PS3 Launch: From Tension To Crime
Even though we hoped everything would go off without a hitch, we figured the ugly side of humanity would soon show up for the PS3 launch.
The PlayStation 3 auctions on eBay are through the roof (hitting close to $3,000, in some cases), the North American shipment numbers were sliced in half, and God only knows if Sony can hit their target of moving 1-1.2 million units by the end of the year. Therefore, tensions are high and reports of flaring tempers have already started to hit the news. It was only a matter of time before all-out criminal intent appeared.
According to GameSpot, the Sacramento Bee has revealed that "at least four" PS3 consoles were stolen along with several Xbox 360s from an Elk Grove, California GameStop. The men who took them were reportedly armed, and police quickly responded by contacting (and we assume, warning) other local retailers. They also warned those waiting in line for extended periods of time to not go alone, and to not bring cash.
Furthermore, an Oregon News station reported earlier that three men camping out in front of Circuit City were robbed early Thursday morning. Apparently, the three had briefly left the line and were quickly jumped by a pair of masked men. They then forced them behind the building and took whatever they had. Thankfully, the suspects were caught on mall surveillance tapes, which allowed the police to retrace the thieves' steps, and that ultimately resulted in the recovery of some of the stolen goods.
It stands to reason that when something is in this high demand, the nasty, dark underbelly of society will begin to prowl the streets. It's just unfortunate it has to be associated with something as fun, light-hearted, and harmless as the game industry.
11/16/2006 Ben Dutka