Friday, November 24, 2006

My quest for the Wii

Since last Sunday, I've been aiming to get a Wii. So far I have thus been fuitless, since it seems that to score one of these mythical consoles I have to undertake drastic measures. The closest I got a Wii was earlier this morning, when I stood only five feet from one of those boxed beauties.

I admit that I haven't made the most intelligent choices regarding time. In my quest for the Wii, time is key. Depending on the steps that I take, I can stand in line for a while or wait until the demand for the Wii has been sated such that I can walk into any electronic entertainment retailer and purchase one right off the shelf.

I didn't pre-order the Wii, which immediately put me into a difficult position. I hadn't decided that I truly wanted a Wii until a few days before, and after that I was too late. I comforted myself with the belief that demand for the Wii would be less than the demand for the other two consoles, since the Gamecube has and has had such a small market share in the five years that it has been on the shelf.

Boy, was I wrong.

On Sunday, I went round to K-Mart, Target, GameStop, and Sears, starting at about 10:30 A.M. Sure enough, all four stores were out of Wiis and unsure of when the consoles would be restocked.

On Tuesday I checked out Target and GameStop again, since it was doubtful a new shipment would be in on Monday, and I had read on Digg that you could walk right into a GameStop and buy a Wii. Once again, they were all out of stock. I knew at that point that there would be no point in looking for a Wii on Wednesday or Thursday, since the retailers would be saving them for Black Friday.

On Thanksgiving, I decided that waiting in line for an hour would not be worth it, so I would not try going to Best Buy at 5 A.M. or Target at 6 in the hope that so few people would be looking for Wiis that I would get one. I still have no intention of waiting in a line for more than fifteen minutes. There are so many other things I could be doing (like blogging) that just standing around would be pointless. Sooner or later, I will be able to buy a Wii. Perhaps in a month, perhaps sooner, or perhaps even later I will be contentedly shaking the Wii like a can of spray paint, for lack of a better simile.

So at 6:25 A.M. today, I got up, and at 6:50 I went to the GameStop, since I live close to one. I would have gone earlier, but I knew that it wouldn't be worth my time to stand in line for a while, so I wouldn't mind if I was too far back in the line. When I got to the store at roughly 2 minutes 'til, there was a line of 20 people. Even as I joined the line, men and women of all ages - even soccer mothers and plaid jacket fathers - stood, all talking about the Wii and how their sons or daughters wanted one. I talked briefly with the grandmother in front of me about the violence surrounding the PS3. I knew that everybody there wanted a Wii, since I had heard no reports of PS3 units being restocked in stores.

Big time, was I wrong.

At seven minutes past 7, the door was opened, and the line progressed into the store. My place in line was right next to the Xbox 360 display unit. I attempted to play a demo game while I waited, but the display unit only had videos to watch. Trust me, video games are a lot more fun when you actually get to play them, so I chose not to watch.

the line was very cordial. I walked out of line to grab a copy of Red Steel for some guy who asked after I checked to see if Twilight Princess was on the shelf, and when I got back to my place no one made a fuss. Ten minutes later, the Wiis were all sold out, and GameStop wasn't selling vouchers for them. So I left, glad that I didn't wait around longer to not get one.

So I am still waiting for a Wii. I mean waiting, not searching, since Christmas shopping season will mean stuffed parking lots, cramped stores, long check-out lines, and heavy traffic. I figure that my best bet in finding a Wii is the Internet (or more specifically, Amazon), but even then it looks like the rest of the world wants a Wii, too.

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