Even I was surprised by the number of people gathered in the basement of Virgin’s Megastore on Oxford Street today, I thought there’d be *slightly* more than three people queuing for the PS3 30 hours before the big launch. Huh, maybe I underestimated the public’s taste after all! Still, the three who were camping inside at 6pm today were keen, the first to arrive, Ritatsu Thomas (pictured with me) had turned up on Virgin’s doorstep at 5am that morning, but he had many more hours to wait out before someone else joined him, at 11.45am. The third, and last (when I arrived at 5pm) to rock up was Omar, who had got there only a few hours prior to me, was planning on buying six consoles to sell on eBay. Although goodness knows if he’ll go through with it, as after hearing me discuss the low profits made by reselling the consoles on eBay with Ritatsu, he took me aside and asked me nervously if I recommended he go through with it or not…
I couldn’t help but laugh, and shocked the poor boy by saying he’d be lucky if he made a £20 profit on them, as most stores were yet to fulfill their pre-order targets, so the country was hardly in short supply of Sony’s next-gen offering. It’ll be interesting to see just how many he buys when the clock strikes midnight tomorrow night, I might’ve inadvertently lost Sony a few sales – whoopsie-daisy!
The 17 year old Ritatsu is studying to become a graphic designer, hopefully for video games, and was born to a Japanese mother and Caribbean father. He told me about how much he loves visiting Japan, obviously due to their huge gaming culture. A massive gamer, he’s got an Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PS2, Gamecube, Nintendo64, SNES, NES, and Nintendo DS, and said he’d consider a Sony PSP once they release that oft-rumoured slimmer version. Still at school, he said he had to get permission from his teachers to miss several days of classes – so there you have it, shocked public of Britain, Sony: helping kids fail school each and every day. Beautiful.
I couldn’t help but enquire as to whether he’d keep the PS3 for himself, or sell it on eBay like Omar intended on doing, “it probably was my original intention to sell it”, he said, “if I could get double the price, then maybe”. I jokingly said he’d have more chance of getting that with a Wii, and he admitted proudly “I already did that!”
The launch line-up of PS3 games has left a lot to be desired, with most games already available on the 360, or the usual EA knock-offs which are churned out year after year, albeit with a new number in the title. The only game Ritatsu was certain about getting was Resistance, “and that’s because it’s coming free with the console”, he said, although Motorstorm was “looking good”.
Stick with us over the next few days as we bring you more photos, news and videos from the official launch in London at Virgin Megastore on Oxford Street, plus we should be hearing from some Sony and Virgin officials tomorrow and will bring you all the juiciest launch news their tight PR-trained lips can spill. Otherwise, take a look at Pspsps.tv (geddit? geddit?!), our latest Shiny blog for all things PS3-centric. Gosh, I really do hope more people turn up tomorrow, for Sony’s sake, as it’s looking mighty embarassing as you can see from the photos I took today…
See my top ten tips on how to secure a PS3 for yourself on launch-day