We popped down to London’s Covent Garden to have a word with the queuers outside Sony’s PS4 pop-up store, The Sony Lounge. Armed with tents, sleeping bags and plenty of gloves, this line was started on Monday to brave the five days of cold until the Sony PlayStation 4 goes on sale this Friday 29 November.
The surprise response when asked why they wanted the PS4 over the Xbox One was that most didn’t - they were going to buy both. In fact, Zohaib Ali, 23, has already got his Xbox One from the Stratford Westfield queue on its release day. But he's an avid fan of Sony which he feels better supports free gaming without DRM restrictions. And he knows what he's talking about - we've met him in the Apple iPad queue and also in the Sony PS Vita queue before.
Imran Chowdri, first in the queue, is diehard PS4 and says the nearest he'll get to an Xbox One will be to try Titanfall on a mate’s machine, and even that was a maybe. “I hate Xbox. I hate the company Microsoft. I have an Xbox 360 so I’m not biased but I despise the fact you have to pay for Xbox Live. Also the fact PS3 players had to wait a month before we could get COD maps was ridiculous. It was horrible that Microsoft asked for that exclusivity deal. That’s turned me against Xbox.”
When asked about waiting out in the British winter Imran said with a smile: “The first night was so cold. It’s been freezing. I’m seriously questioning if this was even worth it. [Laughs].”
The queue, unlike Apple’s famed lines, is across the street opposite the store. Despite police telling the line they were okay with it, Sony was told it couldn't allow queueing outside the shop. We asked the queuers how they were charging their gadgets and were told Sony refused to help them so they’d found an external wall socket round the corner. The other issue of going to the bathroom was sorted with the use of local coffee shops if the Sony Lounge was full. UPDATE: Sony has just contacted us to say it offered chargers, toilets and coffee to the guys in line. Perhaps the three we were speaking to at that point had a unique experience.
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Another line member Taylor Pelling, who is a veteran queuer for games like Black Ops 2, Diablo 3 and GTA V, said: “I’m a big Xbox fan, but am making the move to PS4.” When asked why, he said: “I don’t like the fact Xbox is trying to be an entertainment console that says it does all this stuff and, oh, it plays games too.”
When asked what games the queuers were looking forward to at launch they laughed. “Not much is coming at launch, we’ll have to wait for the games we’re looking forward to,” said Umar Farook.
The PlayStation 4 officially launches on 29 November in the UK. The official queue doesn't open until Thursday, where those customers will be given a wristband that guarantees a chance to purchase a PS4.