buy my 3rd game…

A great way to do it but somehow it lacks the excitement of standing there on launch day.  I just found it fun to be with all those people excited about something cool and new. 

This is why I love seeing movies on opening night, even if it means bigger crowds and longer lines.  It's so much more fun being around people who are as excited about the event as you are.

Quote from: rittchard on November 04, 2013, 09:24:10 PM

So now as I mentioned in other threads I pretty much just pre-order any new console that comes out on Amazon and figure out later whether I really want it or not.  I figure even if it ends up collecting dust I still save the extra money it might have taken to get it off Ebay.  So pathetic, I know.

I had a PS4 preorder on Amazon and cancelled it when I learned I had a lot of expenses coming my way this Fall/Winter.  Now I'm regretting cancelling so early.  I probably still can't afford a launch day console, but since Amazon doesn't charge till shipping I really should've waited closer to the last minute so I'd at least still have the option open.
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« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2013, 10:15:38 PM »

I worked at a gamestop (then Software Etc) for the PS2 launch, in a mall. That was quite an experience.
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« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2013, 10:21:31 PM »

I'm out of consoles now, but I remember going to a Walmart in VA at about 8 a.m. hoping to get a PS2 on launch day but it was already too late. I watched forlornly through the glass windows as people with the "lottery tickets" picked up their's.

On the ugly side, I remember several reports of kids and teens getting mugged (sometimes at gunpoint), beaten up in the parking lots of stores trying to get their PS2s home or to their car. All over the country. Insane. Most of the launch games were weak, and here people were resorting to violence to get one.

I'm still paranoid about that kind of stuff to this day. At an Apple Store Friday, I put my iPad Air under a shirt I'd bought from a nearby clothing store (in said store's bag); didn't want to call attention to myself.
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« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2013, 10:53:20 PM »

Until the N64 I never bought a console on launch - heck, I never even owned any console before it came along. I had young children at home for the next 2 generation of consoles from Nintendo so I got those day 1 with and stood in line with my nephew for the Xbox launch.


N64 - IIRC you couldn't preorder in my city and they sold out fast everywhere. Fortunately a big box Canuckistan franchise named Zellars got an overstock. I literally walked into a store and picked one out from a pile. I bought it and Mario 64 and watched as my nephew was absolutely thrilled with it. I really enjoyed it, but it wasn't until Zelda OoT came out 2 years later that I was really impressed with it.

GameCube - Didn't preorder and there really wasn't much demand for them. I walked into a big box store and they was piles stacked up and none of them were moving. I bought the black edition along with an extra controller, Super Monkey Ball and Star Wars Rogue Squadron II. My kids absolutely loved Monkey Ball and I was totally blown away by Rogue Squadron. I'd just bought my 1st home theater a few months before and the Prologic II surround sound was damn impressive. Of course a few days later I had my audio horizons expanded beyond belief...

...Xbox - My nephew really wanted one and the place to be if you were IN was the Virgin Media store midnight opening. So he preordered one and I agreed to do the long-wait-in-line thing with him and all the new Xbox evangelists - honestly I hadn't seen so much geek in 1 line since the Star Wars Ep. 1 opening. He bought it along with Halo. I'd done my research and had bought a fiber optic cable before hand, which not yet even owning a DVD player, was a 1st for me. The audio with the GameCube impressed me, but the 5.1 DD from this blew me away. We tagged team played Halo CE until about 4 in the morning and thoroughly annoyed my wife all to heck who wanted to sleep. The can-of-ham-in-hand controller for it felt all wrong to me, but when my nephew mentioned Halo could be played co-op I rushed out and got another as soon as I could. I didn't get my own Xbox until about 1-1/2 years later when the new S-controller editions were out.

