I had originally written this for a different site, but they don’t seem to be using it. I’d hate to see something I lost sleep over go to waste so I’m posting it here. This is my experience buying an Xbox 360.
Sadly, I had come to the conclusion that Microsoft would not be sending me a review unit. What had we ever done to them? I felt I needed an Xbox for work, so I had to acquire one ASAP (i.e. not February). I managed to get my hands on one early this morning and met some interesting people along the way.
Best Buy seemed like the obvious choice for getting a 360 and according to the allocations posted earlier my town of 50K people was getting 52 units while the next closest Best Buy in a town of 225K people was getting 56 units. It looked like the odds were in my favor. So I called them
Monday to see what their plans were: “We are opening at 8:00AM Tuesday” Well, there goes my lock.
I called the local 24-hour Walmart next. Yes, they would be selling at midnight. No, they can’t tell me how many they have. Yes, there are
already three people lined up in “layaway”. So, I grabbed my coat and bag and headed out. I arrived at 3:00PM and found the three people mentioned on the phone. I settled in for the long haul, but before stifling reality with my iPod I decided to find out who these people
were since they were obviously three degrees crazier than me.
Mr. 1 a.k.a. “Ricky” Ricky had arrived at 10:00AM that morning after closing down the Pizza Hut he managed at 2:30AM waking up at 7:30AM and then making the 1.5 hour drive into town. By the time I got there almost every store employee (associate?) knew who he was and exactly why he was there. I asked him who would win the next generation console battle even though I assumed bias. He replied that the retro gaming features of the Nintendo Revolution made it really attractive to him since he had bought every Nintendo console up to this point.
Mr. 2 a.k.a. “Salvadork” had arrived around 12:00PM with a friend. Salvadore was waiting in line at his girlfriend Angela’s request so that they could buy an Xbox for their 8 year-old. At 7:00PM Salvadogg was replaced by his girlfriend’s sister. The sister was replaced by Angela at 10:30PM when she got off work (also when Salvadore started work). I was surprised by the number of parents willing to stand in line for their children. Angela described herself being there as a reflection of how her parents had raised her.
Mr. 3 was me arriving at 3:00PM.
Mrs. 4 was a housewife arriving at 4:00PM. She had promised her son that if he got straight A’s she would buy him an Xbox. Well, he did and she regretted having made that promise without knowing how hard it would be to acquire the object. She provided many of the rumors that would become legend as the evening progressed: A Walmart in a different town had already handed out all of its vouchers for the midnight sale. The other Walmart in this town was planning on scattering the boxes throughout the store and then announcing there location at random so that costumers could maim each other, making the thrill of purchasing even more sweet. KMart had only received 8 units and was going to draw randomly for them amongst the people that showed up.
Mr. 6 and Mr. 5 Mr. 5 and his two brothers were each in different stores across the country Monday because their mother had promised each of them an Xbox 360 as a Christmas present. The funny thing is: Mr. 5 is a GameStop employee and was unable to get a 360 through that connection. Over Mr. 5’s shoulder you can see his grandmother, who plays Super Mario Bros. by holding the controller upside down since she’s left handed.
Mr. 6 was also a high school student and had shown up sometime before me, but had decided that doing homework was a better use of his time. He came back around 6:00PM and the two boys occupied themselves by playing War with a recently purchased deck of cards and consuming large quantities of the store brand soda (waiting in line will make you do crazy things).
With their arrival at 6:00PM we began taking turns visiting the Subway since the rule was “if you bought the food in the store, you could eat it in the store”.
Mr. 7 showed up at 7:00PM. He had only found out today that there was a new Xbox and promptly put the box in layaway when it was his turn: eBay seller.
The line had reached approximately 30 people by 8:00PM and didn’t grow much beyond that. At 10:00PM they handed out the vouchers for their 32 premium and 14 core systems. It was only two more hours till the boxes were in our hot little hands. I swung by EBGames on the way home to pick up a copy of PGR3. I also grabbed a used copy of Mechassault 2 since I don’t have any old Xbox games and my lust for giant robots won’t be satisfied till Chrome Hounds is released Spring 3036. [ed– I found out later that Mechassault doesn’t play so I exchanged it for Perfect Dark Zero]
Once home I hooked it up to my my Dell 2405FP and put a pot of coffee on. 720p I love thee…