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Monday, November 28, 2005

Xbox 360 "midnight madness" events unreal

Xbox 360 "midnight madness" events unreal

"Talk about irrational exuberance. This time, however, everyone knew in advance the market would overheat.

We're talking, of course, about the flurry of Microsoft Xbox 360 consoles being sold last week by speculators on eBay and craigslist.

Standouts included the Seattle guy who posted a picture Tuesday of his 360 (offered at $2,000) alongside his sleeping bag and a half-eaten box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, as evidence that he spent the night waiting for his purchase. We also liked the guy who wanted $1,000 for a plastic console faceplate that Bill Gates signed for him at the Bellevue Best Buy.

Demand for the console was obviously real. But you had to be skeptical about the scripted "midnight madness" events, especially when the first guy in line at ground zero in Bellevue was a Microsoft employee.

Then there was the gun-wielding guy in Virginia who robbed an Electronics Boutique of two consoles just before they went on sale. Police nabbed him shortly afterward, according to GameSpot. Watch for those consoles to be auctioned off as collectibles for the true first-person-shooter fan.

The frenzied bidding makes you wonder if Microsoft should spin off the Xbox division as a separate company. To one-up Google, Microsoft could skip the Dutch auction and offer shares through a midnight-madness promotion.

Just in time for the 11 p.m. news, Gates could present the first share to an eager investor waiting at the Charles Schwab office in Seattle.
Call and click

Fund managers would bundle up in cashmere overcoats and camp outside brokerage offices for a chance to buy the shares." [more]

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