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Monday, November 20, 2006

How Stupid

Does this get?

At a Wal-mart store in West Bend, Wis., a teenager injured himself when he slammed into a pole while racing for an opportunity to buy a PS3. Evidently the store only had ten PS3s, but 50 customers, so the assistant manager set 10 chairs in front of the store. On his signal the 50 potential customers raced for a seat and the opportunity to buy one of the coveted game systems. The 19-year-old male received nothing but a trip to the hospital for head injuries and an interview by a television crew.
-- PlayStation 3 Debuts on the Dark Side [OhMyNews]

Let's count the ways:

1. Sony knows that the PlayStation 3 and everything about it is currently undersupplied. Their network isn't complete. The launch library has a couple bright spots but is really pretty meager. There's only a handful of Blu-Ray discs to be played.

Now, I'm not of the conspiracy theory that Sony intentionally held back design in the hopes that some kid would bash his head on the nine o' clock news getting one or that some other jackass would decide to spend $15,000 on eBay for one. For one thing, I'm not willing to attribute that much intelligence to this launch. It's the same philosophy as the PSP and 360 launch - just get it when you can and when you might get the best PR for your buck.

Check your calendar. This wasn't a product launch, it was a media event. No, I don't think they intentionally withheld units. That doesn't, however, suddenly make it smart.

I gotta say - as someone has worked on e-commerce since before they called it that, I wish someone would just wise up and only do online orders for when the supply and demand is this out of whack. Guess how many poles the Internet has? None.

2. Store managers. Gotta love them. And I used to think that bullfighting or boxing was the last remnant of old school bear baiting. Good ole unadulterated violence. But no - any jackass who thought that making people race for lawn chairs in the hopes of beating out forty-nine of the people next to them clearly sees that if you think hard enough, you can bring the wonder of idiotic violence into the modern day.

If this jackass wasn't sued - they should surely be fired. And everytime they utter "well, I thought it was a good idea" - slapped. With a fire hose.

3. Our brilliant youth. Dear god kid - it was a pole. I mean - damn. That's pretty dumb. Eyes on the prize, kid - especially when you're running at full tilt.

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