Gamers play the waiting game

Elise Franco

Customers camp out as first PlayStation 3 and Wii consoles hit stores

This past week, two new video game systems went on sale, and as expected, people lined up outside stores with hopes of getting their hands on one.

Mike Jost, media specialist at Best Buy in Cuyahoga Falls, said the store had ordered 140 Sony PlayStation 3 consoles, and all 140 were sold when the store opened to customers at midnight Friday.

“People were camped out in front of the store three days before the system went on sale,” Jost said. “There were about 140 in line, which is about how many systems we had.

“Our store sold the most in the state, as well as being one of 17 stores in the company with a midnight opening.”

He said although the Nintendo Wii, which went on sale yesterday, didn’t have quite as large a turnout, all 104 systems in stock were sold.

So which system is more in demand? Jost said consumers just want what’s new.

Sean Miller, third key manager at Game Stop in Chapel Hill Mall, agreed.

“Yeah, people want the newest product, but many are buying the PlayStation, then turning around and selling it on eBay,” he said. “They’re making a huge profit.”

Jost said that profit is nearly 200 percent.

The Wii costs $250 and the PlayStation costs $499 for a 20 gigabyte hard drive or $599 for a 60 gigabyte.

The average bid for a PlayStation 3 on eBay is anywhere from $1,000 to $1,300. For the Wii, it is between $300 and $600.

Miller said the public is going to buy the more affordable system.

“We’ve sold more Wiis so far,” he said. “Once you tell people the price of the PlayStation, they turn around and leave.”

Unlike Best Buy, Miller said GameStop allows customers to pre-order game consoles. This eliminates long lines in the mall and limits the number of systems the store carries at one time.

“We sold all eight PS3s and 15 Wiis so far,” he said. “The last three Wiis should be picked up today. They’re on hold right now.

“I’m sure if we hadn’t done it this way, the mall would have hated us.”

Fred Ditto, junior business management major, said he has only ever bought Nintendo systems, and he plans on staying faithful.

“Nintendo revolutionized this gaming console,” he said. “The Wii controller is different from any other controller.”

He said he plans on buying a system a few months from now, once the hype has died down. He hasn’t bought the system yet because he knows it’s too hard to get when it’s first released.

Jost said while aspects of the Wii, such as graphics, aren’t comparable to the PlayStation 3, the gyroscope technology of the controller gives high expectations for the system.

A gyroscope controller takes the player away from the usual gamepad and makes game control more instinctive. Instead of pressing buttons to control moves in a game, the player’s movement of the gamepad is what controls the movement in the game.

Andy Souhrada, sophomore electronic media production major, said he is more in favor of the PlayStation 3.

“The PS3 has a lot of exclusives that will probably lead me to buy one later on, once the price has gone down,” he said. “I have an Xbox 360, and I’m content with that for now.”

Contact general assignment reporter Elise Franco at [email protected].