PlayStation 3 Scant Supply Causes Mayham
Its the week before Thanksgiving and across the country, gamers and speculators eager to get their hands today on the new PlayStation 3, crowded, scuffled and in one case, robbers attacked those waiting outside of a store for days. One man was shot in a robbery attempt while waiting with 15 to 20 people outside a Connecticut Wal-Mart at about 3:15 a.m. EST. As part of a buying frenzy surrounding the U.S. launch on Friday of Sony's PlayStation 3 video game console Thousands had camped outside stores to be among the first U.S. gamers to buy the PS3 on Friday.
Hundreds were making big profits reselling newly bought PS3s on Internet auction site eBay Inc.. Nearly 800 units, which retail for $500 and $600, had sold online on Friday for an average price of $2,717, bringing the total sold to just over 3,600, according to eBay Marketplace Research.
In Sullivan, Ind., a man was in critical condition after emergency surgery for a stab wound after he and a friend tried to rob two men of consoles they waited 36 hours in line to buy, police said.
Nationwide, short supplies of the PS3 and strong demand led to long lines of buyers, some waiting for days outside stores. Once the doors opened Friday, they pushed and shoved their way to the shelves in several cities to get at the limited supply. Two people were arrested in Fresno, Calif., after a crowd trampled people in a parking lot.
Elsewhere, two men wearing black ski masks and sunglasses made off with five consoles after holding two employees at gunpoint at an Englewood, Ohio, video game store Thursday night, police said.
A Pennsylvania teenager was also robbed of his new PlayStation by a man who tapped on his car window with a handgun in Allentown, police said.
In Lexington, Ky., someone fired BB pellets from a passing vehicle at people waiting outside a Best Buy store, according to WKYT, whose own reporter said she was among four people grazed while she interviewed buyers in line.
Police fired a talcum powder ball at the ground outside a Target store in Henrico, Va., to get the attention of an unruly crowd of about 350 people who were waiting to buy one of the shop's eight consoles, police said.
In McLean, Va., police fired pepper pellets Friday morning to subdue a rowdy crowd of about 200 people outside a Circuit City store at Tysons Corner Center mall. One person complained of shortness of breath after the pellets were fired and was taken to the hospital, authorities said.
A Best Buy store in Boston, aware it had only 140 of the consoles, got smart about the big sale — its employees gave out tickets to the first 140 people in line so everyone could go home until the store opened.
Sources: Michael Muskal, Times Staff Writer, Franklin Paul NEW YORK (Reuters)
PETER SVENSSON, Associated Press Writer