“Just seven minutes left, who's excited?” the DJ asked, receiving a decidedly lackluster round of cheers from the crowd of around 100 people who had just been herded into a single file line outside of a GameStop in Tempe, AZ. Granted, we were a tough crowd, but we were excited despite our lack of enthusiasm. We were all about to walk away with a PlayStation 4 in hand. The new generation of games consoles was about to commence.
Consider this a brief introduction into all things PlayStation 4, a diary of my first night with the new console. While I have a hard time being goaded into fake over-enthusiasm by a DJ I've had to listen to make bad jokes for the past hour, I was absolutely ready to drive the 40 minutes home with my new shiny console in tow.
The only console launch day I've ever participated in was for the original Wii, simply because it was the only console cheap enough for me to get on day one throughout all my years of gaming. I didn't pre-order that tiny white box, though, which meant my experience involved (sort of) sleeping outside a Walmart wrapped in a SpongeBob blanket, followed by a full day of waiting in line.
With the PS4, I decided to pre-order nice and early and pay that bad boy off a little at a time. I had already picked up my copy of Killzone: Shadow Fall and the new PlayStation Camera a couple of weeks prior so, when I walked into my nearest GameStop at 6 p.m. Thursday afternoon, Nov. 14, I only needed to show them my ID and get my number for the official line. It was 16.
Thanks to the beauty of modern line technology, that meant I had hours to kill at the mall rather than sitting uncomfortably close to a bunch of strangers until midnight rolled around. We had dinner and saw Thor 2, giving me plenty of time to make it back to GameStop with an hour to spare.
I finally got home with my new console just shy of 1 a.m. and, honestly, I considered simply going to bed and getting started with the thing the following day. But that seemed like it would completely negate the purpose of my standing in line at midnight, so I decided to begin the unboxing.