Have you ever spent any time in a Best Buy, EB Games, or GameStop playing their PlayStation 3 demo unit and have it freeze up on you? No, you haven't... or so I was told by a Sony rep a few days back.
Just before the launch of the PlayStation 3, I walked into a local EB Games and noticed that they had finally (three days prior to launch) received their demo kiosk. Problem was, it was turned off. Right next to the hulking beast of a setup, two teenagers were wailing on "You Really Got Me," the Guitar Hero II demo, and the PlayStation 2 was in full force.
Curious, I asked the annoyed, bored-looking clerk why anyone would dare do something like turn off a PlayStation 3 (The penalty for such an offense? Death, in some states).
He explained to me how when the machine would freeze, he would have to unlock the kiosk and hard reset the machine -- every time. It was easier, he said, to just leave it off and let people drool all over the protective plastic that housed what appeared to be an empty shell of a PlayStation 3 -- if you don't know, the actual unit is housed below the kiosk and is not visible. This, to me, was a fine explanation, and not surprising considering reports I've heard of units freezing at trade shows; and hey, the damned thing is cased in metal with little or no ventilation. I'll let it slide.
He went on about how a PlayStation 3 shouldn't be hard to get now, and how they're shipping them out of Japan daily. I waited for him to spill the beans on the Cell processor powered, mechanized laser-breathing dragon they use to import the consoles to the States, but he revealed nothing.
When the Sony rep was done and finally turned on the future, I decided to stick around and play some Motorstorm (which is pretty damned awesome). Didn't freeze up on me once.
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