February 24, 2012 | Categories: Crowd Control
Brand-new video games are some of the most desired items on the consumer market today, and their launch events often feature people of all ages queuing to get the latest release. However, the debut of gaming consoles attract even larger crowds, and the recent release of the Playstation Vita in the United Kingdom attests to this fact.
The Playstation Vita is the newest handheld gaming device from Sony, replacing the popular PSP (Playstation Portable). According to the product's website, the "PS Vita revolutionizes the gaming experience with dual analog sticks, front and rear multi touch pads, motion sensors, and front and rear cameras." This innovative technology has the mouths of tech geeks watering, and they lined up in queue to attend one of many Sony launch events.
According to TechDigest, the flagship electronics store on Oxford Street saw hundreds of fans line up in queue to be among the first in the United Kingdom to own the coveted device. Some people had even been camped out in front of the retailer since Sunday to secure a spot, despite the release date of Wednesday, February 22. This is not even a notable exception, as people have waited even longer in the past.
Another big release is coming up in the United States. On March 6, the greatly-anticipated Mass Effect 3 will launch at midnight in locations across America. This game is the final installment in the critically-acclaimed Mass Effect series, and gamers everywhere are scrambling to get a hold of the limited edition that features special content and even wearable gear.
These late-night events often feature live entertainment and people waiting in crazy costumes, so shops must be prepared to deal with the expected crowds. For example, the Lincoln Park Best Buy in Chicago will be holding giveaways and contests for people that evening. Public guidance is necessary to direct customers to purchasing locations and away from choke points, and crowd control devices like sign stands can point people waiting in queue in the right direction.
Video games are the bread and butter of the younger generation that currently makes up the consumer market. Previous midnight launches like the one for the PS Vita have shown that this demographic will wait for days in queue for a $60 game, and retailers need to prepare crowd management plans ahead of future release events.