As the clocks struck 12 in London last night, Black Friday was officially underway and the new Playstation 4 became available in the UK.
In scenes reminiscent of the scramble to buy Harry Potter books or Buzz Lightyear action figures, die-hard fans camped overnight and queued for hours to be the first to get their hands round the control pad of the latest console, which was launched at a venue in Covent Garden.
Imran Choudhary, from London, who was first in line outside the venue, said on Thursday: “It was always my goal to try and be one of the first people in the country to get hold of a PS4.
“It certainly takes a lot of commitment and it’s been a bit cold out here but it will all be worth it when I get my console.
“Despite the long wait, I’m so thrilled to be a part of this launch, the excitement in the queue is electric.”
The first-come first-served launch was tipped as one of the only ways for gamers to get a fourth generation PlayStation before Christmas.
People queuing on Thursday night were entertained by the rapper Tinie Tempah and were given pizza.
Tempah said before his performance: “I have always been a big gaming fan and it’s such an honour to be involved.”
The chief executive of Sony, Andrew House, speaking before he handed the first console to the first customer, said: “It’s just absolutely energising to be here today.
“To speak to some of the guys lining up outside, just sensing their enthusiasm and excitement for a new platform, is really what it’s all about. It’s why we come to work every day.
“I got to shake some hands, and take some photos with fans, which is fantastic, and it’s not exactly warm out there. We absolutely appreciate the support.”
The managing director of PlayStation, Fergal Gara, said: “The response to the PS4 has been phenomenal and we are so grateful for the support and enthusiasm we have seen from gamers who have pre-ordered, as well as those who have shown such dedication in the queue.”
Ian Chambers, Game chief digital officer, said pre-ordering levels had been four times higher than for the PS3.
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