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Monday, Apr. 21, 2014

Shoppers wait in line for chance to buy PS3

Friday, November 17, 2006

(Photo)
Pictured from left, Dustin Redden, 30, of Marston, the last in line for the 14 PlayStation 3s at the Sikeston Wal-Mart, relaxes as he waits.
SIKESTON -- Just over a dozen area residents and a man from Imperial lounged in chairs at Wal-Mart's layaway department Thursday waiting on the latest in home video game entertainment: the PlayStation 3.

The consoles went on sale at 12:01 a.m. today for $599.

Corey Bell, 26, of East Prairie was first in line waiting on the sale to begin, having arrived at 11 p.m. Wednesday.

"I'm going to play this one," Bell said, waiting in a lawn chair.

Bell's friend, Allen Jones, 26, of East Prairie who arrived with him to capture the second place in line, is taking the speculator's option.

"I'm selling it," he said.

Rumors were circulating that bids on PS3s were reaching nearly $6,000 but as of presstime a quick search of eBay revealed the highest bid at $3,452 with 32 minutes left before in the auction.

Third in line behind Bell and Jones was Valerie Michelsen, 38, of Oran, who arrived roughly 24 hours before the sale to buy one.

"I got here at midnight," she said Thursday. "I'm buying it for my 14-year-old son. He's been waiting for a year."

Michelsen said she promised her son the PlayStation 3 for Christmas 2005.

"It was supposed to come out last February," she said. "Last February or March."

Sony announced in March that it was still trying to complete the copyright-

protection technology and other standards for the Blu-ray DVD players. The company said those preparations were initially to have been completed by September 2005.

Machines sold out quickly in Japan when they went on sale last Saturday. Plagued with production problems, Sony only had 100,000 available for the Japanese launch.

Sony promised 400,000 PS3 machines for the United States debut and about 1 million by year's end. Worldwide, it was expecting 2 million this year, half its original projections. The European launch has already been delayed until March.

Die-hard gamers and entrepreneurs around the nation formed lines, in some cases waiting in line for days despite the likelihood they'd go home empty-

handed.

Wal-Mart in Sikeston advised customers arriving for the consoles they had only had 10 PS3s to sell and four rainchecks to offer, according to Tammy Manes of Wal-Mart's layaway department.

"We don't order, they ship them to us," Manes said. "I think every store gets the same amount."

"I got here at 11 a.m. and I'm last (in line)," Dustin Redden, 30, of Marston said Thursday.

Redden said he is among those who plan to resell it for a profit. While waiting in line, his wife called to tell him one was on eBay for $6,100 with 20 minutes left.

Just in front of Redden were Sikeston residents Nicholas Lopez, 18, and his brother John Lopez, 16, who got in line at 9 a.m. Thursday.

Asked what they intended to do with their PlayStation, they answered enthusiastically without hesitation: "Play! Play!"

Of the 14 who waited in line at the Sikeston Wal-Mart, seven said they would keep theirs while the other half said they were buying the games to sell.

"You're going to wait for the mob to leave before you tell we're here to sell it, right?" asked Chris Smith, 20, of Dexter, who was about halfway in the line.

Smith joined the line at 3:30 a.m. Thursday. "I slept in my car," he said.

Asked if they had really been offered cash for their place in line, several confirmed they had received genuine offers of up to $200.

"I wouldn't give it up for $1,000," said Tim Lathum, 25, of Imperial.

The money he would make by selling his PS3 on E-bay, he predicted, would mean even more money that giving up his place in line.

Some of the information for this story was provided by the Associated Press.