Playstation 3 Mania in San Francisco

I’m sitting on a sidewalk with the first 30 people who’ve been waiting in line since yesterday (PlayStation 3’s go on sale at midnight). There are about 700 people in line at San Francisco’s Metreon. The lines are longer than most of the Xbox events I remember. Supposedly they have 500 for sale, but no one is releasing the real number.

They are closing four streets for a concert in front of the Metreon at 6 p.m. tonight. They aren’t releasing the names of the bands, but it’s pretty clear this won’t be a high school band playing.

The Sony marketing machine is here in force. It’s all out mania.

If anyone tells me HDTV doesn’t have economic power all they have to do is come to the Metreon. $600 a piece. You are already too late to buy one.

I’m not in line. I’m going to interview Ross Mayfield, wiki pioneer.

Published by

Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1. Matthew: according to those waiting in line: no. They are hard core.

    Another stat? Mostly male. I’d guess that those waiting in line are mostly 18 to 25, and at least 80% male.

  2. Matthew: according to those waiting in line: no. They are hard core.

    Another stat? Mostly male. I’d guess that those waiting in line are mostly 18 to 25, and at least 80% male.

  3. hmmm how pitiful…but even when I was a 18 to 25 male I wasn’t caught up on the buying the latest fashion, gadget, whatever…so many cool things to do in life, read, explore nature, exercise, make love, smell the flowers, I could go on and on…it’s pathetic and it shows why America is in the pits

  4. hmmm how pitiful…but even when I was a 18 to 25 male I wasn’t caught up on the buying the latest fashion, gadget, whatever…so many cool things to do in life, read, explore nature, exercise, make love, smell the flowers, I could go on and on…it’s pathetic and it shows why America is in the pits

  5. I’m not sure if their model of scarcity works with the game machines. Sure at the release, it might get some demand ginned up. I am not a gaming person, but I got all geeked out by it when all of my friends were playing Halo (Think that is how you spell that game) against each other till the wee hours of the morning. I was never able get one. They were always sold out everywhere I went. Finally there were more, and I had stores calling me back – but by that time I had lost interest. To me that was a lost sale.

  6. I’m not sure if their model of scarcity works with the game machines. Sure at the release, it might get some demand ginned up. I am not a gaming person, but I got all geeked out by it when all of my friends were playing Halo (Think that is how you spell that game) against each other till the wee hours of the morning. I was never able get one. They were always sold out everywhere I went. Finally there were more, and I had stores calling me back – but by that time I had lost interest. To me that was a lost sale.

  7. Says it all really. um. go to a concert with real people and experience real emotions, or circle-jerk about wikis. get a life…

  8. Says it all really. um. go to a concert with real people and experience real emotions, or circle-jerk about wikis. get a life…

  9. Same here in the Rockies. There are people in Denver stores camping since last night, but they openly admitted they were going to sell it on eBay. Many people want to make a quick buck on eBay. As far as the mania goes, I am a VFM guy, I won’t buy anything unless I think the price is right. Plus it gives them to iron out all the problems with their hardware/software by the time I buy it. I remember the problems of the early iPods.

  10. Same here in the Rockies. There are people in Denver stores camping since last night, but they openly admitted they were going to sell it on eBay. Many people want to make a quick buck on eBay. As far as the mania goes, I am a VFM guy, I won’t buy anything unless I think the price is right. Plus it gives them to iron out all the problems with their hardware/software by the time I buy it. I remember the problems of the early iPods.

  11. Dazla,

    Real people? Real emotions? Oh, please!

    It’s cold. And there are only 23-year-old guys there.

    I’ll watch it on TV instead, thank you very much!

    When talking with Ross I learned a lot. Certainly more than you’ll learn in your average MBA course in an hour.

  12. Dazla,

    Real people? Real emotions? Oh, please!

    It’s cold. And there are only 23-year-old guys there.

    I’ll watch it on TV instead, thank you very much!

    When talking with Ross I learned a lot. Certainly more than you’ll learn in your average MBA course in an hour.

