Come midnight, Kinect will be available in retail outlets across the country. Provided the system doesn't sell out, you should be able to stroll down to your local electronics store and pick up Kinect whenever you have the time. Still, there's something to be said for being among the first to get a newly released product and Microsoft is providing a little extra incentive for those close to NYC to get off their butts and head down to the official launch at Toys R Us in Times Square.
Toys R Us is opening its doors at midnight so it can sell Kinect as soon as calendars tick over to November 4, and Microsoft is giving the first 3,000 people to purchase Kinect a free copy of Kinect Sports, a copy of Kinect Joy Ride and a one year Xbox Live Gold subscription. That's $150 of swag right there, but that's not all; Microsoft is also giving the first 400 people (over the age of 18) an invitation to the launch after-party where it's promising 'surprise appearances.'
So who's in line already? A lot of people, that's who. This is Peter (right) and K (left). Peter has been sitting outside the store since 7pm on Monday, while K arrived Tuesday morning at 9am. Peter says he wants to be among the first to get Kinect, while K said he's there to be in that first 400 going to the after party. When asked if that was the only reason he was there so far in advance, he responded, "That's it. I wanna go to the after-party." Peter said he was buying the peripheral for himself, while K said his wife would probably play it a lot.
Given how early these guys showed up (and their lack of gear), I'm assuming they're from New York. However, one family made a trip from eastern Pennsylvania to make sure they get Kinect first and they were well prepared for the long wait with plenty of blankets and snacks to keep them going. Arriving at 7 a.m. this morning, they they seemed extremely excited about the prospect of Kinect and admitted they'd be taking it out of the box "as soon as they got home." That said, they also admitted that they arrived so early because they wanted to secure after-party tickets.
"We got the train in the middle of the night to be here this morning at 7am," said mom, cheerfully. "We were going to come in last night but we checked the Facebook page and they said there were only about 20 people so far so we waited until today.
"We were about 40th in line when we arrived but people have been showing up and joining their friends up ahead so I think we're probably about 60th now. We'll still be in the top 400, though, I think."
We counted about 80 people in the queue, but there were also plenty of empty chairs where people had left their posts, we assume in search of refreshments or a bathroom.
Things don't officially kick off until 6 p.m. but Microsoft reps were on hand all day to give passersby a chance to try out Kinect and folks in line were encouraging people to try out the system and then join the queue. We'll head back to Times Square later on this evening to see what's going down so be sure to check back for more!