Wii - My kids wanted this so badly and I new it was going to be about the hottest selling console in history. I would have probably gotten the 360 the year before, but I was LTTP with the XB1 and had plenty enough gameplay waiting with it - also had a HDTV by now and had the XB1 connected. I tried to win in a lottery at an EB at the least popular mall near by, but failed to secure a preorder. I really didn't want to disappoint my kids, so on launch day we bundled up in winter gear -it was down pouring, windy and miserable that day in Vancouver- and we got in line at the nearest Walmart at 5:00 am. I couldn't believe how many people were already there. We missed getting a guaranteed purchase ticket by about 2 people, but someone seeing my kids tipped me off that his wife was in line at the Best Buy on the other side of the mall and he'd sell me my ticket if she got a unit.

Luckily for us, his wife scored - he was planning on selling it for $50, but offered it to me for $25. I jumped at he deal and moved my kids up to position #17 in line. That put out just out of the cover of the awning -it was pouring, blowing and cold- and seeing my kids, someone swapped us in line until we were under cover at spot #10. I was worried about pissing people off on account of buying a position in line and getting nudge treatment, but quite honestly the people in that line were fantastic - I'm under no allusion that it wasn't my good looks, but my kids that won people's hearts.  slywink  It was without a doubt the best opening line experience I've ever had and I doubt I'll ever forget how kind people were.

We bought the Wii along with Zelda and 2 extra nunchucks. They got shorted on Wiimotes, so I could only get 1, but seeing there were only a few nunchucks left, I bought an extra for the woman that swapped us position 17 for 10. When I got it home, hooked it up and saw how thrilled my kids were with Wii Sports I knew it was all worth while. After seeing what the Wii was fetching on Ebay the next week, I counted my lucky stars that I was able to buy a position in line for $25. Friends and co-workers weren't even able to get one until about 1-1/2 years after that November launch.

[Edit] After the Xbox and Wii launches, I kind of feel I've been there and done that now and have no plans on repeating the experiences. Of course eventual grandchildren might change that.  smile
« Last Edit: November 04, 2013, 11:11:57 PM by kronovan » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2013, 11:03:19 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on November 04, 2013, 06:50:49 PM

This is the first time I can afford to be part of a console launch (disregarding handheld consoles), so I'm pretty excited from that alone.

I'm in the same boat.  This will be my first launch where I have enough disposable income to participate, so I'm going a little wild and just getting both of them.  smile

I went with the Amazon preorder method, since I'm not a fan of crowds or waiting around outside retailers that are bound to annoy me with their questions about preordering games and strategy guides and everything.
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« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2013, 11:05:00 PM »

Quote from: rittchard on November 04, 2013, 09:24:10 PM

I did the same stupid thing for both the PS3 and Xbox 360 launches.  First I convinced myself I didn't care about the launch.  Then after launch I let myself get sucked into the hype of the console not being available.  The more unavailable it was, and the more I heard about other people having fun with theirs, the more obsessed I became with getting one.  So I went onto Ebay and ended up spending some godawful amount to get one.  BOTH times.  You'd think I would have learned after the first one.

So now as I mentioned in other threads I pretty much just pre-order any new console that comes out on Amazon and figure out later whether I really want it or not.  I figure even if it ends up collecting dust I still save the extra money it might have taken to get it off Ebay.  So pathetic, I know.

That's not pathetic, think of it as growth as a person.  You've learned your weakness and pattern and have figured out a way to subvert it.  Planning and personal growth, total success!  biggrin
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« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2013, 11:27:42 PM »

I've had plenty of disposable income since the 360 launch, but the 360, Wii U and 3DS are the only systems I've gotten on day one.  That said, I've had most of the consoles since the P22 at one time or another.  Had an Xbox, got bored, sold it and later ended up buying another one, ditto with the PS2 and Wii (and soon the 3DS, but I'll be upgrading the the XL).  The PS3 that I got as a present died and will probably be replaced at some point.  This year I will be getting the XB1, with the Ps4 following in a year or more, depending on if they come out with stuff that I'm interested in.
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« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2013, 11:36:07 PM »

I picked up a PS2 and XBox long after their original launch, when there were enough games to justify the cost.  The N64 and GameCube were Day 1 purchases though, and although those systems are remembered as being overshadowed by the competition, I absolutely adored them.

