|As you are by now no doubt aware, the stateside release
date for the PlayStation 2 has officially been announced as October 26, 2000 at an
unexpectedly low (although I did win a bet on this one against Rick) $299. As you are also
by now aware, Sony is not going to ship an unlimited number of these babies. While I
cant seem to find my notes as to exactly how many units it was, I do recall shifting
a bit uncomfortably in my chair and fighting off the urge to run to the nearest phone and
preorder. And why? Because every damn PSX owner in the country is going to get one of
these things (unless they are completely insane or financially strapped) as soon as they
hit the shelves. If you saw any footage of the Japanese release, perhaps it reminded you
of a business suit version of the Cabbage Patch riots of 84mobs of drooling
fanatics hopped up on barely concealed consumer rage and nearly bursting bladders,
refusing to leave their space in line for any but the most dire of emergencies.
Will that scene play itself out in America? Although the Dreamcast had an enormously successful launch, no one was injured, and the thing went down as a final note on network news magazines. I didnt even order a DC until the day before the ship date, and I was near the top of the list. The same stores PS2 list, on the other hand, is already several pages long, and the thing wont be out for nearly half a year. The day I got back into town from E3 it took me two hours to get through to any retail outlet. My usual supplier reported that after the date (and most importantly the price) had been announced, the preorder list had increased from ten devoted lunatics to over a hundred in the space of a few hours. If that doesnt sound all that impressive, remember that was only one small store in one small town in one backwater state. Although the furor will probably die down pretty soon, it wont entirely go away. And it will come back at an increasingly manic level as the glorious date actually comes within sight.
Do yourself a favor. Do it now. Dont be the victim of consumer frustration as you watch everyone cooler than you play Kessen because you were too lazy to walk your ass down the street to Toys R Us and put down ten bucks. Although it may rob you of an hour or so of couch time, it will eventually pay off. Trust me. Maybe Im just being paranoid, but maybe the dinosaurs started to get a little paranoid too when a big fat chunk of comet starting heading their direction. Sure there must have been those that ignored the whole thing and went back to doing whatever it is exactly the dinosaurs do, but most of them probably got the hint.
PARENTS: if you plan to buy your kid a PS2 for Christmas, give the thing to them in OCTOBER! I cant stress this enough. Your kids cant just wait around for Christ and the American Market Economy to sanction their entrance into paradise. Dont use a basically arbitrary date to determine how much your kids friends will like them. This is important; I mean it.
Oh yeah: preorder a GAME too, you ninny.