  13. LayZ: >>uh…are you suggesting these dweebs are wanting to buy at PS3 simply because it has BluRay?

    That’s one good reason. But also it displays 1080p resolution. If you’ve ever played a game on HDTV, it blows away playing one on standard definition TV.

  14. LayZ: >>uh…are you suggesting these dweebs are wanting to buy at PS3 simply because it has BluRay?

    That’s one good reason. But also it displays 1080p resolution. If you’ve ever played a game on HDTV, it blows away playing one on standard definition TV.

  15. 11. Yes, I have done that. Thanks. But Bill gets to the crux of my question. What was the point of the HDTV comment? Again, are you suggesting the mania is due to the Blu-Ray support? I guess I’m not understanding the point of your random HDTV comment. I’m pretty certain these dweebs would be waiting breathlessly for the PS3, with or without Blu-Ray support. Don’t you agree? Blu-Ray has very little to do with the demand. I gotta believe few of those fanboys have a monitor that supports 1080p.

  16. 11. Yes, I have done that. Thanks. But Bill gets to the crux of my question. What was the point of the HDTV comment? Again, are you suggesting the mania is due to the Blu-Ray support? I guess I’m not understanding the point of your random HDTV comment. I’m pretty certain these dweebs would be waiting breathlessly for the PS3, with or without Blu-Ray support. Don’t you agree? Blu-Ray has very little to do with the demand. I gotta believe few of those fanboys have a monitor that supports 1080p.

  17. @10. Scoble, where exactly did you get your MBA? I thought you didn’t even finish SJSU. In which case, how would you know what you could learn in an average MBA course?, given you’ve never taken one.

  18. @10. Scoble, where exactly did you get your MBA? I thought you didn’t even finish SJSU. In which case, how would you know what you could learn in an average MBA course?, given you’ve never taken one.

  19. I’m not sure I would say that 700 people in a city the size of San Fran hanging around trying to buy something would make it seem like some kind of revolution. Doesn’t almost every launch of almost everything with any amount of prepress get some knuckleheads camping out overnight to be the first in line? Especially if there’s going to be a concert and a chance to make about $1500 on eBay if you are lucky enough to buy one of the PS3s.

  20. I’m not sure I would say that 700 people in a city the size of San Fran hanging around trying to buy something would make it seem like some kind of revolution. Doesn’t almost every launch of almost everything with any amount of prepress get some knuckleheads camping out overnight to be the first in line? Especially if there’s going to be a concert and a chance to make about $1500 on eBay if you are lucky enough to buy one of the PS3s.

  21. Um…it’s not HDTV that people are losing their mind…wait, never mind, HDTV is the new black according to Robert these days.

    Layz, don’t bother to argue about this with him, HD is his new religion, and you know religious people and listening are oxymorons.

  22. Um…it’s not HDTV that people are losing their mind…wait, never mind, HDTV is the new black according to Robert these days.

    Layz, don’t bother to argue about this with him, HD is his new religion, and you know religious people and listening are oxymorons.

  23. LayZ’s right. It’s got nothing to do with HDTV. The PlayStation 3 could output in dog poo and the Sony faithful would still come out in droves.

    Matthew is also right. This is not just the “hardcore.” There are a huge number of eBayers getting PS3s. There will be tens of thousands of eBay auctions this week. Maybe more.

  24. LayZ’s right. It’s got nothing to do with HDTV. The PlayStation 3 could output in dog poo and the Sony faithful would still come out in droves.

    Matthew is also right. This is not just the “hardcore.” There are a huge number of eBayers getting PS3s. There will be tens of thousands of eBay auctions this week. Maybe more.

  25. Bill>>Are you suggesting that this mania wouldn’t be happening if it were not for HDTV?

    Yes, that’s exactly what I’m suggesting. The Wii is a much better deal if you don’t care about HDTV. It’s half the price and the controller (and games) are better.

    But, if you just bought a $4,000 screen this and the Xbox are the only games in town.

    Richard: I’m not so cynical.

