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Live from the Xbox 360 launch at Best Buy in Bellevue

by Brandon on November 21st, 2005

Tonight marks the official launch of the Xbox 360 video game system from Microsoft.  If you were planning to come stand in line at the Bellevue, Wa Best Buy store, I hope you’re already here.  The current count seems to be over 250+ people waiting in line, a few of which have been here since Saturday or earlier.

I was planning to arrive late this afternoon, but when a friend tipped me off to an 80+ person line at 8AM this morning, I decided to change my plans. 

I have to say that the Best Buy management has been extremely accomodating.  Initially there was a lot of fear about line jumpers and people holding spots for their friends.  After several conversations with the staff and management (including some representation from Best Buy headquarters in Minnesota), we convinced them to take action to ensure the fairness of the line for those of us waiting 12+ hours in the cold.

A bout a half hour ago they handed out cards (including counterfeit proof ink!) with numbers indicating your place in line.  They don’t guarantee a unit for each card, but they won’t let anyone get one who doesn’t have one of these cards.  They’ve also been very proactive about maintaing the organization of the line.  Now, it’s not perfect.  They clearly hadn’t planned ahead for the crowd that they got.  But their willingness to expend effort and time to address our concerns is very encouraging.

I stand at the 133rd spot in line, with a very high level of confidence that I’ll get what I came for.  The rumors are that about 200 total units will be sold at midnight (including some 30 or 40 “core” systems).  And though there have been mumblings about both a shortage and a last-minute special delivery from Microsoft… most below the 150 mark are fairly comfortable at this point. 

Cold… but comfortable.

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