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Gamers Line Up For PlayStation Vita Launch

Sony execs join early adopters at launch events around Tokyo.

 
PlayStation Vita Sales began early Saturday morning. Shown here, Shibuya Tsutaya, venue for the official launch countdown. (Photographs by Alex Aniel)

PlayStation Vita saw its Japanese launch today, and despite the mid December cold and wide availability of pre-orders, the system still managed to draw lines in the hundreds at many retailers.

Based off Famitsu.com's launch report, the longest lines were to be found at the line mecca itself, Akihabara. The Yodobashi Camera in Tokyo's electronics capital had around 200 people by about 6:00AM, but as train service started, this swelled to 500 or 600 by the time the shop opened for sales at 8:00.

Famitsu.com spoke to many of the early risers. The person at the front of the line had arrived at 21:00 the night before. He'd already pre-ordered, but lined up because he was concerned about memory card shortages. He picked up the system with Uncharted.

The lines weren't as impressive at other locations around Tokyo, but still crossed the hundred mark. The large Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku had 120 people lined up by the 8:00 opening time. The first person in line had arrived at 22:00 the night before and planned on picking up Dynasty Warriors Next, Hot Shots Golf 6 and Ridge Racer. The person behind him had arrived at midnight and said that he wanted to play up Disgaea 3 Return.

Yodobash Camera in Shinjuku

The Bic Camera in Ikebukuro had 300 people lined up by opening time. This shop told Famitsu that, based off pre-orders alone, top sellers for the launch appeared to be Hot Shots Golf 6, Uncharted and Shin Kamaitachi no Yoru.

There were a few special guests at the launches. Sony VP Kaz Hirai, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House and Sony Computer Entertainment Japan CEO Hiroshi Kawano showed up at the Akihabara Yodobashi for the start of sales. House and Hirai had also made an appearance at the Bic Camera in Yurakucho, which drew a line of around 120 or so by its opening time at 8:00.

But the main appearance for the execs was the system's official launch countdown at the Tsutaya outlet in Shibuya. Held at 6:45, before the shop opened for sales at 7:00, Hirai and House took the stage and gave brief speeches before introducing a countdown reel highlighting the system's launch titles and its path from announcement to launch.

Hirai and House
Hirai watches a video reel showing Ridge Racer and other launch titles.
Buyer number one gets the system directly from House.

Other Pics From Launch Day

Vita ads at a train station.
One mysterious gamer shows off his massive Vita launch collection.
Inside the box.
Welcome to the World of PlayStation
There's always one...

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