The PS3 launched today with roughly 150,000 units to go around for North America. Having followed many of the popular articles circulating on the greatest hits parade, here's the summary:
1) People have been camped out for several days in hopes of getting one. Few stores took the cue from concert promoters or Japanese retailers and handed out a raffle ticket or did a lottery, thereby giving rise to line cutting and, in some cases, fistfights.
2) A Wal-Mart in California was ransacked by angry PS3 consumers who got asked to wait outside. They ran through the store knocking down everything and everyone they encountered.
3) A Best Buy in Maryland decided to suspend launch day activities, citing concerns for safety as the reason.
4) Some dudes drove by a store in Kentucky and opened fire with a BB gun on the crowd of people waiting for a PS3. Several campers and a reporter were shot, but not injured.
5) Few people waiting in line seem interested in actually playing the console. They are camped outside purely for economical gain as they look forward to selling the console on Ebay.
6) The $599 console is fetching as much as $3500 on Ebay. But not for long.
My prediction is that at least 1/5 of the 150,000 PS3s being sold in North America are going to end up on Ebay or other auction sites and those who wait a couple of weeks will be able to get one for under a $1000. Especially if any future shipments are delayed or cut.
I must say that it was rather fun checking the online news posts between games of Gears of War and work. So I guess in a way, you could say I had reason to look forward to the PS3 launch after all. Who knew?