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Author Topic: Worst Launch Ever  (Read 2909 times)
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msduncan
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« on: November 22, 2005, 03:51:10 PM »

I've been doing these things since Dreamcast days, and never have I seen a launch handled so poorly as this one by either distributer, retailer, or manufacturer.

We drove out at 5:30 this morning knowing that we'd find the obvious stores with lines.     Best Buy easily had 50 people in line or more that had tents and had been there all night.

Target had 25 or more lined up outside the same way.

So we went to my Ace in the hole.    Sears.
As suggested by someone here... I scoped out Sears on Friday and asked them about the launch.    I had a supervisor and employee jabber on for 15 minutes about the system telling me about the differences in the 300 and 400 bundle, etc....   They KNEW what they were talking about.   They said they already had the systems in the back and couldn't sell them until Tuesday.   They recommended I come in early Tuesday and I could probably get one.

So I went there.   First one in line.     We raced upstairs to electronics only to be confronted by a different manager (who had a nasty attitude) saying they had ZERO units.   Never had any units.   Didn't know WHEN they would have any units.    I mentioned the other employees on Friday and he got VERY nasty and confrontational, acting like I was accusing him of lying.    I was VERY nice and friendly until he went on and on about it (there were a bunch of other Sears employees standing around too).   I FINALLY said:  "Well SOMEONE is being dishonest to me -- either the supervisor and employee on Friday, or you!" .    At this point he backed off a little and started saying how it was probably the REGULAR Xboxes those employees saw... etc etc etc.    I finally said 'whatever'  and left.

I've NEVER been treated that way in ANY store before.   I've never been out right lied to before like that.    I'm going to formulate a big nasty letter to Sears corporate, and you can write this down -- I will NEVER buy from Sears again.  Ever.

 :x  :x  :x  :x
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farley2k
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2005, 04:15:50 PM »

Sears will miss you. smile

That does sound pretty sucky and you wonder who is lying.  


In the end though this is actually a very good launch - for the stores.  They sold out, and they will continue to sell out.
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Ralph-Wiggum
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2005, 04:31:33 PM »

Maybe that manager had bought them all himself to sell on Ebay....
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msduncan
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2005, 04:33:33 PM »

Quote from: "farley2k"
Sears will miss you. smile

That does sound pretty sucky and you wonder who is lying.  


In the end though this is actually a very good launch - for the stores.  They sold out, and they will continue to sell out.


Actually from what I've read about Sears lately -- they should be careful about pissing off customers.   They haven't exactly been on sure footing lately.
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Ralph-Wiggum
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2005, 04:43:29 PM »

Damnit! I just had a similar experience with Sears. Last night I went in and talked to someone in Electronics. He told me that they didn't have any XBox360's and that they wouldn't be getting them in for awhile. But after seeing this thread I called them up just to make sure.

The guy I talked to just now said that they did have some this morning but that they were now all sold out. Bastards.
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Captain Caveman
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2005, 04:53:49 PM »

Quote from: "Ralph-Wiggum"
Damnit! I just had a similar experience with Sears. Last night I went in and talked to someone in Electronics. He told me that they didn't have any XBox360's and that they wouldn't be getting them in for awhile. But after seeing this thread I called them up just to make sure.

The guy I talked to just now said that they did have some this morning but that they were now all sold out. Bastards.


 :cry:

We were so close, Ralph! DAMN YOU SEARS, DAMN YOU TO HELL!  :wink:
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greeneggsnham
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2005, 06:26:00 PM »

Sounds like some buddy-buddy non-legit crap going on in Sears. Not cool, not cool at all.
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skystride
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2005, 06:55:22 PM »

Quote from: "greeneggsnham"
Sounds like some buddy-buddy non-legit crap going on in Sears. Not cool, not cool at all.


