Twas the night before the PlayStation 4 Launch and everyone was stirring, even the recluse upstairs who only ever comes outside to expose his nut sack hair. There was even an Xbox fan who came trolling down, just to bitch and groan that their system was “m0r3 133t”. And so on this Thursday of November 2013, all of us gathered around our favorite video game stores and sang carols of how cool it was to be buying a PlayStation 4 (except me, I was just a poser with a camera trying to leech some blog exposure for free).
I had left my apartment to walk the short distance from my dwelling to the plaza across the street which contained Radioshacks, GameStops, Best Buy’s, Five Below, rogue grocery carts and everything else a nerdy, girlfriend-less gamer would want. It was a chilly November night, with lines of camped out, eager gamers in front of the electronic gaming stores and if you looked close enough between all the fat belly’s and greasy-faced dorks you may have even spotted a female or two trying to act somewhat feminine amongst the gamer nerds chortling over bad Jar Jar Binks jokes and terrible Final Fantasy references stuffed into the masses of densely packed fat man asses.
The herd of the diehard gamers awaiting the chance to placate their gaming hunger was also populated by dangerous muggers biding their time to rob the poor bastard’s ahead of them in line. Because those guys were smart enough to methodically prepare themselves for next-gen and pre-order all their new gaming gear the thieves were jealous and liked to impose fear…. they can’t be bothered with pre orders and cataloging receipts, most of them were too busy smoking PCP and going batshit crazy thinking they were Santa and poopin’ in people’s chimneys.
And well, as I walk by these crowds of dorks, dorkettes and crackheads I remind myself that I’m just another overweight gamer trying to write a story for my anonymous blogging friends.
ACT I: ANTICIPATION
As I approached my local GameStop I saw a line of early adopters and die-hard gamers camped outside of Best Buy, anxiously awaiting there turn to claim their pre-orders. Lucky for them, a Best Buy employee came out around 8:30-ish to let the masses know they could proceed into the store and pick up their units for those who had already pre-ordered months a go. The rest were left to fend for themselves but at least Best Buy confessed they had a few extra units on standby after all the reserved one’s were claimed. Walking past all the lucky bastards who had lined up early enough to claim a unit that wasn’t reserved they all began dashing into the store, shoving each other aside to try and purchase those last few precious PS4’s. I can safely say that I was glad I wasn’t amongst those 30-40 assholes who would’ve carelessly threw my crippled fat ass to the pavement and probably stampede me to death, with only a select few dropping crumbs of Cheetos for me to try and raise my own health bar and stave off death.
Onward I trekked to GameStop, where the crowds had yet to amass. The select few patrons who were in the store made it clear to me that they were only there to ensure early access to their unit so they wouldn’t have to wait in a line. I started to converse with a few of my friends who worked at this GameStop location and was berated for not pre-ordering a PS4. I told them that being gainfully unemployed and living off the government dime leaves little free spending money and the free income I have on a month to month basis I typically use to purchase a used PS3 or PSP game that I want, or sometimes pre-order a special title I’ve been waiting for. The manager at GameStop, another friend of mine asked why I had not reserved a unit and simply told them I just had not seen any games that made me want to upgrade yet. His response was like a broken record:
“Knack! Knack! Knack! Knack!…..” as he innocently glared at me while repeating himself over and over and over again. I told him don’t you use the innocent look on me to justify a $400+ purchase to me! While I replied with enthusiasm that Knack and Killzone: Shadow Fall both looked fun and enticing, I wasn’t convinced they were “killer apps” that were must-haves. In fact, the only game(s) to which I am transfixed on for next-gen consoles is Ubisoft’s “Watch Dogs” which unfortunately has been delayed until Spring 2014 (coming out for every conceivable gaming platform anyway but will be a definitive experience on the PS4), along with another launch title from Sony’s first party studio Evolution, “Driveclub”.
I started to discuss with other gamers why they had ditched their PS3’s or XBOX 360’s in favor of a new, unproven platform that will take time to really develop into a gaming powerhouse. For some attending the GameStop launch, it was their first console launch. Others, like me, have been gaming since the days of the original NES and have been to several console launches. Most gamers replied that they were convinced by all the hype and just wanted the latest and greatest, even if it meant sacrificing their prior console iterations library of games. For some that was OK, for others who liked the experience of physically collecting Special or Limited Editions of games, trading in all their games and aftermarket goodies never entered their mind. These gamers have owned and some still do own most previous console systems from the past several generations from all major manufacturers. These gamers are true diehard collectors, that enjoy having an extensive library from all varieties of systems and had been saving their sheckles to purchase a PS4 to add to their collection. Speaking personally for myself, I would never trade in my PS3 and my collection of games for a new PS4 that so far only has 20+ games, most multi-platform and available for the previous generation, competing Xbox ONE and the PC.
