Unless you've been under a rock for the last year, you've heard that the next
big thing in video game technology has been the eagerly-anticipated release of
the X-Box. The first foray into the video game console market from Microsoft
comes just in time for the Christmas season - if retailers can keep the anxious
gamer demand satisfied by keeping them on the shelf long enough. We strolled
down to Gamestop in the Micronesia Mall today for a look at what's surely to be
on many people's Christmas lists this year.
Gamespot, a store specializing in the sale of video games and consumer
electronics, has been quite the busy business for the last week or so. Gamespot,
a national chain with more than 1,000 stores throughout the country, is owned by
Barnes & Noble, and has been in operation on Guam for 14 months. With the
release of the revolutionary X-Box video game console system, it hasn’t been a
matter of moving units off the shelves, but more in getting new units in to
supply an overwhelming demand. Store Manager April Lujan told us that Gamestop's
special midnight promotion was a huge success, and Guam's gaming elite turned
out in droves. “As far as the first shipment, we brought in 138 units...all the
systems were sold within an hour.”
And contrary to most major product releases out here in Guam, there isn't any
difference in the cost for a X-Box system. April explained that the units sell
for the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $299 each, which is exactly
what you would pay in the States, or online.
But the success of the X-Box's launch did not come without some controversy.
April tell us that Microsoft's big launch party focused on exactly who the first
person in the world was to buy an X-Box. Being out here in the Pacific and 18
hours ahead of New York City, Guam made video game history, as local gamer
Albert Atoigue was technically the first person in the world to ever purchase
and own the new system. Unfortunately, April told us that the official X-Box
launch party noted a customer in New York City as being the first. And although
we unfortunately weren’t able to speak to the first person on the planet to have
bought an X-Box, we did run into the 48th person to buy one by chance, Ken
Marion, who is no less extremely pleased with his purchase. He even went so far
to tell us that as to sell his Sony Playstation 2 system for an X-Box.
So break out your checkbooks, and warm up those thumbs, because this holiday
season in paradise, there's going to be a whole lot of gaming going on.