    LayZ: I have taken some business courses, but I’ve interviewed tons of people with MBAs and they tell me the kinds of things they learned while getting those. Also, many people who have MBAs, even from famous schools like Stanford, say that my interviews are just like what they learned, although more street relevant cause it’s current-day CEOs that are doing the teaching.

  26. Bill>>Are you suggesting that this mania wouldn’t be happening if it were not for HDTV?

    Yes, that’s exactly what I’m suggesting. The Wii is a much better deal if you don’t care about HDTV. It’s half the price and the controller (and games) are better.

    But, if you just bought a $4,000 screen this and the Xbox are the only games in town.

    Richard: I’m not so cynical.

    LayZ: I have taken some business courses, but I’ve interviewed tons of people with MBAs and they tell me the kinds of things they learned while getting those. Also, many people who have MBAs, even from famous schools like Stanford, say that my interviews are just like what they learned, although more street relevant cause it’s current-day CEOs that are doing the teaching.

  27. Also, to say I didn’t finish at SJSU is factually true, but stretches the real situation.

    I am three units away from graduating (one class). I just didn’t see the need to get a piece of paper seeing that I had already done 99.99% of the work and gotten as much value out of the process as I was going to get.

    But, glad you see some value in getting a sheet of paper that said I finished. I’d rather get another video done, thank you very much.

  28. Also, to say I didn’t finish at SJSU is factually true, but stretches the real situation.

    I am three units away from graduating (one class). I just didn’t see the need to get a piece of paper seeing that I had already done 99.99% of the work and gotten as much value out of the process as I was going to get.

    But, glad you see some value in getting a sheet of paper that said I finished. I’d rather get another video done, thank you very much.

  29. @18. So you don’t know yourself what’s taught in MBA courses. You’re simply going on pass on information. What do lawyer’s call this? nevermind.

    God god, one could build a Scoble drinking game around your responses. One drink every time Scoble beats his chest and talks about how good he is. Two drinks every time me mentions he “talked with a CEO…” Three drinks every time he drops a name. Full chug every time he mention his love for Dave Winer.

  30. @18. So you don’t know yourself what’s taught in MBA courses. You’re simply going on pass on information. What do lawyer’s call this? nevermind.

    God god, one could build a Scoble drinking game around your responses. One drink every time Scoble beats his chest and talks about how good he is. Two drinks every time me mentions he “talked with a CEO…” Three drinks every time he drops a name. Full chug every time he mention his love for Dave Winer.

  31. Oh, and actually I was even further along than just one class away. The class was a Shakespeare class and I was one final away from completing it. I got a job at Fawcette Technical Publications and I never went back.

    The fact I didn’t finish that one paper bugged my mom, but it never has come up career wise and I can do “to be or not to be” with the best of them.

  32. Oh, and actually I was even further along than just one class away. The class was a Shakespeare class and I was one final away from completing it. I got a job at Fawcette Technical Publications and I never went back.

    The fact I didn’t finish that one paper bugged my mom, but it never has come up career wise and I can do “to be or not to be” with the best of them.

  33. LayZ: the story made it clear that it wasn’t him that called, but an overeager staff member.

    Dude, if you are drinking everytime I give a lame response then you must be alcoholic. I can recommend an AA meeting for you, if you need an intervention.

  34. LayZ: the story made it clear that it wasn’t him that called, but an overeager staff member.

    Dude, if you are drinking everytime I give a lame response then you must be alcoholic. I can recommend an AA meeting for you, if you need an intervention.

  35. “HDTV has economic power…”

    So you are suggesting that these people are buying Playstation 3’s because they have HDTV?

    I rather think you have cause and effect mixed up there. Just wait till the Wii stomps all over the PS3 in sales and people realise they don’t need a HDTV.

    And we know you’re just a university drop-out cos all the cool rich kids are too :)

  36. “HDTV has economic power…”

    So you are suggesting that these people are buying Playstation 3’s because they have HDTV?

    I rather think you have cause and effect mixed up there. Just wait till the Wii stomps all over the PS3 in sales and people realise they don’t need a HDTV.

