- Having not ever been an owner of a PS3 or PSP, I wasn't aware of the bias that retailers are showing towards the PlayStation 3 console.
One of the guys that I work with is a huge PlayStation fan. Not a fanboy, mind you, but a normal person who happens to like the PS3 over the 360.
I've heard him talk about it before, but I've always passed it off as simple bad customer service or people just being overly hyped about a 360 game over the PlayStation ones, but after "Emergence Day 2″, I was shocked and appalled at the level of anti-PS3 sentiment he had to deal with.
It all started with him telling me that every time he went to his local game store, a small "mom and pop" type store where he has shopped for quite a while, they constantly bugged him to show up to the midnight release of Gears of War 2. On every visit, it seemed, he had to remind the shop owner that he did not have a 360 and had no intention of buying one.
I chalked this up to the store owner, a gamer himself, just being hyped about the release of the game. Gears of War 2 is a huge title, after all. After delving into it some more over several days of conversation, I soon learned that it was much more heinous than just a simple overzealous game store proprietor.
My friend went out to purchase Resistance 2 at a huge retail chain (which shall remain unnamed), and because the games are locked behind a glass case, he had to ask a sales associate for assistance. He asked the clerk if he could purchase a game, and the clerk dutifully took out his keys and opened the 360 section and grabbed up a copy of Gears 2. Quite confused, my friend asked the guy what he was doing to which the clerk replied "You want Gears, right? That's what everyone else is getting."
My friend said no, he doesn't want Gears and that he didn't even own a 360 – he was a PS3 gamer. The clerk looked at him like he was crazy, unsure of what to do next. He then told the clerk what games he wanted (I believe it was Resistance 2 and the PSP version of EndWar), and the clerk just looked even more aghast. He did get the games he was after, but the treatment he received was disturbing to say the least.
Talking further with my friend, he said that this sort of thing happens all the time. He told me that he's never able to talk to sales people familiar with the PS3 as everyone working in all the local stores are 360 gamers and don't know anything about the PS3.
It has even gone so far that he stopped shopping at the local store he frequented because they never got Sony games in on time, unlike their instantly up-to-date 360 library. Now he only buys used movies there, and refuses to purchase games from the small local game shop.
If it was just that small local game store, I'd just chalk it up to that particular owner's own gaming preferences affecting his business, but my friend says he has to deal with it all the time at pretty much all the gaming and retail stores that sell games that he goes to.
Hell, this is Lancaster, PA, we're talking about, so maybe there is some sort of Amish influence against the more technologically advanced system in favor of the more tolerable systems. I don't know.
The entire thing was quite a learning experience and has enlightened me to exactly why some PS3 fanboys are so rabid in their devotion to their system of choice. They have to be to put up with all the negative stereotypes surrounding the system and its owners, as well as the horrible treatment people trying to purchase the system receive from retailers.
It's a time for change, not just here where I am in America, but all over the world. We CAN have games come out on multiple systems without arguing over two lousy frames per second.
We CAN rationally discuss our differing opinions on games without degenerating into crying, rabid fanboys. We CAN live in a world with Gears of War 2 and Resistance 2 together on the same shelf without getting into fist fights over which is better.