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The Holiday Rush

27 Nov, 2006 By: Stephanie Prange

Never have I seen such a stampede to hype the holiday season. Each year it gets bigger. At first, Black Friday, when most folks rush for the early sales the day after Thanksgiving, was all the rage. Now it's Cyber Monday, a day when online stores actually hope that folks spend time at work shopping online.

Early bird sales seem to add to the hyperbole. Lines of folks waiting for Nintendo's Wii and Sony's PlayStation 3 were just the beginning. Over Thanksgiving weekend, folks lined up for deals on such hot items as HDTVs and portable DVD players.

One colleague of mine sat in line at Circuit City for a little less than two hours to get a deal on an LCD HDTV. Another noticed that folks were scooping up DVDs in handfuls, lured by ultra-low pricing.

I guess the fact that entertainment products are so central to the holiday season should make anyone in this business happy, but it also portends disasters. Because Sony doesn't seem to have had enough PlayStation 3s available at launch, one doesn't hear much about that console anymore. They've all been sold or are being hocked on eBay for thousands above sticker. The Wii seems easier to come by, but it's still a fight to get one.

In the holiday season rush, Xbox 360, the first mover in the next-generation console war, seems to have played its cards well. The console and the HD DVD addon are readily available for any shopper interested in high-def entertainment. And those who stood in line for hours to buy HDTVs may give it a try.

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