Launch Day

Having observed three or four launch days in my short time dabbling with computer games, I will never quite understand the psychology of it. It seems like gamers have a sort of bi-polar passive agressive OCD when it comes to product launches. On the one hand, in the lead up to the big day you have article after article about how supply is bad, the launch titles are bad, the hardware is overpriced, the bundles are stupidly expensive, the accessories are lame, and the pack-in extras nearly worthless. None of this is surprising, because it’s all true. Launch titles are notoriously bad. For some reason, the hardware manufacturers think it’s a great idea to launch even though they don’t have enough to sell and, you know, make a profit. Retailers have a captive audience to which they can attach arbitrary numbers of useless items while filling their coffers with the extra margins.

The thing is, everyone knows this. We all know it’s a scam. We all know it will be months or years before the hardware is really worth buying. So here is my question: given this, and given that the weeks before the launch are spent whining about exactly these problems, why is it that on the day itself, you find people waiting in line in the snow, in the rain, in the cold, in the mud, 9 months pregnant, and then getting shot just to get this piece of hardware that apparently no rational being on the face of the earth should have any interest in actually purchasing?

Why then can you flip a new PS3 on Ebay for $2500?

Why all the collective suffering over something that according to the news reports two weeks ago, nobody wants?

Can anyone answer this question for me?

Anyway, good luck on Sunday with the Wii.