Thanks for Gizmodo’s tip-off, we finally got a Wii. For those not in the know, the Wii is Nintendo’s new video game system. I’ve been trying to buy one for over a month now without any luck. I’d call around to Target, Best Buy, EB Games, Circuit City, and anywhere else that I thought might have them. I’d always ask the same question: “Do you have any Nintendo Wiis in stock?”, and always got the same answer: “No.” Well, one time, a couple weeks ago, I was told that they had in the day before, but quickly sold out. Wii’s have been sold out (or nearly so) since they launched last November, and there’s no sign of sales slowing down.
When I saw the Gizmodo rumor stating that each Best Buy would have at least 12 in stock, I wanted to try to get one. Another friend of mine, John, (who’s also been looking) and I decided that we’d meet at Best Buy at 9:30 AM (half an hour before opening) to wait for the store to open.
This morning, I got up early to go running and checked the Best Buy website, which confirmed the rumor. I also noticed a comment on Gizmodo by someone who works at Best Buy. They said that they’d had a line for every delivery since the Wiis were released. Since we were already up, Jesse and I decided to go ahead and leave right away. I emailed John to let him know about the change, and we were on our way.
We ended up arriving at 8:45 (1 hr. 15 min before the store opened), and there was already a line. I don’t know how early the first person arrived, but we were number 10. We took our place and waited. A few minutes later, a couple more people showed up, and a few minutes after that — even more. There were some kids in line, but most people were in their 20’s or 30’s. From the sounds of the chatter, the older adults weren’t buying Wiis for their kids; they were really buying them for themselves (good job Nintendo!).
A little after 9:00, John called to say that he was on his way. I warned him that there were already more than 12 people in line, so there was a chance that Best Buy would be sold out. I’d also heard that Circuit City was getting a shipment, so I suggested that he check that out. By the time he got there, they’d already run out of tickets to buy the Wiis. At about the same time, a Best Buy manager stepped out and started handing out tickets (one per customer) to the people in line. Jesse and I each took one (#10 and #11) so that John would be able to buy one. The manager explained that the Wiis were stored in a secure location, and that we had between 10:00 and 11:00 to take our ticket to the checkout stand and buy our Wii. They had something like 30 in stock, but it didn’t take long for them to sell out. John showed up soon after, we gave him a ticket, got breakfast, and then bought our Wiis. Jes and I also picked up Wii Play (a game that comes with a controller), an extra Nunchuk attachment, and Super Paper Mario.
Here’s the part where I tell you what I actually think about the system. It’s great. The setup is pretty easy. Just plug in the power, TV connector cables, and sensor bar, and you’re all set. Once you get it turned on, you still have to set up things like the date, time, and wireless Internet access, but that’s all pretty straight forward. I went ahead and ran a system update right away, and downloaded the Everybody Votes channel and the Opera web browser (while it’s still free). The download process was a bit slow, but it gave me some time to read the manuals. Once everything was set up, we really gave it a test drive and started having fun.
Reviews of the individual games will have to wait for another day. I will say that Wii Sports is a lot of fun, especially tennis. Wii Play’s collection of mini-games is, well, mixed — but there are some real gems in their. I’ve only just started Super Paper Mario, but it looks pretty strange at this point. More news and reviews to come; I’m sure.