I completely skipped the PS3 launch. I can't justify a $600 console that doesn't have any particularly interesting games yet, especially when I haven't made the jump to HDTV. We also got back from New Zealand the day before the launch so I was a little bit more worried about adjusting back to Central time than looking for a videogame console. I did head out that Sunday for the Wii launch. I figured there would be lines but that I could still pick one up if I showed up near opening time. I was a little bit wrong. Each store I went to was completely sold out of the console and accessories. I ended up ordering some accessories from Circuit City and picking up four games (decent sale prices) but couldn't find a console anywhere. At the PSP launch there were plenty of consoles on launch day with the supply running out a little while later. I expected something more like that but was wrong.
So, I found out this past weekend from DealRush
that Best Buy was advertising that they would have at least twelve Wii systems for sale at each store on Sunday. I decided to head down and take my chances at the Roseville Best Buy. Hopefully I'd be able to get at least one for me and maybe one for one of the other people I know who were looking for them but couldn't find them (if they had any left after selling to people waiting in line).
I checked online and called to confirm they were opening up at 10:00am. I arrived at about 9:40am and found a line of around forty people. I decided to go ahead and give it a chance since they'd had a little over fifty for launch day. (I think most places I went on launch day claimed they'd gotten about sixty to eighty systems, the exception being Toys R Us where they'd gotten about fourteen.)
After waiting ten or fifteen minutes this guy in a wheelchair about ten people ahead of me scooted up to the front of the line, then scooted back smiling and giving his compatriot a thumbs up. Shortly thereafter a Best Buy employee came to their part of the line and started handing out tickets. The stack of tickets looked a little small and I wasn't sure she would make it back to me.
The Best Buy employee got about four guys ahead of me and announced that they had given out all of their tickets. The store had received fifty one Wii systems and all were now spoken for. People without tickets were free to wait around and hope that one of the transactions wouldn't go through. My estimation of the line size had been a little off because of the people who got there early, were issued tickets and then went somewhere warmer to wait until closer to the store's opening time.
I decided to stick around. As far as I could tell there were three people ahead of me without tickets. After seeing one guy at Circuit City the previous weekend get to the front of the line and realize he'd left his wallet at home, I thought there was a good chance a couple systems would filter back to people without tickets. (Tickets were only good until 11:00am.) One of the guys ahead of me gave up as soon as he heard the employees announcement. That put me in third place.
As the store opened up at 10:00am they had us go back to the customer service area to keep the line out of the way of other shoppers. One guy ahead of me peeled off as we went into the store so I was now in second place. I waved one of the employees over and confirmed that I was in the right place for people without tickets.
We waited around for a while and the line slowly moved forward. Eventually I noticed that the guy in front of me had a ticket. I later found out he got there at like 7:00am and then left as soon as he got a ticket, returning around 9:30am. That put me at the head of the second chance line.
After a few more minutes I saw one of the guys ahead of me in line talking to some of the employees. A little while later the employee who had been handing tickets out headed back to my section of the line with a ticket in her hand. Another woman who wasn't even in the line went up to her and asked if she could have the ticket but the employees let her know that there was a fairly long line of people waiting for the ticket and she didn't really have a chance. The employee continued on to my section of the line, asked us who didn't have a ticket and handed it to me. I got ticket #23 because the person who originally got the ticket was an employee and they aren't allowing employee purchases right now. Hooray for Best Buy.
So, I brought the Wii home, hooked it up and played Wii Sports, Trauma Center and Rayman. Wii Sports is very fun, Trauma Center is cool (although not new yet because I've got the DS version) and Rayman is like a more structured WarioWare.
Unfortunately there's currently no S-Video adapter for the Wii which makes it kind of tricky to hook up with my AV system. It looks like there might be some S-Video adapters coming out next month. (Supposedly they no longer use the same port as they did for the SNES, N64 and Gamecube.)