We here at Gizmodo love to think outside the box. Now while everyone else is busy covering the midnight releases in the secret Mojave Desert or L.A., we have decided to bring you coverage of the Xbox 360 release in Manhattan Kansas. Yes, Kansas. These are just good ole farm boys wanting their modern games so maybe they can feel like being part of the rest of the world. The Xbox 360s were shipped in via horse-drawn buggy, because you know, Kansas doesn t have roads. Only cows. These 360s made their way to a few places in this fine town, including the new
Wal-mart SuperCenter, EBgames and Target. Best Buy? No way, they aren't that fancy. Hell, they only had one Taco Bell. Check out the full scoop and pictures after the jump.
Now let's be completely honest, Kansas isn t known for being the technology capital of the world, and this is clearly demonstrated in exhibit A. Here we are at the first stop, EBgames at approximately 11:30 Central Standard Time. Total people count: 4. Total count of available units preordered from that store: 18. These kids were just standing around, kicking a ball, eating an enormous bag of popcorn and waiting for their lives to be complete with an Xbox 360. Most of them couldn t give a care in the world that it was 30 degrees out; they just cared about the games.
For the next stop I swung on over next door to the local Target. Here's the Target scoop: There were 13 units at the store and a manager was going to be in at 4 a.m. to hand out tickets to those brave souls. As I was chatting with some people I saw another Kansan pull up his car and start bringing various items out. Those things included a Sager laptop, fully modded Xbox, and all of the necessary cables to get this setup running from the car battery. Believe it or not, Kansans do know stuff other than intelligent design and farming wheat.
Most of the people here were friendly and nice. Similar to the EBgames folks, they just wanted to game and were willing to sit out in the cold for an additional eight hours to get what they wanted. The trials and tribulations of being a gamer's girlfriend was also seen here as many females lined up alongside their significant others to share the experience.
For the final stop on the Xbox 360 Manhattan world tour I high-tailed it across town to Walmart at 11:50, just in time for a big orgy of Xbox 360 release. Much to my delight I had found out earlier that Walmart was getting 45 units, so as I drove across town (roughly 20 blocks) I dreamed of what kind of unique folks I would encounter on this venture into strange new lands. Wal-Mart, the land of opportunity, the people's store. Well, apparently this people's store doesn t allow people, even journalists such as myself, to take pictures. They were allowing people to line up inside, in an odd fashion, and I was quickly escorted out of the building after I was taking pictures and "harassing" the customers. Here is the one blurry shot I snagged of the odd way they lined people up in aisles facing the gaming cases.
Overall, much to my surprise, Kansan kids and adults seemed to be like the rest of the world—just average gamers who wanted the latest and greatest. This was the heart and soul of the video game industry. Those kids who finish milling some wheat and just want to play a little Madden before having to milk the cows. This wasn t the dolled-up L.A. or New York Xbox releases full of glitz and glamour—this was America's heartland. These Kansan kids helped me learn something about myself, and what it was really like to be a true gamer.