Saturday, December 02, 2006

Study Abroad Japan: Playstation 3 launch - Tokyo

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Japanese Customers line up in Akihabara, the home of otaku (geeks) and maid cafe's to get their hands on one of the most sought after new technologies available, Playstation 3. From 3pm today at all of the three main entrances to Yodobashi Camera, Akihabara store, Tokyo's largest electrical retail store, eager young fans, in their early teens to middle age, lined up neatly close to each entrance in order to have the chance to be one of the first to get their hands on the latest game system from Sony. By 9pm the lines had grown 20 fold and the lines had gone from single file to eight people deep. Security guards employed by the store had loud hailers and were trying to co-ordinate the huge crowd that had formed. Of particular concern was the line to the main entrance, from Showa dori that leads to the entrance to the Japan Railways station entrance. Gamers had virtually blocked off the entrance to the station and "salarymen" (Japanese office workers) and other locals were unable to pass.

As Autumn has begun here in Japan the evening temperatures dropped quite quickly as the sun went down and those in the line were certainly well dressed for the long wait ahead of them. Inside the store on the sixth floor a Playstation 3 display booth had been set up whereby gamers could play and use the new system. Three large screen plasma television monitors had been set up in one corner of the store. A range of games was available and many people stood in awe, mouths open and motionless as they watch keen gamers try their hand at some of the new games.

Certainly the graphics were the first noticeable improvements on the previous system. The lifelike scenery and human likeness was certainly eerie. Store staff rushed hurriedly to unpack the large array of boxes in storage that held the new range of games and the units themselves. Ever so politely with bows and polite phrases they pushed passed customers to get their job done with the time slowly counting down to the launch.

To see for yourself the feel and atmosphere of the pre launch of this amazing contribution to gaming watch the video

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