Chilly weather for eager gamers

By Gus Bode

Brian Tunison sat in his folding chair on the sidewalk outside of the Carbondale Best Buy, peeking out from under several layers of clothing, a scarf, a hat and a blanket – all to keep warm on a dreary day.

Tunison, a soon-to-be graduate of John A. Logan College from Carbondale, was first in a line of more than 25 people gathered since 1 p.m. Wednesday, anticipating the release of Sony’s newest game system – Playstation 3.

Playstation 3 is set to release today with two different versions. One is a 60-gigabyte system priced at $599, and the other is a 20-gigabyte system selling for $499.

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However, Tunison didn’t dream of playing the latest videogame or seeing the most recent advances in graphics.

“I’m selling it,” Tunison said. “Most of the people in this line are.”

He said he planned on selling it on the online auction Web site Ebay and had heard some were selling for more than $5,000. For the most part, though, the sales were averaging at $2,500.

Frannie Heine, a sophomore from Peoria studying workforce education, was number 24 in line and had the same plan for her game system.

“I have a large phone bill that I’m paying off,” Heine said. “I’m definitely selling it. I don’t even play video games.”

She was sitting in the line shortly after she got off work, arriving at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Staying dry on the rainy night was her biggest challenge.

“A lot of other people had tents and tarps,” Heine said. “I just had a big umbrella and a blanket, so my blanket was soaked.”

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Some waiting in line did plan to purchase the Playstation 3 and keep it. Brittany Bencie, a sophomore at John A. Logan College from West Frankfort, said she planned on giving her game system to a family member as a gift.

Bencie said she had been waiting in line as No. 25 since shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday.

“Everybody around us is nice,” she said. “Everybody went down the line and introduced themselves. People held spots for us if we had to warm up or go somewhere.”

Rosemary Howell, the general manager of the Carbondale Best Buy, said she was surprised by how early the line began, pointing out when Xbox 360 went on sale, people began to line up the night before, not two days in advance.

She said the store had 26 Playstation 3’s guaranteed to be available to the public, and the store explained rules and regulations to those waiting in line.

“They can’t disrupt business, and if they leave the line, they lose their spot,” Howell said. “But we’ve got a good group of folks back there.”

Alicia Wade can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 274 or [email protected]

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