Around Yonge-Dundas Square alone, four retailers were holding midnight launches Thursday for the Playstation 4. All but the EB Games inside the Eaton Centre had lines that stretched far onto the streets. Many of the fans had been waiting out in the cold for hours on end.
Eron Cardoso, 21, had been waiting in line for six hours and 30 minutes in line outside EB Games before the official release.
“I’ve been a fan of PlayStation since the PlayStation 2 and I bought the PlayStation 3 on [its] release date,” said Cardovo, “and I want to keep the heritage.”
The PlayStation 4 (PS4) is Sony Entertainment’s newest edition to their video game console lineup. After seven years of the PlayStation 3, Sony officially released the PS4 at midnight on Thursday.
The crowd wasn’t left with nothing to do. Best Buy and Sony lined the side of Dundas Street with tents where the PlayStation 4 was put on display for the public to try out. A DJ filled the air with pop hits and people known as cosplayers dressed up in costumes of popular video game characters.
Jose Rodriguez is from Michigan, but was in Toronto on business. He stopped by the line at Best Buy at 7:30 p.m., but returned at midnight to the end of the line. Rodriguez said he would not wait in line for more than an hour (though he was still there an hour and a half later).
“It’s not really my first priority to get the PlayStation today. So I went out for a beer, have dinner and then came back and see whether the long was too long or not. So it doesn’t look to bad,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said he was not surprised by the massive turnout at the launch event.
“I think there are people who really have the passion towards having the first … technology,” said Rodriguez. “You see the Apple store [with] people waiting there for days to get the new iPhone and new iPad. It’s just different personalities I guess.”
Not everyone was there because of their loyalty to the PlayStation brand, or even because they wanted the PlayStation 4 for themselves. Sameer Mahmood, 20, intended to sell his copy.
“I’ve actually gotten offers of $900. And it cost $450,” said Mahmood. ”Some people are that crazy. I would never pay $900 for this”
Mahmood is taking advantage of a trend that occurred with the releases of the Xbox 360 in 2005, and the PlayStation 3 in 2006.
“They’ll be sold out by tomorrow. They will be sold out by tomorrow. They don’t restock until after Christmas. January 1 [is when] the next shipment goes out,” said Mahmood.
It’s not surprising when you look at the numbers. Both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One (being released on November 22) broke records on Amazon. The video game industry has been steadily growing, with gaming becoming more and more of a socially acceptable activity.
It is yet to be seen if the Xbox One will sell more than the PlayStation 4, but it is clear that the games are what people wanted. Even some of the people in line who would not describe themselves as gamers, such as Chris Bentley, cited the games as the selling point behind the console
“This is actually the first time we’ve actually waited in line for any sort of game system,” said Bentley. “Obviously the game Call of Duty: Ghosts was a big factor to get [the] PS4. [I’m] looking forward to what their going to do for some of the sports games as well, and what innovations and gameplay and graphics and stuff that they can do for the PS4.”