Gamers brave cold, hours of waiting to score an Xbox One at launch

Xbox One Launch New York
The Xbox One is now in the hands of gamers everywhere

On a green-hued night Microsoft kicked the doors open with the new Xbox One. Midnight launches across the US welcomed not just the console's arrival, but the fans who've eagerly awaited this day since the Xbox One was first announced on May 21.

To ring in the launch, Microsoft held fan-focused events at the Best Buy Theater in New York's Times Square and at Milk Studios in Los Angeles. That's not to mention the thousands of Microsoft Stores, Best Buys, Targets and other retailers opening their doors at midnight.

The Times Square shindig saw armored trucks transporting 2,000 new consoles, developers from studios such as BioWare and Ubisoft Montreal, as well as the musical stylings of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

deadmau5 Xbox One launch event in Los Angeles

deadmau5 played to the first Xbox One owners in Los Angeles

The heart of Los Angeles, meanwhile, was turned into a pop-up Best Buy. Only this unique store featured Deadmau5 and DJ Idris spinning tunes for the West Coast's first 500 Xbox One owners who waited to pick up the console they had paid for earlier in the day.

TechRadar braved the cold fall night to speak with some of the die-hard Xbox fans who'd waited in line since early Wednesday morning for their chance to score a next-gen console.


Xbox One, Midnight Launch, Times Square, New York

Hanoi de Los Angeles (right) was first in the Xbox line, waiting for more than 35 hours

"35 hours!" Hanoi de Los Angeles exclaimed when asked how long he had been in line. de Los Angeles was the very first one to show up at the Xbox One launch event in New York.

"I didn't preorder, so I decided I would just come on by and get the Xbox and try to be the first person. Low and behold I was."

de Los Angeles detailed how the line slowly added more people throughout the day Wednesday. The second person arrived at 10 a.m. and the third at 12 p.m. The Harlem resident said things really didn't pick up until launch day.

Xbox One, Midnight Launch, Times Square, New York

Lucas Pucheta hoists his new Xbox One in New York's Time Square

"Call of Duty Ghosts, the new Assassin's Creed. I'm definitely looking at Killer Instinct because I'm a big fighting game fan," de Los Angeles said as he listed the Xbox One games he was most looking forward to. "I'm waiting to buy a fight stick though because Ultra Street Fighter IV just got announced and there's no word if it's going to be out on Xbox One."

The Los Angeles Waiters

The wait time New York City's de Los Angeles endured trumped the first wave of gamers in the city Los Angeles, as we found that the new Xbox One owners arrived in line on launch day.

"I got here at 7:30 a.m." said an exhausted Alexis Quijada, proudly sporting a badge with a blue sticker. This indicated that he was to be among the first to own an Xbox One in the Pacific time zone.

Xbox One at Best Buy in Los Angeles

A Best Buy popped up in Los Angeles

Next to Quijada was his line-mate until the midnight launch, Isaacc, who didn't get in line until a half hour later.

"I didn't get here until 8 a.m.," admitted Isaac, demonstrating the gap between the first to arrive and the people who strolled in throughout the morning.

While both front-of-the-line gamers were sticking with the Xbox One's single controller, they were picking up games along with their Day One Edition consoles.

"I'm buying Forza Motorsport 5 and Battlefield 4," Quijada said, noting that he's grown to like the Battlefield series more than its chief rival Call of Duty.

Isaacc agreed with these sentiments and also chose EA's first-person shooter brand as his first and only launch game.

These gamers weren't the only ones favoring Battlefield 4. Interestingly, while it was playable at the event, Call of Duty wasn't being represented in demo form even though the Xbox One version has a timed-exclusive deal for downloadable content with Microsoft.

A better value

Xbox One, Midnight Launch, Times Square, New York

Jocelyn Jimenez (center) was ecstatic about getting her new Xbox, and had plenty to say about the PS4

Even after standing around in the cold for hours, some Xbox fans stayed exuberant about getting their hands on the console. Some even called it the One system you need. Jocelyn Jimenez was among one of the most vocal supporters of the new Microsoft system.

Matt Swider