My mom is a manager at Walmart and I had to line up anyway in the morning to get my copy.  Walmart got some bad publicity recently but at least they were fair with regards to this.  Shame on Sears if they really did pull that crap.
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Jumangi
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2005, 07:10:49 PM »

Not quite seeing how this has anything to do with MS(the manufacturer). They have nothing to do with all the people lining up for the system(thats a choice those people made). And the rest is on the shoulders of Sears. Just because you had a crap experience at one retailer doesn't make it "The worst launch ever".
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msduncan
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2005, 07:34:37 PM »

Quote from: "Jumangi"
Not quite seeing how this has anything to do with MS(the manufacturer). They have nothing to do with all the people lining up for the system(thats a choice those people made). And the rest is on the shoulders of Sears. Just because you had a crap experience at one retailer doesn't make it "The worst launch ever".


Ok... let's put Sears aside for a second (I already fired off a letter to corporate about my experience).

1.  Dreamcast launch:  plenty of systems to go around.   Could be found on shelves immediately after release everywhere

2.  Xbox  --   readily available and all preorders filled

3.  PS2 --  none on shelves but preorders all filled

4.   Now this launch --   Not even a fraction of preorders filled and people told they wont get preorders from mid summer until JANUARY.   None on shelves.    None to be had.
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Nth Power
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« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2005, 07:41:04 PM »

You shouldn't have been treated like that.  Shame on Sears.  The way the guy was so rude, you'd think he was trying to hide something.
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Scott
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« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2005, 07:42:45 PM »

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Now this launch -- Not even a fraction of preorders filled and people told they wont get preorders from mid summer until JANUARY. None on shelves. None to be had.


The dreamcast is hardly a good example, as towards the end, Sega couldn't give them away.  The Dreamcast just wasn't in nearly as much demand as the 360.  All systems weren't in as much demand back then.

The XBox also wasn't a blazingly hot item, and their already was another next gen system out and available (the PS2).

As far as the PS2 places filling preorders, they may have been smarter about it.  Sony also delayed the US launch for many, many months.  At least we are getting the 360 on its launch day, as opposed to waiting for Sony to fill other areas first.

Its also not Microsoft's fault that stores took preorders before they knew how many systems they would get.  Blame the stores, not Microsoft.  They have a hot item on their hands, and are probably producing as many as they can.  

It really sucks there aren't enough systems out there, but a lot of the blame isn't Microsofts.  This launch is pretty unprecendented.  The videogames industry and market place has grown substantially since the PS2 and XBox, and as a result, there is more mass media directed towards it, and more people trying to buy the first hdtv systems.
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« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2005, 07:51:24 PM »

Quote from: "msduncan"

3.  PS2 --  none on shelves but preorders all filled

4.   Now this launch --   Not even a fraction of preorders filled and people told they wont get preorders from mid summer until JANUARY.   None on shelves.    None to be had.


You may have gotten yours, but the PS2 launch was not able to fill all the pre-orders.  Two weeks before the launch Sony slashed it's shipments.  I worked at a Software Etc at the time and it took us a month to fill all the pre-orders.
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msduncan
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« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2005, 08:00:58 PM »

My local EB manager has told me that they were told by Microsoft earlier this year to take all the preorders they could and that they would make sure they had enough units.
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JLu
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« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2005, 08:12:42 PM »

Awww -- bummer on the 360 (and I feel doubly bad since I was the one who suggested Sears)...

I was able to get lucky at Costco -- because I happened to drive by there on the way to Sears and saw that there was no line for 25 units vs. an unknown line for 4...  This one hadn't occurred to me to try for real though until late last night.
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msduncan
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« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2005, 08:16:00 PM »

Quote from: "JLu"
Awww -- bummer on the 360 (and I feel doubly bad since I was the one who suggested Sears)...

I was able to get lucky at Costco -- because I happened to drive by there on the way to Sears and saw that there was no line for 25 units vs. an unknown line for 4...  This one hadn't occurred to me to try for real though until late last night.


No worries JLu.   It was a good try.    You had no way of knowing that Sears was going to allow a couple of their own employees buy up all the stock.

