Violence broke out around the nation as crowds scrambled for the new Sony PlayStation 3 which has been released in limited quantities; a Massachusetts man was shot while waiting in line to buy one:
At 3:15 a.m., two armed robbers shot Michael Penkala, 21, of Webster, Mass., outside a Wal-Mart store in Putnam, Conn., as he waited in line to be one of the first to own the machine, the state police said. The robbers approached Mr. Penkala — along with 15 to 20 other shoppers — and demanded money. Mr. Penkala resisted, and one of the assailants unloaded a shotgun blast into his chest and shoulder, the authorities said
[snip]The robbers in Putnam were apparently taking advantage of a captive group likely to be carrying cash, as lines formed across Connecticut — and the country — outside stores in anticipation of the widely hyped release of the PlayStation. Sony, the market leader in video consoles, is selling the new model for $499 or $599, depending on the size of the hard drive.
The Associated Press reported several other robberies and attempted robberies around the country including in Sullivan, Ind., Allentown, Pa., and Englewood, Ohio.
In McLean, Va., the police fired pepper pellets 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, the authorities said.
Meanwhile, the Nintendo Wii launch has been a time of peace, love and understanding.
In sharp contrast to the PS3 launch yesterday, the Wii launch is going very smoothly so far. Lines started forming today all over the country and reports are coming in of 20-80 people deep. Everyone seems to be in good spirits and no one’s gotten mugged yet that I know of. The Wii seems to be pulling more people in a short amount of time as opposed to the PS3′s short lines and protracted camp outs. About 80-90% of the line waiters interviewed said they would be keeping their Wii’s or were buying them for presents rather than selling them on eBay for a profit.
So which strategy will win? The “Supplies are limited” scam, or the “actually in high demand” plan?