The 360 is the only system where I missed the preorder window and was left trying to get one on launch day.  Here's how that went:

Quote from: Autistic Angel on November 22, 2005, 07:29:08 PM

I waited outside in the rain from about 5:00am until the local BJs Wholesale Club opened at 8:00.  Fifteen minutes before opening, an employee came out, handed ten tickets to the first ten people in line, and told them they were guaranteed an X-Box 360 Premium.  I was second in line at that time.

When the store opened at 8:00, the employee opened the doors only after cautioning everyone not to run or act crazy because everyone with a ticket was guaranteed a system.  Believing him, I didn't bother trying to push to the front of the very short line.

The final X-Box 360 sold to the person in front of me.  The cashier, under the watchful eye of an extremely professional supervisor and an extremely unprofessional assistant manager, had sold ten 360 systems and only collected nine tickets.  The assistant manager, Paula, started by telling me I was wasting my time asking what had just happened, and proceeded to intimate that I had either swiped someone else's ticket or had produced my own from thin air.  This ended somewhat after the supervisor pointed out that the number on my ticket matched in perfect sequence with the others, but the assistant manager succeeded in vanishing without even the most insincere apology.

Actually, if I want to be completely accurate, the last 360 was in the process of being sold when I held up my ticket and asked for an explanation.  Since the cashier couldn't remember if the buyer had given her a ticket, the supervisor tried to stop the transaction from going through until the issue was solved, but the assistant manager wound up ramming it through a short time later.  I probably could have raised a stink about that point, but since I'm confident that the buyer really was entitled to a system, there was no way I was going to levy a bad-faith accusation against him just so I could take his system from him.

Anyways, it'll be a few weeks before I'll be getting my 360, I guess.  On the plus side, I've already spoken directly with BJs Wholesale Club's VP of Branch Management, and while I may have put the supervisor on the fast track to promotion, I think the assistant manager is going to be wallowing in place for a while.  I'll be sure to drop off a duplicate of the formal written complaint at the local store, and I'll get to look the assistant manager in the eye when I do

I don't really care much about waiting for the X-Box 360, but I react badly to being called a liar, especially when every shred of evidence is on my side.

-Autistic Angel

A few weeks later, Purge was kind enough to help my friend and I acquire one from his neck of the woods.

Quote from: Autistic Angel on December 30, 2005, 01:48:22 AM

This will probably be moved to a different board almost immediately, but I really need to talk about what a great trading experience I had with Purge, and I think it should be as public as possible.

Most people who've been able to acquire multiple X-Box 360 units have been taking advantage of the huge holiday shortfall to make tidy profits selling them on E*Bay.  Whether you think that's pure greed or simple capitalism, I think everyone would agree that a person who would willingly forego a profitable opportunity in order to help out someone else -- especially a complete stranger -- is a remarkable human being.

After camping out overnight twice, once on 11/22 during the official 360 launch and once on 12/18 for the Best Buy relaunch, I came out empty handed both times.  Fortunately, Purge not only started an X-Box 360 Request Thread on this forum, he was also hunting around on his own time to find systems to help people like me out.

One week ago, Purge sent me a private message that he'd purchased another 360 if I still needed one.  Twenty-four hours later I PayPal-ed him the money for the cost of the system plus shipping, and the system arrived right on time and in perfect condition.  Also, going above and beyond the call, Purge even took the time to gift wrap the system and pen a nice Christmas message inside the shipping box.

I really can't overemphasize what an incredibly positive experience this entire trade was, and considering the circumstances, I wanted to make sure it was said publically.  I've thanked Purge via private message, but I'll do so again here: you've really made this a good holiday!  Thanks again! smile

-Autistic Angel

Two years later, that 360 got the Red Ring of Death and I sued Purge in small claims court for selling us defective goods.  People still recognize me from the episode of Judge Judy. icon_cry

-Autistic Angel
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« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2013, 12:25:08 AM »

Great stories!