I can't wait to hear back from them via email or phone in response to my email.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2005, 08:56:16 PM »

Quote from: "Scott"
The dreamcast is hardly a good example, as towards the end, Sega couldn't give them away. The Dreamcast just wasn't in nearly as much demand as the 360. All systems weren't in as much demand back then.


IIRC, the Dreamcast had an amazingly successful launch.  It may have tanked later but it certainly got off to a strong start.
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Calvin
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« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2005, 09:08:42 PM »

Every store I went to last night had a pathetic paucity of units to sell. So bad in fact that about half the people in line at every location were going to be going home empty handed. It was quite depressing.
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Scott
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« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2005, 09:15:48 PM »

Quote
IIRC, the Dreamcast had an amazingly successful launch. It may have tanked later but it certainly got off to a strong start.

I doubt the demand for the Dreamcast isn't in the same ballpark as for the 360, or even the PS2 before it.  The videogames market wasn't nearly as large, or mainstream back then either.  Demand for consoles now far exceed what there was back when the Dreamcasts came out.

It really sucks Microsoft can't produce enough of these.  I'm sure it'll impact their bottom line as well, as the demand is really high now.  I think it sucks that stores took preorders they can't fill either, no matter whose fault it is.

I'll be preordering the PS3 the first day possible, just to avoid this, whether I want a PS3 or not.  I know the pull will be there when it comes out.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2005, 09:23:56 PM »

Quote from: "Scott"

I doubt the demand for the Dreamcast isn't in the same ballpark as for the 360, or even the PS2 before it.  The videogames market wasn't nearly as large, or mainstream back then either.  Demand for consoles now far exceed what there was back when the Dreamcasts came out.



Oh, there's no doubt demand is higher now but until we see some actual shipping numbers from MS we don't know how  large the 360 launch actually is.  What we've seen so far just shows how dedicated people are.  All indications are that stores have receive much lower console shipments than normal so it wouldn't surprise me to find that MS only sold 200-250k in the US last night.  

In contrast, the PSP shipped one million on launch day.  

Again, no argument that 360 launch is clearly bigger than the Dreamcast but the Dreamcast got off to the fastest start of any console to that point.  The writing wasn't on the wall at that point.
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adamsappel
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« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2005, 09:27:46 PM »

The gulf between what Microsoft promised before the launch and what they delivered is wide and deep. Not to let EB/Gamestop off the hook, they certainly sling their own brand of bullshit. I get irritated seeing thousands of 360's being given away (sorry, Hetz!) and knowing that units in Japan will get dusty on shelves. This launch could have been handled a lot better.
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« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2005, 10:03:17 PM »

Amen to that - I tuned into MTV only to see DEFINITE non-gamers at TRL each get a 360.  WTF.  There are REAL gamers standing outside in the cold for HOURS while these trendy non-gamers go to a pop-song countdown and each get a PREMIUM pack for free?  Fuck that.
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« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2005, 10:24:48 PM »

Quote from: "adamsappel"
The gulf between what Microsoft promised before the launch and what they delivered is wide and deep.


What exactly did they promise and deliver?  (honestly curious - I'd like to know how far off the mark they were)
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Rob_Merritt
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« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2005, 10:50:16 PM »

FYI I have one on preorder at EB. I placed $50 down in July. I got a call the other day saying they honestly didn't expect to fill my preorder till March. MARCH!
I actually don't believe it because I think after holidays the demand is going to sink to normal levels (especially since there appears to be a huge gap between launch games and anything else) but its amazing how bad MS is screwing this up.The world wide launch is really not working out.
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Roguetad
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« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2005, 12:21:07 AM »

I can understand controlling supply to stir up a demand frenzy, especially during the holidays, but it seems more than that.  Most of the retailers and game stores I've visited in northern virginia have shelves of 360 games already in stock.  Sure, some people without the actual console will buy some of those games in anticipation of purchasing the 360, like I did with Kameo.  But I'm thinking a lot of those games aren't going to move out of the stores unless there's a growing base of new 360 owners out there to play them.  If the future shipping schedule is as fubar'd as the retailers here are saying, it has to be something more than just controlling or limiting supply.  If your revenue generating product is already in stores (games), I can't believe they wouldn't want to get as many console units out to the consumer base as fast as possible.  More consoles bought will most likely = more games sold = more development interest and more revenue.  I know that's grossly simplified and generalized, but I'm starting think now that something really broke down in the production chain leading up to launch.  

