Some folks camped out for a chance to buy Sony’s PS3

Published 10:40 pm Saturday, November 18, 2006

Ah, camping. The crisp night air, the cool snap of the wind and of course concrete and lights.

This may not sound like a classic camping trip but these are the things about 20 people at the Picayune Wal-Mart dealt with as they camped out last night in front of the store for a chance to be the first to buy a Sony PlayStation 3. Some did so to bring the new machine home to play, but others had dollar signs in their eyes.

Adam Kinler of Slidell arrived in line yesterday afternoon ready for the long wait until 6 a.m. Friday when the units would go on sale in Picayune. Kinler said he called around Slidell to see if any of the high dollar machines would be available, but all were either pre-ordered or had people in lines at the Slidell Wal-Marts waiting with tents already set up.

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Picayune Wal-Mart General Manager Steve LeBlanc said his store received 22 of the machines, 14 of the $600 version with the 60 gigabyte hard drive and built in wireless capability and media card reader along with eight of the $500 version with only a 20 gigabyte hard drive and no built in wireless capability. LeBlanc said the Picayune Wal-Mart received more units than Wal-Marts in surrounding areas. Most other locations only received four to eight units but Picayune received 22 because of the high sales volume experienced at the location last year in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

“So we were pretty fortunate to get 22 of them,” LeBlanc said.

Of those 14 $600 versions of the machine at the Picayune location, Kinler hoped to get one but he was number 15 in line. With food and a jacket on the way from his brother and girlfriend, Kinler said he was waiting in line all night not to play the new game console, but to sell it on E-bay. While he may be paying $600 for the new machine, he said he expects to sell it on the popular Web site for about $3,000.

Kinler said he got the idea to sell it on E-bay from watching other under-produced items, such as the Tickle Me Elmo doll, sell the same way on E-bay years back.

“I figured I might was well try it,” Kinler said. “The weather could have been better though.”

Kinler was not the only one with the idea to make money of the scant numbers of the machine to grace the shores of the U.S. Picayune resident Bob Hall said he planned buy one for himself and had his daughter Crystal Roberts in line to buy one so that he can sell it on E-bay. Hall, first in line for the machine, arrived at the Picayune Wal-Mart at 7 a.m. Thursday morning. A self-proclaimed video game connoisseur, Hall said he already has a PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 2.

Some people were sitting in line to purchase the machine for someone else and getting paid $100 to do so. Melissa Richardson of Poplarville said her boss Elton Hubbert is paying her to sit in line all night to buy the new console for him.

“He’s a big ol’ kid,” Richardson said.

The line of people waiting for the game console were sitting in chairs and bundled up with blankets as they braved curious stares and questions from other Wal-Mart patrons.

“It better be worth it,” said Derek Magallanes of Picayune who was also waiting to get his hands on the latest in gaming technology.

LeBlanc said he does not know when his store will get another shipment of PS3s, but Sunday the Nintendo Wii goes on sale at 6 a.m. LeBlanc said he has about 20 units of the Wii in and expects a similar event to take place outside the store that did with the PS3.