Two SF gamers wait 40 hours for PSPs

As of 3:00pm PST Wednesday, more than 100 people had gathered outside the Sony Metreon in anticipation of the portable's launch...and some had been there all night.

more screens (3)
more screens (3)

Suffice it to say, Richard Roth and Jossle Sison both really want a PSP. Determined to be first in line when the portable goes on sale at midnight tonight, the two 20-something gamers (pictured) arrived at San Francisco's Sony Metreon on Tuesday…morning. "We've been here 30 hours and 28 minutes," Roth said at 2:28pm PST, meaning they had arrived around 8:00am the previous day--and will have been there nearly 40 hours when the portable goes on sale. The pair brought outdoor clothing, sleeping bags, chairs, and even a tent in preparation to spend the night the rain.

But while officials at the San Francisco entertainment complex appreciated the pair's enthusiasm, they couldn't let them stay on Metreon property, because they were technically loitering. "We waited across the street all night," said Sison, who said they had taken the week off of work. "We told our boss we were going camping, which we sort of are." The pair certainly didn't get many creature comforts as they spent Tuesday outside in the cold rain. "Yeah, it sucked," Roth remarked, smiling. "Every time we wanted to go to the bathroom, we had to go in to Denny's and buy something."

Luckily, the pair soon had company. Around 12:00pm, two other eager gamers joined them in their PSP vigil. The four "took turns keeping watch," while the others slept as best they could. Throughout the night, a dozen more would-be PSP buyers had shown up. By Wednesday afternoon, more than 100 people had lined up along the Fourth Street side of the Metreon, across from a giant mock-up of the handheld with a countdown clock stuck in the middle.

The crowd was kept warm and well fed by a group of Sony workers in silver jackets, who handed out PSP beanies and refreshments to the crowd. Occasionally, a waiter with a cart would trundle along the sidewalk, handing out sandwiches to the throng, many of whom were surfing the Web via Wi-Fi-enabled laptops. As the witching hour approaches, Sony will throw a launch event for those present, an event that GameSpot Live will cover live in a special edition of On the Spot at 11:30pm PST.

But while Roth and Sison were both cordial, one issue hangs over the pair's head like the sword of Damocles: Who will get the first PSP? "There's no argument. It's mine! Hell, he wouldn't even know about this thing if it wasn't for me," Roth said pointing to a laughing Sison. Unfortunately, the PSP is about all he will be able to afford. "I already got Wipeout [Pure] and Twisted Metal[: Head On]. And I'm going to get Ridge Racer tonight," he said, "But that's all I can afford, man. That thing's expensive!"

For all the latest information on the PSP's US launch, check out GameSpot's appropriately named PSP Launch Center.

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