The only console I ever got near launch was the Wii. While the hype was interesting, I decided I wanted to play Zelda Twilight princess on the Wii instead of the cube. I think I lined up somewhere on Black Friday (I think this was slightly after launch, maybe later in the week?) early, and wasn't nearly close enough to the front of the line to end up with one. I think a week later, my wife to be, was sick of me moping for  new Zelda and I was no longer willing to stand in line before the store opened, so she lined up at Best Buy before it opened, and ended up with a ticket for one. I raced over there and picked one up. And,  twilight princess was awesome!

No plans to buy either console this month. Neither has any games I want. I'll probably buy a Wii U eventually assuming Nintendo cranks out a good Zelda and Metroid for it. I'll likely get either an XB1 or PS4 at some point, but no plans any time soon...

I may buy a new PC (or Steambox) before buying a new console. Who knows? Plans change....
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« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2013, 12:50:43 AM »

My most memorable was the 360 launch.  I preordered one from Circuit City and received it on launch day... my fiance was at my apartment when it arrived.  I didn't bother to open it, because I saw what they were going for on eBay.  I was disappointed to sell it, but 100%+ profit was too much to pass up, with the wedding/honeymoon/new home coming up quickly.

Christmas morning, she had a 360 for me under the tree.  (Of course it was the "core" version, but hard drives were easy to find compared to the actual consoles).  I'm sure she regrets it as I spent *way* too much time on it prior to having kids, but next to my PC, it's gotten more play than any other console/home computer I've ever owned.

The only other consoles I got at launch were the Dreamcast and the Gamecube.  No particularly interesting stories about those two.
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« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2013, 06:09:39 AM »

Launch day for PS2. I was in line at the newly constructed Best Buy (first in the region and only one of maybe 3 in the state at the time) at around 4am.  not anywhere near the door, but close enough as they got about 40 units.  I found this out when they told me I was #30-something.  They had a lot of store people coming around and making sure nothing went crazy with any of us and we all sat around in the freezing weather and talked.  thankfully, and contrary to expectations, it did not rain that morning.  around 8 in the morning, some people came driving by and were holding PS2 boxes above their heads and taunting us, telling us that this store or another nearby was already open and selling them.  of course, as this Best Buy opened at 10am, we had at least 2 more hours to wait.  people with friends at other stores were able to tell us and the holdouts above #40 about other stores and how crazy it was  going over there and whether there was any chance at grabbing one.  of course, there wasn't much chance of that, but you had to feel sorry for the people who went out to wait and came home empty handed.  I got SSX, DOA2 and Summoner, plus a 2nd controller and a memory card.  played the hell out of all three, even though it took some time for Summoner to get much love. 

Wii, not on launch, but a week after.  still high in the availability nightmare rush, the only way to score one was through tracking stores' shipment dates and then showing up for the launch.  this was worse, as you never knew until almost the last day beforehand.  I got a notice that a local target was getting in them on a saturday so I got up extra early and went there on a very cold day.  knowing how long it took for the ps2 purchase to complete, I went earlier to be higher up in line.  in the end, it didn't matter as there was no line until about 2 hours before opening.  they made a big point of telling us how many of anything we could buy and that there were no other systems available.  we made our way in and started processing through the checkout counter.  it was then that an employee came out with a box and the manager spoke up, telling us that they had received 2 PS3's in with the rest of the order and that we could have them if we wanted.  they went in order from who was in line and one guy took them up.  I spoke for the next as I figured I could change my mind and return it later.  got LoZ and an extra set of controllers.  we played the hell out of the wii for the next 2 years, until the 360 elite came out and I grabbed one of those.  sadly, never looked back. 

the PS3 I bought led to a bad state within this community and I eventually returned it.  got some really odd people questioning my return at the store who denied it based on a claim it was opened.  I went to another store who took it back no problem and where the clerk was very excited to see it.  I didn't get my PS3 until some time later, just before the BC model was discontinued. 

my experiences lining up in the cold are best summed up in the words of Danny Glover:  I'm getting too old for this shit.
I have the PS4 on pre-order from Amazon. 
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