Say what you will about Microsoft’s Zune launch, it didn’t cause anywhere near the death, destruction, and sheer mayhem that yesterday’s PlayStation 3 launch caused. Reports of shootings, thefts, and generally stupid behavior are flooding in from across America. The details make a George Romero film seem tame by comparison. We have apparently become a nation of PlayStation Zombies.
- A Boston area man was shot while waiting in line outside of Wal-Mart. Thieves apparently got wise to the fact that many of the people waiting for to buy the PS3 were carrying large sums of cash.
- In Indiana, a rampaging crowd tried to force its way inside a Circuit City before being restrained by local police.
- In Wisconsin, a Wal-Mart store manager inadvertently set off a stampede that nearly crushed several shoppers. The store apparently had only 10 PlayStations for sale. In a brilliant attempt at crowd control, the manager setup an impromptu version of musical chairs then instructed the crowd of would-be PS3 owners to fight over 10 lawn chairs. During the ensuing chaos a 19-year-old ran head first into a pole and knocked himself out. He didn’t get a PlayStation, but he did get a concussion.
- In New Hampshire, several PS3’s were stolen from a Best Buy before they could ever go on sale. Store officials called in police for fear that the crowd in front of the store would become unruly once word got out.
- In Washington, a teen who had waited in line for a day and a half was robbed by masked gunmen just 30 minutes after making his purchase.
- Gunmen stole several PS3’s from a Northern California store the day before it was set to go on sale.
- Police were called in to breakup an unruly crowd who’d gathered in front of a Fresno Best Buy prior to the PS3 launch. The near riot was reportedly set off by a middle aged man with a mohawk, identified only as Fat Jerry.
- A women, nine months pregnant, stood in line for three days trying to avoid going into labor the whole time. During an interview she revealed that she hates video games and is hoping to sell the system on eBay for several thousand dollars. Is this the return of trickle down economics?
- Most of the rape and pillage seems to have been inspired by reports of PlayStation 3’s selling on eBay for up to $9,000. However, a search of completed listings reveals most PS3’s have sold for between $1,000 and $1,500.
- At least one lucky PS3 purchaser who managed to buy a unit without being robbed at gunpoint had no intention of selling the player or taking it home and plugging it in. Representatives of a group known only as SmashMyPS3 destroyed a PS3 with a sledgehammer in front of a long line of stunned PlayStation fans outside of a Best Buy. Video below.
For those willing to forgo death and destruction on PS3 launch day, Sony has indicated they expect to ship more units before the end of the year.