By Wednesday night, 14 people had already lined up at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Hermitage to get a hold of the latest in video game technology that doesn’t go on sale until today — the Playstation 3.

And that is as many of the consoles as Wal-Mart will initially have at its Hermitage store.

Supply-side shortages are common across the country as Sony Corp. struggles to meet the wave of holiday demand, in part brought on by a half-year-late release date caused by problems finishing the system’s built-in Blu-ray DVD player.

Derrick Lockhart, a self-described Playstation fanatic, initially waited in line at a Best Buy in Hubbard. “We laid on concrete and everything,” he said, describing the inclement weather.

But he heard from his mother about greener fields in Hermitage, where the Wal-Mart line is able to cozy up under a roof, stowed in back next to the layaway department.

Lockhart may be a true-to-heart Sony fan, but there is an economic aspect to many of the other campers, who will likely resell the consoles for a tidy profit.

Sean Barlett, a Robert Morris University student whose studies include business, is confident he will make at least a thousand dollars by putting his up on eBay.

“Even when I was at Best Buy on Monday night, nobody else was keeping it,” Lockhart said. “I’m the only one in two places I’ve been that is actually here for the game.”

It hasn’t stopped Lockhart from making friends. He said that after a few hours, a camaraderie formed in the line. “We can’t go anywhere for the next few days, so why not make a friend?”

Some local stores are skipping the campout altogether. Game Crazy, a video game store within Hollywood Video on East State Street, is instituting a raffle for the opportunity to buy one of the machines.

The raffle is at 11 a.m. today, and people can pick up tickets before then. About 30 to 40 people have already picked up their tickets.

At one Palmdale, Calif., Super Wal-Mart, a crowd of rough shoppers led to the store’s shutdown. But the band of 14 in Hermitage formed an unofficial pact to watch each other’s spots till today.

They are able to take turns making restroom trips. Some order pizza from the in-store shop, and others have family or friends bring them food.

For Lockhart, sleeping in a chair was the hardest part. Wal-Mart doesn’t get quiet at night, he said, with power jacks running and some bustle still lingering.

Lockhart is missing work and school to get a console. But he said he’s been waiting three years for its release. “I can’t wait to play my game.”



The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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