November 17, 2006

Launch Day

by psu

Having observed three or four launch days in my short time dabbling with computer games, I will never quite understand the psychology of it. It seems like gamers have a sort of bi-polar passive agressive OCD when it comes to product launches.

On the one hand, in the lead up to the big day you have article after article about how supply is bad, the launch titles are bad, the hardware is overpriced, the bundles are stupidly expensive, the accessories are lame, and the pack-in extras nearly worthless. None of this is surprising, because it's all true. Launch titles are notoriously bad. For some reason, the hardware manufacturers think it's a great idea to launch even though they don't have enough to sell and, you know, make a profit. Retailers have a captive audience to which they can attach arbitrary numbers of useless items while filling their coffers with the extra margins.

The thing is, everyone knows this. We all know it's a scam. We all know it will be months or years before the hardware is really worth buying. So here is my question: given this, and given that the weeks before the launch are spent whining about exactly these problems, why is it that on the day itself, you find people waiting in line in the snow, in the rain, in the cold, in the mud, 9 months pregnant, and then getting shot just to get this piece of hardware that apparently no rational being on the face of the earth should have any interest in actually purchasing?

Why then can you flip a new PS3 on Ebay for $2500?

Why all the collective suffering over something that according to the news reports two weeks ago, nobody wants?

Can anyone answer this question for me?

Anyway, good luck on Sunday with the Wii.

Posted by psu at November 17, 2006 09:34 PM | Bookmark This

Funny. All the Google ads are about bipolar disorder.

Posted by ThomasW at November 18, 2006 04:33 PM

Was Super Mario Bros the launch title for the original NES in the US? That was a great game.

Posted by rmitz at November 19, 2006 09:53 AM

I agree with you a hundred percent about the PS3 launch but the Wii as we talked about had Zelda. As a self admited Zelda fan boy that is the one and only reason I stood outside for 8 hours on saturday and yes indeed I did get a Wii.

The thing about launch days is that half the fun is just being there. The stories I can now tell of what happened on that line are pretty funny.

The only thing I lack is someone else crazy enough to stand with me. Going solo to a product launch was a little steressful.

Was it worth it? I think so, but it's definitely not for everyone.

Posted by David at November 19, 2006 07:24 PM

David- Let's hear the stories. And no, knocking over your gripper onto the guy next door's girlfriend and almost getting in a fight doesn't count. Convince us.

Posted by Alex at November 20, 2006 11:26 AM

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