Small Wait Auto: GTAIV Wal-Mart launch recap (Tulsa, OK)


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Apart from the one guy standing behind me, the image above represents the entirety of the crowd that was on hand for the midnight launch of Grand Theft Auto IV at the Woodland Hills Wal-Mart in Tulsa, Oklahoma. That's all of them. Seriously, there's no one hidden off camera (apart from behind-me-guy mentioned above). There is no line extending down the DVD isle. What you see is it. I've been to midnight launches before, and I can tell you that this was by far the smoothest one I've had to endure. Compared to the hours I had to wait in line for Halo 3 last year (in addition to the time I spent once the line actually started moving), Wal-Mart was nothing. I was literally standing at a register at midnight, and I was back in my car, game in hand, by 12:07.

Wal-Mart's plans for the GTAIV launch were leaked earlier this month, proclaiming that the chain wanted to be the "Fastest way to play GTA IV." While it seems to be more out of coincidence than actual planning, my Wal-Mart certainly proved to be quick. After the break, I've compiled some of the reasons to consider Wal-Mart for your next midnight launch.

  • No waiting outside. The store is open 24 hours, so there is no need to stand outside where the elements can damage you or your precious electronics.
  • Lots of (well-lit) parking
  • Plenty of things to do. Bored of waiting? Here are some suggestions:
    • Why not browse the toy aisle for some new Halo action figures?
    • You could research your next prospective HDTV purchase.
    • Walk on down to the furniture section, find a comfy chair, and crack open a book.
    • Is your house well-stocked for hours upon hours of GTAIV goodness? Why not do your shopping now (like the couple with the shopping cart above)?
    • Get some film developed
    • Forgot to bring snacks? No need to leave the store, just buy them right there!
    • Fill your prescriptions
    • Have your tires rotated
    • Buy a gift for your soon to be neglected significant other
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. After all, at Wal-Mart your only limit is your imagination. Regardless of whether or not you plan to make Wal-Mart your future launch headquarters, I can tell you one thing: I have no plans to attend another midnight launch at GameStop.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.