Monthly Archives: February 2007

A Wii story

I have a Wii. I didn’t have to camp out. Here are the fun details:

My dad wanted to buy the kids that are still at home a Wii for Christmas, so I helped him look around for one. Of course, they were hard to find and always snapped up as soon as they came in, so we didn’t end up finding one before Christmas. To be fair, we refused to wait in any ridiculous lines for hours, or camp out (I refuse to camp out for any reason, regardless of Wii involvement), so our chances were narrowed significantly.

We did almost get a Wii twice, once at Toys R Us, and once at Target. The last one sold just moments before we reached each location, of course. The Toys R Us experience was worth the 95 MPH freeway drive, for one reason: the reaction of the person in line after the one who got the last Wii. He was a teenager around 17 or 18 and when he saw that the last Wii was sold right in front of him fell to his knees in the middle of the store, and I thought he was about to cry. Once I got to the parking lot I noticed he was behind me, and he looked at the sky, spreading his arms, and shouted "Why do you taunt me, Nintendo? WHYYYYYYYYYY?" Good times.

The Wednesday after Christmas I was visiting a few stores in my area and saw two teens sitting out on the sidewalk in front of Circuit City at 4 in the afternoon. I asked them if they were Wii-camping and they pointed me at the sign on the front door: Circuit City would have 6 Wiis and 6 Playstation 3s the following morning. Again, I have a no-camping policy, and I thought it was especially silly to start camping 16 hours before the store was going to open. What do I know, I guess? I wished them luck and left.

The next day I was again in the area and I stopped in to ask how many people had ended up camping out. The CC guy told me that there were at least 6 at closing time the night before. I noted with amusement that 4 of the 6 PS3s were still sitting on the shelf, unbought.

It was with much hilarity, though, that I saw 41 PS3s on the floor at Best Buy the next Monday, with no one making a move to purchase them. Take that, Sony.

We’ll back up just a bit. I learned on that Thursday night that was to have Wiis for sale sometime between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. PST on Friday, December 29th. Determined to try and get one for my dad, I sat dutifully in front of the computer Friday morning, refreshing the page every 30 seconds or so. Of course, when they did become available, it was between my refreshes and the entire stock of 25 (seriously, Amazon, 25?) was sold by the next refresh.

Grumbling at Amazon’s stupidity, I left for work and decided to stop at ShopKo on a whim, as it is four blocks from my house. Without much hope, I asked the woman in the electronics department if they had had any recent shipments of Wiis or PS3s (I had found that store employees seem to be nicer if I asked for both instead of just the Wii), and she said yes. I asked how long ago they had come in, and she said, "Oh, about 20 minutes ago." I asked if any Wiis were left, expecting that they had all sold in minutes, if not seconds–stupid Amazon–and she replied that there were still 12 in the back.

Stunned, I slowly asked if I could buy two; one for me and one for my dad. I had not planned on getting a Wii up until this point, and had, in fact, already bought Twilight Princess for Gamecube and played it for some 15 hours, but I was suddenly caught up in the moment and knew that a Wii must be mine. She told me she was sorry, but it was one to a customer, so I bought one, and called my dad and told him to hurry his bum over to the ShopKo for a Wii. I believe his exact words were, “Holy crap! I’ll be right there.”

Wii in hand, I left the store, calling friends to let them know that if they, too, hurried their bums over to the ShopKo, they may be able to buy themselves a Wii. I drove back home to drop off my Wii, and my wife asked what I was doing back home so soon. I showed her the Wii box and she started jumping up and down. I think she wanted a Wii more than I did. I asked her to go back over to the ShopKo so she could be a new customer and buy a Wii just in case my dad couldn’t get one in time. When she got back, I went back over to the store to meet a friend who was buying one, and the nice electronics lady let me buy another one, since I had gone home and come back and therefore was a new customer.

So I picked up two, my wife picked up one, my dad got one, a co-worker rode down with my dad and got one, my friend got one, and his dad and sister each got one. Between us we bought eight of the fifteen Wiis ShopKo had received.

I sold one to another friend and one to my mom, who after playing boxing decided she needed to have it. Her husband also got pretty into the tennis, and was quite comical to watch.

My wife had planned a holiday party for that night, and it was enhanced by the Wii. Because my friends had also got Wiis that day we had enough Wiimotes to play four player sports, and man, was it ever fun. I had been skeptical of the Wii up to that point, but I am now a believer. Nintendo did almost everything right with the Wii, I think. There are a couple of things I would like to see change, namely side-letterboxing 4:3 content on a 16:9 TV, and the ability to take downloaded Virtual Console games to a friend’s house and play them.

As a side note, I stopped in the same ShopKo about a week and a half later looking for Wiimotes (note: I have found ShopKo is not the place to buy accessories, as they charge $5-$10 over retail), and saw a sign that said they had more Wiis in stock. I bought two more for people that had been looking for them. I love that fact that I got 5 Wiis without any stupid line-waiting or camping, and that I didn’t sell any of them on eBay. It was luck being the the right place at the right time, sure, but it still happened. Ka-zing!

Thanks in some part to the Wii, I have also had a great resurgence in my Zelda playing, which will be the subject of my next post, after which I will get back to poetism commentaries.