Playstation 3 Launches in North America

Well the day has finally arrived for all the Sony fans and Playstation 3 hopefuls. The Playstation 3 has launched in North America. Of course the vast, vast majority of the units available worldwide are being made available in the United States since that is the biggest launch area for Sony at this point. But regardless, Sony pulled off some pretty nice events in several U.S. cities earlier today to coincide with the launch of the long awaited next-gen monster.

There was an interesting event in San Fransisco earlier today, where many Sony fans waited in long, long lines for a chance at a PS3 unit. At the PlayStation store there at the Metreon shopping complex, Sony probably caused a near riot, especially when fans found out what was really going on. Check this out. At about 8:15 PM Pacific time last night, a police car drove up to the large gathering of PS3 hopefuls, got out and told the DJ there to stop playing his really loud and annoying music (one can only assume it was a Kevin Federline track) and then the magic started. Two more police vehicles came roaring down the street there along with three black SUVs. Then a dozen or so security officers got out and created a "perimeter" around the  cars,  and then a large silver semi started to pull in. Out of the back of this semi came Sony Computer Entertainment America Executive Vice President Jack Tretton. He then lifted a couple of the amazing PS3 boxes into the air, the crowd went nuts and then workers quickly put the rest of the 700+ boxes onto carts to wheel into the store. The only problem? All the boxes were empty. The entire event - all these fevered fans, rabid, and camped out for 48+ hours or more, just witnessed a planned event for the press.

But it was all good, because shortly thereafter at midnight the Playstation 3 finally went on sale. Chris Toniblo has the honor of (probably) being the first person on the west coast to buy a Playstation 3 unit. Sony also held a pretty sweet event in New York City. As in San Fransisco, the NYC event had been going on for days already with many fans camped out at the SonyStyle store in Manhattan. Angel Paredes has the honor of being the first person on the east coast to get a Playstation 3, and indeed the first person in the U.S. to get one period. But he was given a free Playstation 3. That's right, Sony Computer Entertainment America President Kaz Hirai and CEO Howard Stringer were there to give Mr. Paredes a free Playstation 3, in fact the first 3 people in line got a free unit. One other person who found a "golden ticket" also got a free unit. Everyone else had to shell out the big bucks of course.

So here we are, it is now 1:30 PM Eastern time here in the U.S. and I'm sure that pretty much every Playstation 3 unit that was around, is probably now sold. Of course a large percentage of those units will be on Ebay tonight, but eh, whatever. About 12 hours or so after launch now, one can only wonder how the rest of the country is going, any other riots to hear about? Any other shootings?

Sony sure knows how to launch a console though.

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