    And we know you’re just a university drop-out cos all the cool rich kids are too :)

  37. Yes Robert HD TV is TEH SAVYOOR. All hail HDTV and $4K televisions.

    It really is a good thing there are a lot of people like you in the world, i.e. more money than sense. Because otherwise, the gales of laughter that greet the idea of spending $4K or more on a TELEVISION would probably kill the self – esteem of the prats pushing this like it’s right up there with food and shelter on Maslow’s hierarchy.

    le sigh.

    You really need to de tech for a couple weeks man, you’re like a heroin addict with a more socially acceptable habit.

  38. Yes Robert HD TV is TEH SAVYOOR. All hail HDTV and $4K televisions.

    It really is a good thing there are a lot of people like you in the world, i.e. more money than sense. Because otherwise, the gales of laughter that greet the idea of spending $4K or more on a TELEVISION would probably kill the self – esteem of the prats pushing this like it’s right up there with food and shelter on Maslow’s hierarchy.

    le sigh.

    You really need to de tech for a couple weeks man, you’re like a heroin addict with a more socially acceptable habit.

  39. I think you’re mistaking hardcore gamers for the masses. I think its just the opposite of what you’ve suggested – HD quality is not yet a priority for most people. Take the XBOX 360, the only next-gen system on the market before today. There was a lot of frenzy in the beginning, but sales since then have been pretty mediocre. After getting the early adopters, they seem to have struggled with attracting the average consumer.

    I am one of those sought after 18-25 year old males and a lot of my friends play video games. I don’t know of anyone who owns an XBOX 360 or is standing in line to get a PS3. Too expensive. On the other hand, I know of at least 3 people who are planning on buying a Wii and I am starting to think about it as well. So if anyone deserves marketing credit (or just overall design and strategy), give it to Nintendo.

  40. I think you’re mistaking hardcore gamers for the masses. I think its just the opposite of what you’ve suggested – HD quality is not yet a priority for most people. Take the XBOX 360, the only next-gen system on the market before today. There was a lot of frenzy in the beginning, but sales since then have been pretty mediocre. After getting the early adopters, they seem to have struggled with attracting the average consumer.

    I am one of those sought after 18-25 year old males and a lot of my friends play video games. I don’t know of anyone who owns an XBOX 360 or is standing in line to get a PS3. Too expensive. On the other hand, I know of at least 3 people who are planning on buying a Wii and I am starting to think about it as well. So if anyone deserves marketing credit (or just overall design and strategy), give it to Nintendo.

  41. @24. As always, you miss the point. I don’t drink, but thanks for the concern.

    The point was Edwards is a boob by association. You’d think his staff members would be clued in. The question on might ask is: If Edwards was successful in using his position to obtain a PS3 from WalMart (that fact that the staff member did it on his behalf is irrelevant)would he have kept it?

  42. @24. As always, you miss the point. I don’t drink, but thanks for the concern.

    The point was Edwards is a boob by association. You’d think his staff members would be clued in. The question on might ask is: If Edwards was successful in using his position to obtain a PS3 from WalMart (that fact that the staff member did it on his behalf is irrelevant)would he have kept it?

  43. […] Robert Scoble observes: I’m sitting on a sidewalk with the first 30 people who’ve been waiting in line since yesterday (PlayStation 3’s go on sale at midnight). There are about 700 people in line at San Francisco’s Metreon. … They are closing four streets for a concert in front of the Metreon at 6 p.m. tonight. They aren’t releasing the names of the bands, but it’s pretty clear this won’t be a high school band playing. […]

  44. If 1 class you did not complete was at most 0.015 % (100 – 99.99 with best possible for you rounding rules) – then you claim you have finished at least 6666 others classes during your study ?

    Either this – or 99.99% is not correct number.

  45. If 1 class you did not complete was at most 0.015 % (100 – 99.99 with best possible for you rounding rules) – then you claim you have finished at least 6666 others classes during your study ?

    Either this – or 99.99% is not correct number.