PlayStation 4 launches in Ames

Levi Castle

As one generation dwindles on the edge of its legacy, a new one is introduced. On Thursday night, Ames joined the rest of the United States in welcoming the midnight launch of Sony’s new PlayStation 4 gaming console.

All major electronics retailers in Ames (two Walmarts, Best Buy, Target and GameStop) sold the new system on launch day. All of these stores held midnight launch events which featured busy lines, pre-orders and sometimes hours of tedious waiting.

While the Walmart on Duff Avenue had people gathering as early as 4 p.m., other stores did not see as much activity; at least not right away. For instance, the Walmart on Grand Avenue had only four PS4 systems in stock. An employee stated that while the store will allow lines to form for the systems, once the four consoles are sold, the rest of the customers are out of luck for the evening.

Best Buy’s doors opened at 12:01 a.m. with the usual line formations that will soon be seen everywhere on Black Friday. Similarly, GameStop saw large crowds convene late into the evening. As is tradition with the gaming store, GameStop allowed pre-order customers to begin getting their numbered tickets at 6 p.m. These tickets act as an ordering system for who gets to receive their consoles first; a real-life example of “early bird gets the worm.”

Smaller stores around Ames, on the other hand, could not host their own midnight launch events. Pixels, located in Campustown, will not be carrying the PS4 or the Xbox One until 2014.

Damon Viner, employee at Pixels, said that any small retailers like Pixels are not allowed to carry the new consoles until next year.

“If gamers wanted to sell us their next-gen consoles, they could,” Viner said. “But we can’t carry them new from the manufacturer until next year; we had the same thing happen with the Wii U.”

At GameStop, crowds were steadily growing leading up to the launch. Some people waited inside; some preferred to stay out. Not until 11:30 p.m. were people filed into GameStop’s queue lines, curving around the entire store to accommodate everyone.

Justin Tomlinson of Boone, Iowa, was at GameStop’s launch, ready to get his PlayStation4. Having always been a PlayStation fan, Tomlinson pre-ordered the new console as soon as it was announced.

“I remember all the way back to the first PlayStation. This is probably my second console launch,” Tomlinson said.

Tomlinson bought “Call of Duty: Ghosts” on the night of the PS4 launch and plans to get “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag” and “Madden 25” soon.

“The fact that the graphics got better and the games got bigger; I love it when technology advances,” Tomlinson said. “Even though I have to work [Friday], I’ll probably be playing until about four or five in the morning.”

Another gamer, Justin Zimmerman, was the very first person to receive a PlayStation4 at GameStop early Friday morning. Zimmerman walked out of the store cheering and beaming with his big blue box.

Zimmerman pre-ordered the PS4 after he found out more about it at E3 2013, saying that he wanted to know a little bit more about the system.

“I already picked up ‘Battlefield 4,’ and that’ll probably be my main game for a while,” Zimmerman said. “I’m planning on getting absolutely no sleep tonight and still showing up to work tomorrow.

“I can’t really nail it down to one feature; I guess it’s the sum of all of its parts that I love about the PS4.”

With a store full of anxious customers, it took around an hour for GameStop to hand out all of its pre-ordered consoles. Much like other midnight launches, the night was concluded by screeching tires and yelling, sprinting gamers who were the first to get their hands on the next generation of gaming.