Enthusiasts camp out to buy PlayStation 3
Today could not come soon enough for some people. People began lining up outside Duluth's Best Buy store Wednesday for this morning's release of Sony's PlayStation 3. A hopeful community of more than 30 future PS3 owners spent two nights sleeping...
Today could not come soon enough for some people.
People began lining up outside Duluth's Best Buy store Wednesday for this morning's release of Sony's PlayStation 3. A hopeful community of more than 30 future PS3 owners spent two nights sleeping in several tents, a pickup truck box and lawn chairs.
"The wait sucks," said Kyle Nelson, who was marking time outside the Best Buy store Thursday morning, covered by several blankets and a comforter. "It's very, very cold."
"It would have been nice if they had released it in the summer," a bundled-up Jake Peterson said. "Sleeping on concrete is hard."
Nelson, Peterson and several friends arrived at Best Buy at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday to wait for the chance to plunk down $500 or $600 on the successor to Sony's PlayStation 2.
Turner Gutmann feared he arrived too late Wednesday to snag a PS3 today.
"Rumor has it there's 26, and I'm 29" in line, he said. "I'm hoping for some reasonable attrition, but no one has quit."
Travis Schmaltz, general manager of the Duluth Best Buy store, declined to say how many PS3s will be available today. Best Buy's sales flier, however, promisesat least 20 premium(60-gigabyte) systems for $599.99 and at least six core (20-gigabyte) systems for $499.99 per store. The store opens at 8 a.m. Clerks will hand out tickets for PS3s to those in line at 7 a.m.
It's not uncommon to have customers camping out for the release of a new game console, Schmaltz said.
"This one was a little bit early. Typically, they would begin showing up one day before, where this one was two days ahead. That was a little bit surprising," he said.
"It's the most powerful system to come out," Keal Meredith, No. 10 in line, said, explaining why he was waiting in the cold for a PS3.
The PS3 has advanced graphics and a Blu-ray disc drive that plays new high-definition DVDs.
"If you want the Blu-ray player, it will be $400 cheaper on the PS3 than anywhere else," said Ryan Murphy, No. 7 in line. "The graphics are better than anything else.'"
"Less than 24 hours," he added from beneath his sleeping bag. "We're on the homestretch now."
While some people waiting in front of Best Buy plan to keep their PS3 -- provided they're lucky enough to get one -- others plan to sell theirs. People have bid more than $2,000 on eBay for a PS3.
"It's a business opportunity," Peterson said.
Nelson is considering selling his PS3, if he gets one.
"With the money I might buy one when the next shipment comes out," he said.
Best Buy is not the only store that will have PS3s, nor the only store gamers had staked out. By 1 p.m. Thursday eight where waiting in line at Duluth's Target store. Another half dozen or so were waiting at Hermantown's Wal-Mart.
Seven people were bundled up and in line outside Superior's Target at 12:30 p.m.
First in line was UMD student Rob Saver. Huddled in a sleeping bag and a pink polar fleece blanket, he explained why he had camped out overnight.
"We checked out every other place that already had them [PlayStations], like Best Buy, and saw that there were crowds last night, so we came over here around 10 p.m. [Wednesday]," he said.
As to why he braved the cold, Saver explained: "You can buy one of the premium models for $600, then turn around and sell them on eBay for, like, $2,550."
The store manager came out to let Saver and his friends know that the store had four of the premium models, so Saver was assured one.
Next to him, burrowed under a zebra-striped polar fleece blanket, was Tony Peltier, another UMD student.
"Being out here in the cold, that's the worst" part of the wait, he said.
Saver said they had to call friends to bring more blankets.
The UMD students got some unusual looks from customers.
"One lady asked if we were waiting in line for lunch," Peltier said.
STEVE KUCHERA can be reached at (218) 279-5503, toll free at (800) 456-8282, ext. 503, or by e-mail at skuchera@duluth news.com.