X360 Launch Madness
Lots of articles today about the X360 launch. Most of them say “hey, it sold out, etc etc”. There are some articles about the units selling on Ebay for huge, huge prices. And then this Gamespot article echoes my personal experience.
Jamil Moledina (Director of the GDC) and I hopped in his Prius around 8:30pm and headed north to the Santa Rosa Best Buy. It was reported to be one of the few Best Buys that would open at 12:01am to sell units, and the leaked quantity sheets showed that they would have around 170 kits. Great! Jamil had talked to one of the Best Buy PR folks, who assured us if we arrived by 10pm we would be in pretty good shape.
Santa Rosa is about an hour north of San Francisco, so it was a bit odd that this would be the place in the SF Bay area which would have the largest number of units. But we made our journey anyway, and arrived just shy of 10pm. Alas, it was not to be. The line at first appeared small… we gazed at the front of the building and saw a line that only went from the door to the corner of the building – perhaps 50 people, max. Yay! But as we reached the “end” of the line, we discovered to our dismay that the line wrapped around the corner and indeed stretched all the way to the back of the building. Spirits dashed, but still hoping we’d make the cut-off, we wandered to the “back” of the line to discover – again – that the line turned the corner and stretched across the back of the building, almost to the opposite corner. Crazy! It was pretty clear at this point that we were screwed.
Sure enough, about 15 minutes later they came by to inform us that we were in the “standby” group. Literally. We could stand around for two hours and see if ohhh, I dunno, about 50 people’s credit cards didn’t go through. Pass! We drove home. Tried the Target in Foster City this morning and they were sold out too. Phooey!
It’s no surprise that it sold out on Day One, though. Congrats to those guys, really. The big question I have is how many units they’ll have between now and Christmas, as they seek to launch in the other territories. Hopefully they held some kits back to leak out over the next 4 weeks… otherwise there are going to be a lot of really unhappy people on Christmas day.
Mine came via air freight yesterday. This is one of the few benefits of belonging to a company that is a political Switzerland in the console wars. All in all, I’m a bit underwhelmed at the three games I purchased, but Call of Duty 2 is a little better than the rest.