Friday, March 23, 2007

Gamers hugged themselves and each other and said: "Sony we love you"

Coming into work this morning was actually pleasant and I was surprised to see how many smiling faces there were. Probably because it's a Friday, I mused, as I involuntarily squashed myself between two big burly men with bags underneath their eyes. They were smiling too and after (again, involuntarily) listening in on their conversation, I knew why:

"I am so tempted to call in sick, everyone else in the house has and they're glued to the TV... I'm definitely coming home early to play it..."

I smiled as I listened to the story of how this young man hadn't slept all night because his housemate was one of the first people in the country to buy a PlayStation 3 and he couldn't let go of it all night. They were joking around about hugging it, taking turns kissing it and how lucky they were to have it. I completely understood, even though I'm not a gamer - although they did get a couple of strange sideways glances from some people on the train.
The PS3 was launched last night in the Virgin store on Oxford Street (Corner of Tottenham Cout Road) and the gaming world is overjoyed. I may not be a geeky little kid (glasses not thick enough) or a 20something city bloke with a 9 - 5 job (doesn't matter how old you are, you're still a little kid on the inside), but I understand how big this launch was. Gamers have been waiting for too long for the launch of yet another console that will take up all their time and cause problems with girlfriends and spouses. Previous launches of the XBox 360 and Nintendo Wii drew just as much attention but also a lot of complaints to the companies that didn't provide what their customers wanted.

In this case, no one has yet to complain of the ridiculous antics pulled by the company who launched the console. Unlike Nintendo and Microsoft, Sony didn't dupe their customers by only providing a small number of consoles in relation to the demand. Sony actually provided more consoles than expected to sell AND the first 100 customers at their Virgin Launch last night received HD flatscreen TVs worth £2,500 - for free. This is all just for being great customers and being patient enough to stand in a queue for 48 hours.

You read that right - readers in the UK or US might find it normal to hear of people queuing for days to get their hands on a gaming console (people in Japan right now are probably laughing at people who don't). I remember the launch of the XBox 360 at midnight when a laser show was taking place as the doors of GAME flung open and people ran to grab whatever they could - it was crazy. Problem was, some people were queuing for ridiculous hours and when they got to the front of the queue found out there weren't enough consoles to go around. If that were me, I would have probably gone ape shit, start kicking demonstrations and staff and even my own shadow from having to wait around for nothing. Many times before, gamers have complained to reporters on site (yes, because this does make the news, contrary to what some of you would agree to what should be branded as "news") of waiting for hours and not getting anything at the end. I don't blame them. I have been on many awaiting list for the Ninetendo Wii (a joint christmas gift) and many times have I run to the GAME in Canary Wharf to find a group of people standing around and a spotty member of staff shaking his head in embarrassment. It's March and I still haven't gotten one, must to my (and my christmas gift receiver) disappointment.

Sony was smart enough to put away gimmicks/laser shows/juggling marmoset acts and make this a basic launch. Okay, so they did launch the product at midnight but that's actually pretty smart because you don't have to take time off work or school. Also, Sony recognized this wasn't about marketing as much as about getting the product out to the customer, so they didn't have any flash celebrities around or fancy displays - instead they provided their customers with Coke and Caffeine in the last 24 hours of waiting (super bonus) and gave everyone a pretty cool gift for being so dedicated.

What's cool is that they even provided more consoles than they anticipated selling because they didn't want people to buy consoles and turn around and sell them for double the price on eBay - respect to that. No one should be so desperate as to surf eBay at 6 a.m. to buy a gaming console, it's just not right.
I hope this makes a lot of gamers happy - I for one, have lost many hours of my life listening to the same complaints from a certain someone about this whole launch of consoles... Complaints such as corporations not caring enough about their customers, not taking into consideration certain populations and demographics in comparison to others, debating markets like Europe vs the Japanese, the Japanese vs the Americans, the people vs the corporation, my sanity vs rant rant rantrantrantrant... I think Sony's done good this time, maybe this could mean people can finally purchase something and be satisfied with it...

Read the BBC report here, which has put me in a good mood for the rest of the day.

Happy Gaming Kiddos xx


Hasan said...

"(people in Japan right now are probably laughing at people who don't)"

you got that right ;)

Seroo said...

hehehe Hasoon, I was thinking of you when I typed this up...

Ofcourse, people in Japan also laugh at the fact we talk on mobile phones and in a couple of years will still be using trains when you can just teleport yourself to work... They'll laugh at everything we do because we will ALWAYS BE SO BEHIND =)

Mo said...

This is probably the best blog post of all time.

sh7rourita said...

loooooooool soso i guess 5a6eebi and ur bf is in love with kil el PS o allah yester ma yensoona!! but u know i have 2 b into it 3shaan net2aglam m3hum RIGHT???

Zoosh said...

Hmm.. about the Japanese laughing at us, those Jap reporters that came over for lunch last weekend didn't understand why they should waste their time in Bahrain, because all of our current luxuries (air conditioning, electricity, water heaters, air conditioned cars, roads, visa/credit cards, hospitals (rather than village voodoo witches))they have had for many years (at least 2 hundred years ago).
So they preffer to live in Egypt, because it's like time travelling, back into the past ( they probably think : wow this feels like the way it did 470 years ago - ofcourse the japanese live that long- robots don't die, they get updated)

Anonymous said...

Okay, zoosh, now you're just a plain silly bigot with that comment. Grow up.

H. said...

Attachment issues that I have, ofcourse I sometimes carry my dualshock controller every where fantasizing about plugging it into anything and control life.

**wishing it was like ff tactics**

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