Hey Don't Forget The Poor Souls Who Had To Wait Online For A Game Console Too

from the some-sympathy-please dept

For all of the stories about the insanity of people waiting for days in line to get one of the hot new video gaming consoles, the NY Times wants to make sure you don't forget the struggles of folks who waited online as well. You see, sites like Amazon didn't give a precise time when they were going to sell the Nintendo Wii, and it wasn't clear how many they had either. So, people were forced to sit at their computers (in one case moving a laptop from a desk to a couch to bed) and keep refreshing in hopes of catching the elusive Wii on sale. Then, once it actually did go on sale, it sold out in less than a minute, leaving plenty of people frustrated. Many then went on to express that frustration in the "review" section for the Wii, which made it just that much easier for Amazon to delete the comments pretty quickly. Of course, it seems like online retailers are getting a bit jealous of all the attention brick and mortar retailers have gotten from people lining up outside their doors, and are increasingly attempting Woot-style attractions. Amazon is kicking off their own Woot-like attempt at a limited sale this week when they put up 1,000 Xbox 360s for $100. So now, instead of figuring out how to camp out overnight waiting to get in the doors to get a gaming console, you can spend your time working on tricks to be able to browse faster so you can beat the thousands of others all trying to order the same device as well. While Amazon can often be considered the poster child for "the long tail" and an economy of abundance, it seems they still understand the value of scarcity as well.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Iain, Nov 21st, 2006 @ 3:05pm

    The NYTimes has nothing better to write about? What a worthless story.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Neal, Nov 21st, 2006 @ 3:09pm

    When I saw that Amazon was letting people vote on that promotion I just got annoyed. So many people are going to be so frustrated by that before its over that any positive effects are going to be cancelled by the negative ones. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for Amazon selling 1000 XBoxes for that price, I just think the way it will probably be done is wrong.

    First come first serve... frustrating and unfair to most. One thousand random buyers get it at that price... fairer but not perfect as some will add/drop from cart and recheckout until they get one. One thousand random buyers (evenly distributed through the day) ... even more fair but still not perfect. One thousand buyers get entered in a pool and one thousand of them are later refunded $200... most fair.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Jeanne, Nov 21st, 2006 @ 3:17pm

    Waa Waa Waa

    Are we really such a whiny demanding entitled society? Waa. Waa. Waa. Try living in the Congo without clean food or water. We have no real suffering in America, only perceived pain and suffering.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 21st, 2006 @ 3:28pm

    Oh, real suffering does exist in America. It's just that no one wants to hear about it, so they ignore it. That's why the whiners make the news!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Mr.Obvious, Nov 21st, 2006 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Anonymous Coward

    Agree with totally

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Mike, Nov 21st, 2006 @ 4:22pm

    If you choose...

    ..to wait in line (in the physical or virtual world) before a store opens for the launch of a game console, it seems to me you might have other problems as well. Don't get me wrong, I'm an avid gamer (I spend about the same amount of time playing WoW as I do working full time in a week), but I have never waited in line to buy any console or video game. I simply have not the desire to have the newest stuff immediately when it is released. What's the problem with waiting these days? Instant gratifiication is the norm, I suppose.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Peter, Nov 21st, 2006 @ 5:06pm

    Instant Gratification

    While I agree that if you were one who waited online because you couldnt wait to play a "Video Game" then you have a deep problem.
    I really think that a large portion of those waited on line to sell their new found prize on eBay for some insane price.
    I have a greater problem with thiese people. I'm all for capitalism but let's get real (and a life).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    doubledoh, Nov 21st, 2006 @ 7:18pm


    for the first time in my life, i waited in line...for the wii. I mostly did it because I just moved to a new town and thought it would be a good way to meet new people. Frankly, my plan worked. I met 3 new friends.

    Waiting in a long line outside a store all night long is just an excuse for desperately needed social interaction if you ask me.

    The wii? It's pretty cool. But nothing you couldn't wait a week or so for.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Jeez, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 8:47am

    Wow, all this hype over a toy. It's amazing how people react over this sort of thing. Although the media does hype things and create news. I have seen for myself how people go through such lengths to satify a need for something... What is the real need? What is it that we percieve as missing? Have we in society reached a level where all our needs are met and we need more excitement, more stimulation, more, more, more

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Blah, Nov 22nd, 2006 @ 9:18am


    Hello Mister "Only buys stuff when it's easy", Mister "I wouldn't own a DVD player if they were hard to get", Mister "Screw having a toster if it means I can't get one when I want it, I'll just put my toast in the oven"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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