Sony's PlayStation 3 flagship launch event

Few places in the US could claim that on November 17th at midnight, they were going to sell 700 PlayStation 3s to the public. The SonyStyle store in downtown San Francisco -- Sony country, as we like to call it -- made the claim and delivered a few hundred consoles to throngs of nearly a thousand eager fanboys and girls waiting in line since as early as 1AM Wednesday morning (for map see below). Was it worth it? We're inclined to say hells no, but it was certainly a spectacle to behold. Click on for a photo tour of the evening's festivities -- which mostly consisted of waiting in line, then buying a PlayStation 3, then leaving.

There was a band, we assume it wasn't the Minibosses.

These people were not in line. Come to think of it, we don't have any clue why they were there, the band didn't start for another hour after this pic.

Getting closer... to the start of the line.

There we are. Hey, is that a Zero Hour sweatshirt on the #3 in line? Damn dude, wear it proud.

There's a countdown like on December 31. Except when it reaches zero the only way to achieve your resolution is to be in the first few hundred in line.

Here's a small part of that cluster.

Ok, now were at line 2.

That's what we're talking about!

The first of many late-line activities. Unfortunately we didn't see anyone betting their console.

Ah, Mah Jongg.

The first unit to be sold.

And the throng converges.

That dude? He's the first to get his PS3. He said he hadn't slept for three days. Kind of a bummer when you think about the fact that pretty much no gadget is worth that kind of hell.

The culprit.

And this guy was the lucky fool who got a free unit, chosen at random. Congrats! But he still had to wait in line, just like you, or us, or Senator Edwards. Good night SonyStyle store.