By Mickey Winfield: PNT Staff Writer
The next generation in video gaming has hit Portales.
At 12:01 this morning, video game console, PlayStation 3 hit shelves in time for the holiday season, and soon after, they quickly disappeared.
Following the same pattern set out by Microsoft’s release of the X-Box 360 last year, the demand for the new system far outweighs the supply.
The new PlayStation, which retails for approximately $600, is compatible with most older PlayStation games, supports Hi-Def gaming, and features the new Blue-Ray DVD technology, a high- definition video format.
“We were told that we were going to have 12 (consoles), the ad ran for 10, four are actually in the store,” Wal-Mart manager Brad Powell said.
“We’re giving eight rain checks to the other different people, and as soon as those come in the door, we’ll be contacting them to come on down and get it.”
One of the four guaranteed to get a unit was 17-year-old Joseph Gallegos. Armed with a portable chair and some magazines, Gallegos secured his spot at the front of the line at 8 p.m.Tuesday. Gallegos was hoping to leave 52 hours later, clutching his hard earned PlayStation 3.
But Gallegos isn’t purchasing his machine to play it, instead, he plans on auctioning it off on e-Bay.
“Right now it’s going for about $5,000 on E-bay,” Gallegos said. “I made sure as soon as I heard that they were just going to get four (consoles) to get down here immediately.”
Joseph’s mom, who was waiting in line right next to her son, spent the night at Wal-Mart and said her son actually makes a lot of money selling items on the online auction site.
“He’s the smartest in our family,” Rosella Gallegos said. “He’s the one that told my son about it, and told my daughter. It was all his idea.”
Che Chavez was fifth in line, arriving at 4:30 a.m. Thursday, and the first to walk away with only a rain check in his hand.
“I really don’t care,” Chavez said. “Somebody has to leave before then, so I have a chance.”
And if he didn’t get one?
“(I’ll get one) sometime before Christmas, but I’m feeling pretty lucky tonight.”
Having been present at several high-demand launches at Wal-Mart, Powell understands the interest heading into the holiday season.
“I’d like to put one in the hands of everybody that wants one prior to Christmas,” Powell said. “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do that, but I’d sure love to.”
Wal-Mart will also be hosting the launch of the new Nintendo Wii video game system set to launch Sunday at 12:01 a.m.