I've been told that my Sep preorder puts me most likely in the 4th or 5th store shipment for my local gamestop, or sometime in late 1stQtr '06.  That's crazy.  From now until "late first quarter" I could've been buying new 360 games.  Now me and however many other gamers who would've bought games will be doing other things with their $.  I can't believe that's a designed sales strategy...at least not a successful one.
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Harry F. Ishnuts
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« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2005, 12:55:01 AM »

Tell me again how a bunch of morons at Sears make the 360 Launch bad?

    -HFI-
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« Reply #26 on: November 23, 2005, 01:03:29 AM »

Quote from: "msduncan"
My local EB manager has told me that they were told by Microsoft earlier this year to take all the preorders they could and that they would make sure they had enough units.

And your bullshit sensor didn't go off?

Sounds like a feeble attempt to shift blame to me.
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msduncan
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« Reply #27 on: November 23, 2005, 01:12:56 AM »

Heh...

You know...these boards traditionally have been relatively fan-boi free.   I'm talking about the REAL fan bois you find over on IGN and such.    I guess that trend is over now.

Why don't you guys go hump Bill Gates' leg or something?
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th'FOOL
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« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2005, 02:20:33 AM »

Quote from: "msduncan"
Heh...

You know...these boards traditionally have been relatively fan-boi free.   I'm talking about the REAL fan bois you find over on IGN and such.    I guess that trend is over now.

Why don't you guys go hump Bill Gates' leg or something?


Hey, don't blame US for your bad luck (or gullibility slywink).  Console launches are notoriously tricky, and until MS says "No consoles until after Xmas" I'm inclined to give 'em a chance to stick to their word and restock on a regular basis.

A lot of the blame rests on the retailers who either spoke out their ass or outright lied.
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Mike Dunn
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« Reply #29 on: November 23, 2005, 02:35:42 AM »

I have to agree.  The whole 'pre-order' thing has always seemed like a license to print bullshit to me.  

They have you stuck- they have your money.  So where does their incentive to keep you happy fit in?  If you don't like it, go sit with the people who didn't pre-order.
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adamsappel
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« Reply #30 on: November 23, 2005, 05:10:42 AM »

Quote from: "Laner"
Quote from: "adamsappel"
The gulf between what Microsoft promised before the launch and what they delivered is wide and deep.


What exactly did they promise and deliver?  (honestly curious - I'd like to know how far off the mark they were)


Beyond just the "one SKU with HDD," I was mostly referring to having enough consoles available to even-somewhat meet demand. I'm not talking "let's create an artificial sense of consumer desire," but a very real breakdown somewhere in the line. Why aren't there enough consoles? Did they underestimate demand? Are there problems on the assembly line? What were they talking about selling by year's end, 3 million units? I haven't seen any numbers yet, but if this first shipment really is all they've got (and I don't believe that, but it might be half-true), can they meet those projections? Like Roguetad said, if you don't sell the consoles, you can't sell the games.
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« Reply #31 on: November 23, 2005, 05:45:11 AM »

Get it out the door before the holidays.  Keep the delay to a minimum.  Remember the screaming about a supposed Black Friday launch or if it would have slipped into 2006?

They avoided all the bitching that would have occured and created what is clearly turning out to be a much bigger problem.

But hey, people are clamoring for it.  I haven't seen too many "screw it, I'm out" posts, mostly "I'm jealous and must wait until next shipment (whenever that is)."