ACT II: THE GAMES
I talked with some gamers about why they had chosen the PlayStation 4 over the yet-to-be released XBox One. The answer was resoundingly unanimous: this group of early adopters wanted a game console, no more, no less. Also, the price helped shape their decision. And while some were sure to buy both consoles, most Sony customers liked the overall decisions made by Sony to put gaming first and know that Sony still has many first-party studios that have yet to release any details about upcoming exclusives. Yes, Killzone: Shadow Fall and Knack are nice additions to the Sony bandwagon of exclusives but are not different, innovative or groundbreaking enough in anyway except for maybe the graphics. Killzone appears to be Sony’s marquee “technical showcase” title that demonstrates the PS4’s prowess. I myself am a fan of the KZ franchise and have enjoyed both previous entries for the PS3 and the PSP version, so when I get a PS4 KZ:SF will most certainly be on my “must-buy” list.
I asked my fellow gamers what software purchases they planned to make. Most said that Killzone: Shadow Fall, Battlefield 4 and Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag were all must-haves. Others contended that Knack and COD: Ghosts or KZ: SF would be their main purchases. Whatever title they were determined to buy, they already seemed exceedingly content with their purchasing decisions regardless that these games were for a new platform and the 1st cycle of titles to arrive. I also asked a group of gamers what their favorite game of previous gen was. Some answered Skyrim, others said that the Fallout franchise was their fave. Irregardless, we were all gamers brought together over are love of gaming and to celebrate the long overdue release of Sony’s newest platform.
ACT III: Midnight
As Midnight inched closer, the manager and employees of GameStop escorted us all outside the store and instructed us to stand in a single-file line, with no cutsies. I approached my friend who worked at GameStop and asked him even if I had the dough for a PS4 what my chances of acquiring a launch day unit were. His answer: Zero to None.
Zero to none, zero to none, ZERO TO FRACKING NONE I repeated to myself. I screamed in agony and then wet myself out of anguish and because I had been taking a lot of diuretics. Sucks to be an ambivalent man child with bed wetting problems and night time emissions from sex dreams containing an unshaven Sarah Silverman riding a killer whale. Stupid pee pills. Stupid sexy hairy Sarah Silverman. One of my other GameStop employee friends who was off duty asked me what was wrong, and then smelled the brisk aroma of fresh urine stemming from my duds. I began crying like a little girl and there as I was collapsed outside the front of the store my GameStop buddy knew what my problem was: there was no way in hell I’d be leaving with a PS4 tonight. He proposed an apt, cunning strategy for me to obtain a PS4 free of charge. It involved espionage and treachery of the most desperate kind…. Just kidding, none of the last paragraph actually occurred. Just trying to break up the monotony of the rest of the launch story. But for your entertainment pleasure (really, mostly just for MY entertainment pleasure) here’s some sexy pictures of Sarah Silverman:
In truth, I stood by and handed out chocolate candy to my fellow gamers and GameStop friends as they waited in line with their numbered receipts. There was no pushing, no shoving, no stabbings and no stampedes. Everything went very orderly and everyone was very civil. There were about 60 something people in line and I walked further back into the parking lot before departing to take pictures of this momentous occasion (which can be seen above on my satirical Christmas-themed poem at the beginning of this article). I tried to get a few people to agree to have their pictures taken with their newly acquired PlayStation H/W but I couldn’t get anyone to stick around long enough to show off the goods. So here’s the next best thing!…. generic unboxing pics ripped off from all unknown corners of the intraweb:
Since I don’t have enough money to buy a PS4 and I didn’t reserve one months and months a go when Day One Launch units were made available for pre-order, the chances of me performing my own unboxing video or play-through videos for any of the consoles launch software or to demonstrate the new socially connected UI is ZERO TO NONE. So here’s the next best thing, followed by the next best thing after that (my associates and I ravaging the nearest Best Buy’s demo unit to get hands-on with the PlayStation 4):
The Official Sony Unboxing Video featuring the man himself Shuhei Yoshida
Clearly a parody from one of Daft Punk’s newer videos, but it was nice to see Yoshida-san making an appearance on behalf of his companies own creation. For those who didn’t get it, it’s OK. Take a pill, chill out and relax. It’s not the end of the world. The video was meant to be over-the-top and hyper-futuristic. Because it’s ya know, A PARODY.
The next video is of myself and two friends, my camera friend Mike and my friend Brett that drove me to the location where the PS4 kiosk was being locked away by Best Buy minions. Unfortunately, they didn’t have Killzone Shadow Fall in the demo reel of games to play because of its MA rating so I got some intimate time with Mark Cerny’s brainchild launch title “Knack“. I briefly show off the new Dual Shock 4 Controller before jumping into the game, where I played relentlessly for about 10 minutes before the Best Buy Dragon Queen of Public Relations came and shut us down. Even though she was “has her own blog” it apparently wasn’t enough to save us from her fiery and unduly ejection. Ironically, another BB employee had stood by me and my friends while playing through the demo and even offered friendly tips, which can be overheard in the video below. A small win for poor ass gamers trying to record videos of cool stuff we don’t own, and a huge victory at giving Best Buy free promotion (D’OH):