Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Wii -Tastic

I was going to have this really long blog series about how long it took me to purchase a Wii console, but I am happy to say that my little adventure idea ended before it really got off the ground. I managed to wrangle myself one of those very elusive Wii's this morning.

The wife and I have been thinking about getting a Wii for sometime, but its one of those things where your only serious if you can buy it in the store your standing in when you make the decision to purchase one. This whole getting a Wii was also hampered by the idea that my lovely wife isn't a huge game system hunter. Basically I mean, if it's not in the store next to the checkout line, she isn't likely to spend all day looking for one, nor is she likely to let me look as well. I'm sure a lot of happily married couples understand exactly how this works.

So, needless to say that I was surprised when I got the go ahead about 2 weeks ago to start my search for one. I haven't been blogging about it because it hadn't been a very successful search. I started by cruising the major stores that might stock the item in question, mainly, Best Buy, Circuit City, Wal-Mart and Target. Nothing for a week. Everyone was out. Every time I asked, I got the same answer in exactly the same way. "No, we don't have them in" "No, we don't know when we will be getting them in." "No, you can't reserve one, its first come first serve."

I just thought the shortage would be centered mostly around the holiday season, but apparently Nintendo isn't making great strides or effort to mass produce the Wii like their competitors are producing the Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3. This shortage is good for Nintendo's bottom line, produce keeps selling out, because they don't send out a lot of units.

Now, I did discover in my journey that if an area store gets a shipment in, it will be only once a week and it usually contains between 3 - 6 units, per store if they are lucky. I also found out that people are so fanatic about purchasing these endangered gaming systems that they usually sell out in 3 hrs after the store has them. This would be normal for say Christmas time, but the beginning of summer? Come on Nintendo, get a grip.

Well, I started calling places last week, instead of just casually dropping by to see if they had any in stock. I also expanded my query to include Gamestop, Toys-R-Us and K-Mart. So, I'm calling 6 different places on different days to find a Wii. Crazy? Maybe, but when your wife gives you permission to buy a gaming system, you have to jump on the chance. You can't let this slip away, you have to take the credit card and run. Regretfully, expanding my store choices and calling them yielded nothing. I did discover that K-Mart and Toys-R-Us tended to get more systems in, but they usually sold out in a few hours as well.

Then this past Sunday, I was text chatting with a friend of mine in WoW and to my shock and dismay, he relayed the story of how he had run out that morning and purchased a Wii in anticipation of entertaining relatives this week. Apparently, he drove out to two stores and purchased the game with no trouble. This drove me mad, I decided to take some time and call a few places. The hunt was on again, and at a much more fevered pitch. So I called Target only discover that they had some in, but had already sold out. My luck just sucks.

So, I had made up my mind that afternoon to call the local Gamestop every morning when they opened to see if they had any shipments arrive. Monday was a bust. I pretty much figured out that all the stores got their shipments on the same day, so there was no need in calling 3 stores, all I needed to do was call one. But no shipments on Monday, which was good, because I ended up getting ill that afternoon and had to head home. I would really suck to buy a new gaming system and not be able to play with it.

Anyway, today, I called the local store just after opening. The person that answered the phone informed me that they had not received their shipment yet, but that most shipments arrived between Monday and Wednesday. He suggested that I call back in an hour to give the UPS a chance to deliver, or I could call another store to see if they had received a shipment, since they get them all on the same day. This was probably the most help I had gotten so far on this adventure.

So, I looked up another store on the internet, placed the call and was surprised when the person answered my query with, "Yes, we have the Wii." I said, "I'll be there in a minute." About 30 minutes later and a lot poorer, I am now the proud owner of a Wii console, with an extra controller and nun chuck. I turned down the offer for a extended warranty which I hoped doesn't come back to haunt me.

So, tonight, I'll be braking that bad boy out to give it a test drive. I will let you know how that goes.

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