Originally created 11/17/06

Gamers camp out, bond



Don't underestimate the resilience of a video gamer.

Michael Williamson, 22, proved that not even rain and biting winds will stop one from trying to get his hands on the latest hot-ticket system, the Playstation 3.

"I'm a true Sony fan," said Mr. Williamson, who arrived at Best Buy on Wednesday afternoon to get the first spot in line for today's U.S. release of Sony Corp.'s new video game system.

Dozens of anxious gamers camped out Thursday in Augusta shopping centers, queuing up in tents and lawn chairs for store openings as early as midnight.

Retailers were expecting the PS3 consoles to be on short supply, and although it was unclear exactly how many each store would have, it appeared that Augusta stores would be sold out moments after the doors opened this morning.

Ten people had already laid claim to the 10 60-gigabyte consoles that Circuit City said were available.

Meanwhile, Best Buy advertised that it would have at least 26 consoles. However, the line outside had already exceeded 30 people by midday Thursday.

Those who had set out early bonded with each other, partly to pass the time. But mainly they did it because a pack defends its turf better.

"We're all nice for now, until tomorrow when people start jumping into line," said Bronwyn Atzenhofer. "Then we get vicious."

As a defense tactic against cheaters, the first 30 people waiting in line at Best Buy had formed a coalition and were keeping a list.

Reach Justin Boron at (706) 823-3215 or justin.boron@augustachronicle.com.

THE BIG GAME


WHAT'S HAPPENING: Sony's PlayStation 3 goes on sale in the U.S. today, and enthusiasts have been lining up all week at retailers around the country.


WHAT IT COSTS: $599 for a high-end model with a 60-gigabyte hard drive and wireless Internet capability, or $499 for one with a 20-gigabyte drive and no wireless. Games for the PS3 cost about $60 each.


CAN YOU GET ONE? If you're already in line, you might. If not, check back later - Sony says it'll ship new units daily. But only a million will be available before the end of the year.


- Associated Press



COMING SUNDAY


Nintendo answers Sony's PS3 with the release of its Wii system this weekend. We'll take a look at both industry giants' contributions to the world of gaming.