No Wii for Mii!

So here's the scoop, the entire sleepless weekend, the booze, the stay-awake pills, the freezing nights spent with dorks outdoors (can't even play the DS, too cold!), the ...

Oh wait, I didn't do any of that.

As the hype grew to fever pitch the past few days, I figured my chances of "walking in and getting one" were about zero. I really wasn't interested in spending much time on it, but I gotta admit that I really wanted to see how well Nintendo's doing this round. I wanted to see the lines, the failures, and the demand far outpacing supply for this underdog, untested platform (seems like Red Steel's no good :(, but I'm still hoping for Call of Duty 3, despite the subject matter). See here for excellent video of said game.

So I talked Joan into thinking that this was an amusing thing to do, and since I only have the best wife ever, she agreed.

I left the alarm clock to fate - I turned it off entirely. Either fate or anticipation was with us however, as I woke right before 7, made some coffee, and within 25 minutes we were out the door. Here was the plan:

8am - Toys R' Us and Best Buy open
9am - Target opens
10am - Circuity City opens
11 am - CompUSA opens

On the way to Target, we stretched our necks and scoped out what looked like a line of 20 people in front of Circuit City - yes, a line at 7:45am for a store that opens at 10. If we had any expectations left at all, they now vanished. Long story short, here are the results:

Target - line of about 50 people with 20 more in cars, all units gone on arrival, presumably around 60 or so.

Toys R Us - a line of 30 people had formed, but no one had any concrete info. Within minutes, the guy ahead of me noticed a walkie talkie had been left - with a display of un-nerdlike chutzpah, he grabbed it and demanded info of employees inside. 7 units. We left.

Best Buy - fuggedabout it. About 200 people in front. Later we found out it was 250 people in front, and 150 units. D'oh!

By the time we drove back to Circuit City at about 8:30, there was a big sign on the door - Nintendo Wii is sold out. It had obviously been prepared the night before, and I commend the people there for acting promptly. I assume tickets were given out while we were at TRU, and people went home to await the store opening to pick up their loot or bemoan their voucherless selves.

CompUSA was a big mystery, as there was no one there. After a brief consultation, Joan drove off to get some munchies and reading material, and I got in line - first one there, woot!

After about 30 minutes in line, the (jackass) manager, apparently quite frightened of people in general and us specifically, ran up, yelled "We don't have any Nintendos!" in response to our queries, and ran in. We were a bit puzzled, as no more details were forthcoming, but it turns out that in his addled brain he was working on a plan. Yes, a plan! His plan was to print out inventory sheets and pass them out to us to indicate the big fat zero status of Wiis housed within. Why he couldn't just walk out and chat and commiserate a bit ... I don't know. I guess CompUSA hires just about anybody these days. That's gotta be the weirdest thing I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot of dorky behavior in my time. So yeah, he was a bit ... off. He almost bit the head off one guy who asked about rainchecks.

One thing of note is that he claimed they're supposed to get 270 units. That is more than ANY store we've seen, so I'm going back tomorrow to pester that jackass (well, not him specifically).

All in all, Circuit City gets a nod for their efficiency, and Toys R Us gets a frowny face for not having a human come out and say something. CompUSA gets a big fat black mark for being general jackasses, and for failing to manage their inventory (not surprising, service there has always been atrocious). If they had gotten it as I expected, well ... I was first! :D

Anyway, I figure later this or next week. Apparently shipments are continuous, so I'm not really worried; I only have about 7 games to finish - really digging Gun, Dark Messiah and Gothic III right now, not to mention 4 ongoing Dominions III games.

Fun stuff!

Oh yeah, we encountered one Wii scalper while in line at CompUSA. He wanted a hundred bucks for his voucher. Weirdo. Nobody took him up on it, and I felt vaguely proud of my geek brethren ...

Well, today is my fourth E2 birthday, and in true typical fashion, I'm posting this late.

Thus far, it's been a superb ride: I've met many wonderful people, traveled all over to nodermeets and had a great time, and made some good friends. I hope to do more of those things. I've worked on writeups, both my own and others' as an editor, and I enjoy every minute of it.

E2 itself has changed a bit over the last four years; in my estimation it just keeps getting better and better, and that's a big reason why I expect to be around for many more years. It's still good.

Thanks, E2. You've made a big difference.

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