The PS4 has touched down in the UK, one week after the arrival of the Xbox One. We can now officially mark the start of the next-gen race.

Launch day pre-orders sold out long ago, but at Sony's PS4 lounge in Covent Garden, London, Game was offering a limited number of consoles at midnight for those who hadn't reserved one early enough.

So if you thought that placing your Amazon pre-order all those months back was a sign of dedication, spare a thought for the gamers who stood outside for days in the cold just to bag themselves a console.

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Jaime Cox, left, and Jason Flint, right - the heroes Sony deserve

Starting outside Sony's pop-up PS4 lounge, the queue of keen gamers snaked its way through the streets of Covent Garden. Some people had been there all day, a few had been there for several.

This is for the hardcores

Jaime Cox, who had been standing in the queue since 4am on Thursday, told us he already had a pre-ordered console coming in the post a few days later. He was just too impatient to wait.

"I wanted one day one, everyone else was sold out and saw this was available," said Cox. "I live about three hours away, I don't get back until 11 Friday morning."

Even more surprising, Cox actually sold his PS Vita to get an early PlayStation 4. "I sold it to get a train ticket to get here," said Cox, who said he'd owned every PlayStation console so far. "It was worth it in the end."

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Zohaib Ali: sleepless warrior

Meanwhile Zohaib Ali, a familiar launch-event face, was fifth in the queue and had been there since Tuesday. With his can of energy drink in hand, we suspected Ali hadn't seen much sleep over the days. "I went to the Xbox One launch," he told us. "I'm a hardcore".

And at number one in the queue was Imram Choudhary, who had been stood in the cold since Tuesday afternoon. What a hero.

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Orgest, Lum, Adenis, Adriaan had been in the queue from the early hours

Sony also offered entertainment for its most loyal fans, sending out a number of PlayStation characters, including a small army of Killzone soldiers, out into the crowd.

"Can someone take care of Octodad?" one PR yelled at his colleagues as a Sony rep in a giant Octopus stumbled down the street and into the fans. For us, it was probably the highlight of the whole night.