Drinking coffee and wrapped in a warm jacket, I went back to the blockade of Brighton’s wasteland for another episode of “What will the console launch look like in 2020?” This time is the PlayStation 5 version.
If you missed your previous escape, visit GAME’s Brighton Store last week to see how retailers handle the launch of the Xbox Series X / S during the Covid-19 lockdown in the UK. confirmed. Although the game store is officially closed as it is classified as a non-essential shop, GAME has organized a click-and-collect system to allow customers to pick up the console that day. I arrived at lunch for the launch of the Xbox. Really As it became quieter, I set the alarm clock to arrive shortly before the opening time at 8:30 am to catch the potential PlayStation 5 owner picking up the console.
GAME Brighton is located in Churchill Square Shopping Center and normally opens at 9am, but special arrangements were made for the PlayStation 5 launch. The queue location was marked to alert customers to keep a distance of 2 meters from each other and worked to ensure that guards opened in a timely manner … and occasionally elbow bumps. Was distributed.
As far as I can see, almost everyone adhered to social distance guidelines, customers kept distance, and the majority wore masks outside. The enthusiastic beaver at the head of the procession was there from 7:30, and I caught up with someone who managed to pack himself in the first place.
“I’m clicking and collecting for a friend who is currently working away,” said NHS worker Jamie when I asked about his decision to collect consoles. “My stuff is delivered at 10 o’clock, so I have to hurry home after this and be in time for my time!”
“Seeing you had to get up early, your friends owe you a lot,” I said.
“Yes, I paid for it and pre-ordered for them,” Jamie added. This is true friendship. I hope Jamie will be fully repaid-and maybe a few glasses of beer.
Perhaps surprisingly, when I asked Jamie about the atmosphere of the launch, he felt it was better than the previous year. The process was very gentle, as everyone was lined up in order, in contrast to the hundreds of people who stuffed the store on a regular launch date. He also felt that social distance was handled fairly well. “Anyway, I think we were mostly self-spacing, and security came to keep everyone else apart,” he added.
I talked to another customer in the line, KFC Worker Scott. He was not plagued by social distance requirements as well.
“I’m fine with that! When working at KFC, you’re used to wearing a mask all day long, and when people complain about wearing a mask for 15-20 minutes when you like .. Come and wear them, “Scott said.
Scott explained that he chose Click and Collect after GAME’s shipping inventory was sold out when he first tried to pre-order online. Fortunately for him, GAME had assigned several consoles for collection that day, so he was able to order one of these. Scott said he was absent from work for three days to spend time on the PS5, partly because the blockade ended his tattoo booking plan.
Of course, that had to be done, so I asked both Scott and Jamie if they had considered buying the Xbox Series X / S instead of the PS5. Apparently this was a bad question to ask next to a line full of people waiting for the PlayStation at 8am. About five of them immediately shook their heads and a chorus of “noooo” sprang up around me.
“I won’t talk about Microsoft here,” one of them shouted.
Scott said his decision to choose the PS5 was “easy” because he had been using the PlayStation ecosystem for games since he was young. Jamie explained that his decision was guided by the platform his friend was using. “If you can’t play with your friends, it doesn’t make sense to play,” he said.
Today is also the day people discover how terrible the PS5 is for them, so I’d like to know if Scott and Jamie are worried about how it fits in their home. I did. “At first I was a little worried about the size,” says Scott. “But now I can organize my room and put it in a well-ventilated place, so I won’t overheat.” Meanwhile, Jamie was preparing even more radically.
“So I actually went out and bought a brand new TV unit to fit it,” Jamie said. “It was one of the things I left behind on the backburner until I knew the dimensions of the PlayStation.”
Eventually, the door was opened and about 20 customers filed in the center and lined up again outside GAME. This seemed to be about the same setting as last time. Customers lined up at the marked locations, provided hand sanitizers, and bagged consoles were stacked in the center of the store and distributed across barriers. Approximately 4-5 staff confirmed purchase details, managed queues, and allowed two customers to approach the store at once. In short, the whole process was surprisingly fast. One source previously told Eurogamer that GAME employees had been provided with “sufficient PPE and hand sanitizer” for the console launch. “Staff must be safe enough.”
Overall, GAME seems to have done a solid job of processing click-and-collect console orders in these difficult situations. And it seems that the people who participated were still able to convey some of the fun of traditional console launches, albeit farther than usual-making friends and chatting games.
But what will all these new PS5 owners play first on the new console? Overwhelming consensus by GAME Brighton Cue: Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Well, they’ve already made an extra effort to get a console in the middle of a pandemic-so what’s the other one?