On 22 and 29 November, Microsoft and Sony will launch their new games consoles – the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Traditionally, such launches would be accompanied by huge queues outside gaming and computing stores. This time, though, retailer GAME will introduce a bypass lane for those who have pre-ordered and pre-paid their consoles.
Big release queues have previously worked to the retailers’ favour – building up the hype in the headlines, as we’ve blogged about before. Yet they can often be an arduous and frustrating experience for customers, once the novelty of waiting in the cold has worn off. Many can leave wondering whether the wait was worth it after all.
However, this is the first time that stores seem to have put the customer first, forgoing the atmosphere-generating crowds in favour of keeping potential future customers happy.
It may be that so many people pre-order their consoles that a second long queue is still generated, but, now that GAME has introduced the idea, could this mark the beginning of the end for launch day queuing? We’ll be watching to see if it works.