On Friday, December 8th, at 9am, I was among many that were ushered into the Best Buy on Cambie St in Vancouver. As we walked down the stairs, there were a bunch of staff that clapped. I gave my ticket to one of the guys at the bottom and he directed me to my basket containing a Nintendo Wii and Zelda: Twilight Princess. My friend Jesse bought the exact same thing. We paid for our stuff and walked back to his place, exhausted. We hadn’t really slept. You see, to get a Nintendo Wii in Vancouver, apparently, you must wait in front of the store that is getting their shipment, all night.
I knew from talking to the Best Buy representative that they were getting 25-30 units of Wii. They were also getting a similar number of PS3’s but I wasn’t concerned about that. Initially, the plan was to go hang out with Jesse, play some games, get some sleep, and walk over to line up early in the morning, around 5:30am. But when I talked to the Best Buy guy, he said there were already a couple people lined up, earlier in the afternoon. So, on my way to Jesse’s, I scoped out the line: about 10 people at 8pm, Thursday. This changed the plans.
We played some Soul Calibur 2 on the cube and Jesse eventually admitted total and utter defeat (par for the course). 🙂
At midnight, we went out for a walk. I would grab something to eat and we could check out the line. Jesse wasn’t really planning on getting a Wii, but was nice enough to keep me company for a while. First, we checked out the line, it had more than doubled! I checked the posters at the front of the door: 27 Wii, 8 60GB PS3, and 17 20GB PS3. Then I did a quick poll of everyone in line: the 60GB PS3s were taken by some people near the front, the rest were Wii. If Jesse and I lined up right then, we would be #19 and #20 for the Wii… so we did. Since the time of my arrival, Jesse had somehow decided he was going to get a Wii, as well. It didn’t even take much convincing on my part!
It was 12:30am by the time we entered the queue. The store opened at 9am, so we only had 8.5 hours to wait on the cold concrete. 😐 We had nothing to do and I still hadn’t had dinner! I asked the people around me if they wanted something from Wendy’s, up the street. Chili for a couple people ahead of me, a coffee for Jesse, and I wasn’t sure what I wanted yet. I walked up to Wendy’s, maybe around 1:30am. Only the drive-through was open, so I went and tapped on the window. They ignored me for as long as they could, and then one girl came over and said, “I’m sorry, we don’t serve walk-through.” What the fuck?! That had to be one of the stupidest things I’d ever heard! “Why not?! Would you like me to pretend I’m in a car?” “We can’t serve you.” *sigh* Fine. It’s clearly difficult to argue with that logic. Sorry guys, no chili or coffee. I had to eat something, so I walked to a Pho place on Broadway, and got a large beef steak pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) to go. It was kind of expensive ($7) but it was exactly what I needed. And after I opened that bad boy in the lineup, a few others made the trek up to that store and got something. 🙂
I think the cutoff point for Wii was around 3:00am. Some people decided to “try their luck” anyways, and others may have ended up getting a PS3. It’s funny, initially, because of the PS3 shortage, a lot of PS3 buyers ended up getting a Wii… but now, because of the demand for Wii, some Wii buyers end up getting a PS3. 🙂 There were still a couple PS3s left when they finished handing out tickets around 8am.
after a failed attempt at self-documentation…
…the person in front of us offered to take a picture. Beard keeps me warm.
Best Buy did not get any extra controllers with their shipment of systems, neither wiimotes nor nunchuks, so we could only get the ones that come with the system. Rayman and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance were sold out for Wii. No Wii buyers I met were selling, and one PS3 buyer I spoke to was. There were a couple parents lining up to get a Wii for their kids, but they ended up leaving after realizing they weren’t going to get one. There were quite a few people who would walk up to the end of the line, set up their chair and blanket, check out the numbers, and end up leaving with a disappointed look on their face. Kinda sad. At one point, closer to opening, the line was humongous! There were only systems for 52 people, but there must have been an additional 30 people that just… appeared. Crazy.
After getting back to Jesse’s, having not slept, we tried out Wii Sports. Since we each had a system (and thus, a controller), we could play two-player. It’s pretty fun. I’d say tennis and bowling are the best. Boxing would be awesome if the control was more intuitive, but I haven’t quite got it yet (if it’s even possible to “get”). Golf is also pretty hard to control the power of the swing. Finally, baseball is a little too over-simplified. Wii Sports is a fun demo of things to come. Good for multiplayer, but I’ve not yet played it by myself. Could be because I’ve been playing Zelda, I guess. 🙂 Not much to say that hasn’t been covered in the millions of reviews already. If you like Zelda games, or adventure games in general, you’ll like this game. I’m hooked.
merry xmas to me!
video: Jesse tries wii
Now, I’d better study for my exams.