Gamers brave the elements, and each other, for PS3 |

Gamers brave the elements, and each other, for PS3

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Raul Ramirez, from left, Frank Garcia, and Aaron Mercado wait in line for the new PlayStation 3 at Best Buy on Thursday. The trio began camping Wednesday to buy the gaming console, which goes on sale this morning.

Twenty-six campers who spent the night in front of Best Buy in north Douglas County, withstanding strong winds, cold temperatures and noisy skateboarding teens, went home this morning with the coveted $600 PlayStation 3.

Some, like Ashley Whaley, will sell it on eBay, and hope for a profit that will make two nights sleeping on a sidewalk worth it. The game consoles were selling for as high as $2,300 on eBay Thursday night.

“I’d be very happy if I get $2,000 for it,” Whaley said Thursday evening. She arrived at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday with a group of friends to stake two large tents by the door. They call this urban camping.

The end of the line wraps around the corner of the big-box store, where those in the front of the line do not venture because “the people at the end of the line, they would kill us,” said Shannon Duke, who faked an injury to get a day off work.

Others will bring their PS3 home and enjoy the gamer’s glory of high-definition Blu-Ray technology and a large memory needed for epic games. Mike Girouard, 22, will take his PS3 home and plug it into his 54-inch widescreen TV.

“I could wait in line for a couple days and save a couple thousand (from buying online), or I can wait in line and sell it for a couple thousand,” he said. Super high definition “Final Fantasy” won out.

Those in line also had to sign off on a set of 20 “Best Buy PS3 Line Rules.” Break one and you risk expulsion from the line. Store manager Marcello Rostagni said the rules make the whole process more organized in the wake of last year’s Xbox buzz. Nearly everyone in line agrees Sony’s PS3 is bigger and better than its Microsoft rival. Wrapped in sleeping bags and sipping beers, they discussed gaming and waved at passers-by who stopped to ask what was going on. At night they used barbecues to keep warm.

Bryan and Cherie Dickerson, of South Lake, are older than the typical gaming crowd, but they’re here for the Blu-Ray DVD technology, which would cost $1,000 by itself.

“It has five times the resolution of regular DVD movies,” said Cherie Dickerson, while playing Scrabble with her husband.

A Best Buy employee conducted an hourly roll call. A manager spent the night out with the line. Douglas County deputies cruised by. Those who want food need to have a courier. Those who didn’t bring proper camping gear regretted it. Brian and David Henry, brothers from South Lake, purchased a $45 tent from Wal-Mart at 5 a.m. Thursday.

Hollee Eckenrode, a cosmetologist from Minden, had No. 27, a precarious position.

“Hopefully somebody’s credit card will be declined, or somebody will get out of line,” she said. She’s made sure her credit card has room for the $600 purchase.

Best Buy opened at 8 a.m. for the PS3 release. Wal-Mart in Carson City sold 15 units to those waiting in line at midnight Thursday.

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.