How I Got My Wii

Wii LogoI live in Northern New Jersey, somewhere in the wild suburbia of Passaic County. Right next door is Bergen County, home to more malls and shopping destinations per square mile than you could imagine. And on top of that, they have something called Blue Laws. Those are laws that govern what can and cannot be sold on Sundays. Originally it was a religious thing. Now, it’s kept by the community — they seem to vote on it every other year — as a way to lower traffic in their area and have one day of relative sanity. All of the malls close, and all of the malls over the border in New York State and in Passaic County have huge crowds as people just go elsewhere.

So when all of the stores in Passaic County sell out of the Wii on Sunday, there’s a backup plan: Shop Bergen County on Monday.

I went to the Best Buy next to Garden State Plaza yesterday morning. Stood in line for about an hour as #64 or so. They had 84 units. They gave tickets out at 9:00 and the sale started at 10:00.

Here’s the funnier thing: Around twenty minutes to nine, people started streaming out of the mall with Wiis. There are three different gaming stores in the mall. Each had a healthy supply of Wiis in stock. (Stories ranged from 80 to 200 per store.) Each had very small lines. None were worried about selling out before the mall proper opened at 10. So, just to cover my bets, I stayed in line to get my ticket, then went over to the mall. I had ticket #47. Other people ran to the mall and never came back for a ticket, so I “moved up” in the line.

In the end, I was able to purchase a Wii for me, and a Wii for a friend. No problem. I probably could have picked up two more if I wanted to.

The Best Buy line was quite the experience. Very busy, and very slow despite six checkers running registers. The employees running the thing were friendly and helpful, though one seemed convinced that you couldn’t save any games to your local machine and so HAD to buy an SD card. (Wrong.)

I saw first hand the shortage of nunchuks. Did Nintendo not expect developers to use the Nunchuk? I wasn’t able to buy an extra one, though I had no problem buying a spare Wiimote.

They also ran out of the classic controller very quickly. Didn’t see any wires of any kind (component or sVideo) anywhere.

Best Buy had the 84 units lined up and labelled with numbers on the top, so your ticket matched a specific box. I think they had plenty leftover at 11:00, as many people who picked up a ticket ended up at the mall to grab one and just went home.

I only bought one game – SUPER MONKEYBALL. In talking to people in line around me and hearing what they had to say, I thought I’d go for it first, rather than the rabbits game whose name I can never remember. I’ll put MARVEL ULTIMATE ALLIANCE and that rabbits game and RED STEEL on my Christmas list. ELEBITS may make it, too. Best Buy had a $5 off coupon for MONKEYBALL, so I saved a buck somewhere on the day.Wii console

And the credit card company didn’t give me a problem for buying two video game consoles on the same day. Usually, I imagine that’s a flag for a stolen credit card.

So, to sum it all up: Being able to “camp out” in line on a day when all the adults are at work (I had some overtime I could cash in to go to work late) and all the kids are in school is a very good thing. Sure, it was a little cold, but once the numbness set in, who cared? ;-)

The lines were all friendly, like a pack of kids on Christmas morning. We all chatted about our horror stories in not getting one on Sunday. We talked games, shopping, computers, life. . . It was fun.

But then I had to go to work. And then bowling. I didn’t rip into the Wii until 10:00 last night. More on that a little later.

10 thoughts on “How I Got My Wii

  1. A 70 hour game that begins with you as a wolf sniffing around a cage, digging aimlessly at the ground, and —

    No thanks. I enjoyed the first Zelda, but that’s not the type of game I’m really interested in these days. Give me fun games, mini-games, repetitive and addicting games.

  2. Yay for Blue Laws working in your favor. I didn’t go out on Sunday looking for a Wii, and the few places I’ve been since then that would acrry them haven’t. Not a big loss, although now I’m wondering what kind of fun I’m missing.

  3. I hear that the Toys R Us in Time Sqare still has a thousand systems or so. Apparently they just can’t get rid of them fast enough.

    Congrats on getting the system. I can certainly understand the numbness aspect of it. 14 hours in 30 degree weather, not fun, but I survived! I have only played Monkey Ball a bit, and so far it is great.

    The game that has hooked me is Rayman Raving Rabbids. Great variety of gameplay so far and really good use of the Wiimote and Nunchuk. It is also good to pick up and play when you want short bursts of fun.

    I started Zelda last night and have been enjoying it so far. You actually don’t get to the wolf part until an hour into the game, so it isn’t that bad. Great so far.

    I also noticed at a couple of stores a shortage of Nunchuks too. Strange. No luck in finding the S-Video cables though. It looks like they haven’t been released yet, as everywhere I look says between December 2nd and February for a release date.

  4. You can order a nunchuk, or any cables you might want, off of Nintendo’s website’s store. I looked on Monday, and they were only backordered on one or two items, with more expected in stock within days.

    As far as I know, that’s just about the only way to get component cables for the time being.

    Anyone else that’s currently playing Wii Sports… are your arms freaking sore too? I can barely lift them!

  5. Nick – I was more worried about my shoulder from all the tennis and the three far-too-long innings of baseball I played. My arms recovered all right in the morning, but I only played for about an hour.

    Tonight, my goal is to set up the wireless network. I need to dig up my settings on my router. Then, I can download the firmware update and pray it doesn’t brick my Wii, as has happened to some people. THEN, I’ll consider ordering a second Nunchuk and maybe the sVideo cable.

    Josh — does the rabbits game have lots of one player mini-games. I’m just reading now that the Super Monkey Ball mini-games are all two players or better. That won’t help me too much. Whoops.

  6. Oooh, yeah, I guess my shoulders and back hurt too. Pretty much everything hurts at this point, it’s hard to keep track. If I keep this up, I’ll actually be exercising! Plus, I’m halfway to Pro level on several different sports, so that’s something. The tennis guys get REALLY hard once you get up to about 350 points!

  7. The rabbits game is mostly 1-player. You have to play the 1-player portion to unlock the 2-player part.

  8. I was happy to see lots of one-player mini-games on MONKEY BALL last night. I had way too much fun with Disc Gold, no Nunchuk needed. But I definitely want to try Rabbits, too, sometime.

    I’ll write up more about the Wii later, or maybe over the holiday weekend.

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