Midnight madness for device [Gulf Weekly (Bahrain)]
(Gulf Weekly (Bahrain) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) HUNDREDS of gaming enthusiasts and festive present hunters laid siege on stores across the kingdom in a bid to scoop up the latest console offering.Sony said it sold a million PS4 units in 24 hours after launching in just the US and Canada and the demand across the Arab world was just as feverish at the weekend.Ashrafs' executive director Amal Almoayyed unveiled the console at the company's Hoora showroom at midnight on Thursday in a sparkling ceremony accompanied by disco beats and flashing lights."We had been receiving pre-booking orders since August and at one point had to stop taking them due to the excess demand," said Dileep S, marketing manager Ashrafs.He was keeping tight-lipped over the number of consoles that had arrived for distribution but the store was packed and doing brisk trade until 2am.Customers were brandishing receipts for deposits made during the summer and were ecstatic to finally get their hands on the much-treasured gadget, described as the 'number one most wanted gift' on Christmas present lists across the globe.One of the first to walk out the store with his prize package was Batelco technician Waleed Ajlan, 37, from Isa Town, who said: "At last ... it seems like I've been waiting for this forever!"He had paid the full amount back in August and had been counting down the days of its release ever since. He added: "I've been a gaming fan ever since buying my first PlayStation about 15 years ago!"The latest PlayStation offers improved graphics for realistic effects, processors that allow faster game play and a slew of exclusive video games.Sony CEO Andrew House said the new games device was designed to 'connect' people via play in a way that mimicked online social networking. "The PlayStation 4 has got what consumers have come to expect from a new launch, but more than anything else it's the social aspect of the games that we have really focused on," he explained.Sony is locked in a console war with Microsoft this holiday season following the launch of its slightly more expensive new Xbox One console, although it's still to go on sale here. A company spokesman said: "We don't have an official distributor in Bahrain for Xbox, however we know that Sharaf DG is in the process of ordering some before Christmas."The software giant hopes the Xbox One not only entices gamers but attracts a broader consumer base of TV fans and music lovers with its interactive entertainment features.Although Asfafs is the official Sony dealers, other stores on the island were also selling the devices from midnight and witnessed similar chaotic scenes at their launches.Virgin, however, in Bahrain City Centre, asked customers with PS4 pre-order receipts to turn up on Friday morning promptly at 10am and people had arrived with plenty of time to spare as news spread that the store might have a few spare on general sale.Feras Albanna, 17, from Hamad Town, arrived with his retired father, Mohammed, to collect after placing his deposit back in July. "There seems to have been one delay after another with its launch so I'm delighted it's finally here!"Bert van den Groenendaal, director of Deloittde & Touche – Middle East, queued up patiently hoping to surprise his son, Stinj, who will be celebrating his 15th birthday in Bahrain on New Year's Eve and joining Riffa Views International School after moving to the kingdom with his mum, Annemiek, from Holland. Older sister Machteld, 17, will be staying in Eindhoven after starting university."Stijn has almost given up the chance of getting hold of the PS4 because they have sold out in Holland and the shops have stopped taking pre-orders for the next two deliveries in the New Year. I'd been advised to turn up early," explained the disappointed dad who was unfortunately out of luck as two young Bahraini girls dived past security guards as the doors partially opened and the few remaining were scooped up within seconds.No need to despair, Dileep says more stock is expected in mid-January. Most stores are taking deposits of BD90 to secure a BD179 console from the next delivery.
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