The scene of the most disorganized launch in the city of Boston is currently at the Sony Style store at the downtown Copley Mall. This follows the cancellation of the midnight Best Buy event, due to the overwhelming crowds that developed by late morning. As the rain pours down in Boston, with thunder and lightning accompanying, a couple hundred people devoted to purchasing a PS3 are left standing outside the mall. Two factions have sprung up and the tension is building.
Alex Flores (pictured, with list) and his group have set up camp across the street after being kicked out of the mall, and then from the sidewalk outside the mall, earlier today. Flores says he arrived at 6AM and developed a list with people showing up later. By 10AM he delivered that list, with about 70 people on it, to the Sony Style manager and was told they wouldn't accept it. Flores and another PS3 owning hopeful, Ernesto Ramos, say the manager told them, "As long as we sell out, that's all we care about."
"They want chaos," says Flores. "We are trying to keep it organized."
Meanwhile, across the street from Flores, in front of the mall where his group was asked to leave earlier today, another mass of people have gathered. Fractured and verbally in-fighting already, there is no structure with this group. By just asking who was first in line, 15 hands went up and harsh words began to be exchanged. But, despite the tension, spirits were still high. Jessica Dunn says, "I did this last year for Xbox, I'm doing it this year for Playstation 3 -- in the rain."
The mall closes from 2 till 6AM. One security guard said there is a plan in place for the morning, another group of security guards say it's just going to be an "organized rush." The Sony Style store has taken a hands off approach to this and is letting whatever happens happen. None of the people outside were told what the actual number of available PS3 units is. They were told by the manager that Sony's policy is not to give any numbers. The rumor is 50 units are available.
People have also rented rooms in the Westin hotel adjoining the mall so they can get a jump on the people waiting outside in the morning.
Best Buy is quiet, so are all the GameStops and EB Games. The only place where there may be an incident is the Sony Style store at Copley Plaza. The so-sad-it's-funny coincidence of Sony bringing us this disastrous launch and then the Sony Style store being the sight of a disaster in 3 1/2 hours is not lost on us. If anybody out there has the power to organize mall security and bring structure considering Sony Style management could care less, now would be the time.
[Thanks to Ray A. Hernández]