With both Playstation and Microsoft releasing their next consoles in the upcoming weeks, it’s inevitable that people are preparing for the tried and true tradition of lining up for the midnight releases. Midnight release parties are a culture in their own right; New laws exist, the meek become the strong, and getting your hands on a console is the only thing that matters. Thus, for your sake and mine, I’ve decided it’s time to learn a little bit about the dos-and-don’ts of Console Midnight Releases.
Fair warning: Midnight releases get can get rough. Not dangerous or sketchy or anything, but rough on the sights and sounds. We’re talking lines of gamers, mostly dudes, whom have been standing in line for hours, if not days. While standing in a midnight release line for the Ouya I became inebriated by the fumes of my fellow gamers. I then begin to hallucinate for hours that I was in the game BattleToads. I awoke hours past midnight in a nearby Pinkberry covered in yogurt and toppings with a screaming teenage employee holding a large spoon yelling at me. That story, of course, was a lie; no one cared about the Ouya.
Without further ado:
DO: Show up earlier than later.
Yeah, not standing in is nice, but so it getting a console at midnight. If you’re dedicated to getting a midnight released console, arrive earlier than later. Don’t wait until a line starts forming, if you’re really dedicated you won’t be afraid to be the first one in line. All of your waiting and patience will pay off when you get to play those sweet sweet launch titles…well, maybe not.
DON’T: Go Alone
This one probably is the least followed rule of the midnight release, since many of us won’t be able to find a friend as passionate about having their console directly at midnight. That said, you’re still standing outside in the middle of the night with strangers. Launch lineups can be dangerous places, you’re essentially in a crowd of individuals each with the intention to spend at least 400 dollars on a video game console. Many muggings and thefts have occurred during midnight releases, often time after gamers have received their consoles. For your safety, please bring a friend, family member, or someone who will have your back even if they are only there to keep you company.
Do: Prepare before hand
One of the worst things you can do is line-up without having prepared to stand in a line for hours. Beyond sheer will, you’ll need other essentials including food, drink, and entertainment. That means plan ahead, bring bottles of water and snacks to get you through the night. Plan accordingly for the night: don’t go in just a t-shirt and shorts, even though you’re lining up at 3pm in the day. Also, bring your 3DS or Vitas, as you’ll be a line of gamers who may also have their handhelds on them; It’s a great way to pass the time and maybe even make some friends in the mean time.
I know, it’s a little contradictory of me to give you some advise about going to midnight releases and then flat our advise not to go. But really, don’t go. You’re really not gaining that much by getting a game at midnight, at most you’re getting a few extra hours with a console that you’ll probably be too tired to really appreciate. Stay home, sleep, and wait until the morning and get a console at a store that isn’t holding a midnight release. Better yet, preorder in advance or have it shipped to you the day it releases. If you’re worried that you won’t get a console at midnight unless you line up then just wait, the drought of consoles typically only last a few weeks at most. You’ll be able to eventually get your hands on a console, and besides: Launch games typically aren’t all that great.
For those who of you set on being there for a midnight release: Be safe and enjoy.