PS3 pre-launch report: Bellingham, WA

The weather’s been insane up here today. Gale force winds and the standard-issue western Washington rain dump made for a gnarly afternoon in Bellingham. That didn’t stop the campers from lining up outside of Best Buy as early as 6:00 PM (perhaps much earlier), pitching massive multi-room tents and deploying arrays of propane heaters. I can’t say I’d take the same risk, myself, but then again, I’m not as hardcore anymore as I was when the PS2 was launched. These guys are intrepid.

They lucked out, though. The clouds parted and the rain let up in the early evening. The line was even longer past midnight, when I ventured out into the stygian November night to rustle up terribly unhealthy grub. Being that Best Buy was just across the street, I thought I’d peek in and say hello. Alas, most everyone was (understandably) asleep in their makeshift mansions, save a single bloke hauling an extra blanket from his car.

After some small talk I asked if the PS3 was worth the weather and the cramped conditions. “I guess,” he said, offering a weak shrug. “An hour ago I would’ve said ‘sure’, but I forgot my ground pad, and after an hour of trying to sleep on cold concrete I’m not so sure. Plus, when it’s all over, I’m going to be six hundred bucks lighter.”

Yeah, I said, but at least you get a PS3. Most people won’t have another chance at them for a couple of months.  

“Huh? Screw that, dude. eBay.” 

‘Tis the spirit of the season, kids. Suffering for a quick buck in the aftermarket — which, for the PS3, is quickly becoming the only market.  To those daring enough to keep them: have fun with your new systems, guys.

Aaron Linde