Die-hard gamers and entrepreneurs shelled out $500 (Ђ390) or more for Sony's new PlayStation 3 as the console made its U.S. debut early Friday. Many had camped out for days without knowing if they'd be going home empty-handed.
At a midnight launch event at a Circuit City store in New York, Sergio Rodriguez was the first to walk away with a new console as people still standing in line outside the store cheered. He had been camped outside the store since Sunday.
"This is the best game ever. It's so worth the wait," the 25-year-old graphics designer said. "Some people may call me crazy, but I really love to play."
With Sony promising only 400,000 systems for the nationwide launch, the chance of disappointment was high. While retailers tried to keep expectations low, lines snaked around the block at many stores even those that weren't going to begin sales until later Friday.
Saby Madrigal, an 18-year-old college student who worked for a month at a liquor store to save up for a PS3, stood in line outside the Circuit City for 24 hours to no avail. Still, she vowed to keep looking, reports AP.
"For the work we had to do to get all the money to get the stupid system, I'm going to search every single store in town," she said. "I don't care, I'm going to get it."
Sony, which has contended with laptop battery recalls and trails rivals in key products such as music players and liquid crystal displays, is counting on the PS3 to maintain and build its market lead in video game consoles.