As long as they get enough out before the PS3/Revolution hype train gets rolling they should do alright.  Oh, and keep games coming out.

I wish I had one but I don't.  I'm not really upset at anybody and I don't feel betrayed by anybody regardless of how poorly this launch has been handled by everybody involved, be it Microsoft or my local retailer.  I'd gladly throw my $400 at Microsoft but won't lose sleep or get upset angry that I can't.  Life goes on.  I have more money to spend on gifts for other people now.  I'm going to buy Dragon Quest VIII and play that instead for now.
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« Reply #32 on: November 23, 2005, 03:52:12 PM »

Quote from: "adamsappel"
What were they talking about selling by year's end, 3 million units?


That's the number I've heard.  If they meet that, I'm fairly sure everyone who wants one will have it by Christmas.

gellar
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Sarkus
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« Reply #33 on: November 23, 2005, 04:00:55 PM »

That 3 million figure is worldwide and by the end of their FISCAL year, which is end of February, not the end of the actual year.  They could ship 500,000 to the US by Christmas, 500k to Europe and Japan, and still technically be on track to achieve their goals.  Whether demand will be as high after Christmas is the big risk they are taking by not having product to sell right now.  Maybe if the Jan/Feb title list was robust I could see it, but there is a definate "dead zone" of titles on the system for the next month or two.

What I'm hearing in retail land (and which has been somewhat confirmed elsewhere) is that you will see systems trickle in over the next few weeks and then see a "significant" shipment in mid-Dec.  What that means to your local retailer is hard to say.  One of the things MS will do is look at how retailers are doing on selling the accessories and games and shift a higher resupply to those guys.
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« Reply #34 on: November 23, 2005, 08:18:52 PM »

Quote from: "Sarkus"
That 3 million figure is worldwide and by the end of their FISCAL year, which is end of February, not the end of the actual year.  


February is absolutely not the end of the MS fiscal year.

gellar
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« Reply #35 on: November 23, 2005, 09:00:30 PM »

Quote from: "gellar"
Quote from: "Sarkus"
That 3 million figure is worldwide and by the end of their FISCAL year, which is end of February, not the end of the actual year.  


February is absolutely not the end of the MS fiscal year./quote]

Microsoft's fiscal year ends June 30.  Their 2nd Quarter ends December 31.

So by "year" they could either mean December 31, 2005 or their fiscal year 2006, which ends June 30, 2006.
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gellar
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« Reply #36 on: November 23, 2005, 09:05:44 PM »

Quote from: "stiffler"
Quote from: "gellar"
Quote from: "Sarkus"
That 3 million figure is worldwide and by the end of their FISCAL year, which is end of February, not the end of the actual year.  


February is absolutely not the end of the MS fiscal year.


Microsoft's fiscal year ends June 30.  Their 2nd Quarter ends December 31.

So by "year" they could either mean December 31, 2005 or their fiscal year 2006, which ends June 30, 2006.


First 90 days.

gellar
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stiffler
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« Reply #37 on: November 23, 2005, 09:14:07 PM »

Thanks, gellar.  I didn't even RTFA, just letting whoever mentioned it know the Miscrosoft fiscal year. :oops:

Do we even know how many have shipped worldwide?  It could be a lot spread over a vast number of retailers, but I doubt it.  3 million in 90 days, when you take the shortage into account, sounds like it might be tough to reach.  Judging by a "born on date" thread I saw elsewhere it appears all the 360's in circulation were manufactured over the last month at the latest.

At the end of the day I just think it's sad when I see excited kids clutching thier frustrated mothers as they scour the world for a 360.  I've been the kid and now that I'm older I feel for the parents.
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« Reply #38 on: November 24, 2005, 03:44:53 AM »

Yes, it was the first 90 days, my mistake.  However, that does take it to late February.

I hadn't thought of looking at the born on date.  Mine says 10-15-05.  It makes me wonder about the photos they circulated in Sept. - maybe they were just getting under production then?
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