Soooo...all this gaming news and no story of my Wii Launch? Well it's time then.
Saturday I went out to watch the Rutgers game with friends. What a sore loss that was. The only plus side to it is that Syracuse University now stands a chance in hell! That's good...because we're literally last in the Big East. Oh what a difference our football and basketball teams have!
After the game ended, we headed to the Rutgers area to hang out at Kat and John's apartment. On the way around 10, Amar and I stopped by the local Target to gauge the line. (I had decided days before No Best Buy and No Target). I'd done my research the past week and decided we'd try the Wal-mart no one ever goes to in Whitehouse Station, blocks from where I work. There were about 30 people outside of Target, some campers and a big game of football going on in the parking lot.
We headed over to Katina and John's for some rousing Taboo, and later on stopped for some goodies. We got there around 2:30am, Amar had gotten spot 23 in line and I was 24. I had called this Wal-Mart that afternoon and found out they were getting 28-32 Wiis. They got exactly 28, which matched up to leaked launch numbers online as well.
We waited until 7am, when the store opened. They passed out paper tickets for systems. Bought my Wii, 2 extra Wiimotes and nun-chuks, Ray-Man, Trauma Center and Monkey Ball. Also picked up my preordered Zelda that evening at EB. Felt bad for the guys there, since it was one of my previous places of employment, and I've been through 2 console launches to know the nightmare they are.
Overall the launch was really enjoyable. It really was an experience. A kid or two brought a small tv, a PS2 and a Gamecube. Super Smash Brothers Melee was being played when we arrived. I played some Guitar Hero 2 while we waited. which surprisingly kept the fingers warm. It wasn't too cold until the actual store-opening time. Dawn was surprisingly much more chilly than the wee hours of the night
Most of the people were there to buy for their children or selves. 5 spots in line were sold from $35 up to $100. We knew there'd be at least 28 systems so these spots basically guaranteed a system. About 15 extra people stayed even after they knew they wouldn't get a system and picked up controllers/games. For all the newcomers at the end of the line or those who stayed and didn't score a system, I told them to go to the local CostCo, as they opened at 10am and were going to get systems as well. No one was camping out near there last night when we made our Target surveillance. The necessity of owning a CostCo membership actually weeds out a lot of younger gamers.
I was really surprised at the difference between this launch and the Playstation 3. That launch was insane with violence erupting countrywide. I think a big faction of that is that most of the PS3 campers were "mercenaries" in that they were just out to make a profit and sell the system. Hell there's nothing out for it anyway to warrant keeping it.
I played some on Sunday and Monday, all the games and started Zelda. I'm very impressed and I'm glad I did launch this year. Much more fun than just picking up my pre-ordered 360 last year!
The Nintendo crowd seemed much more apt to actually keep their systems and not turn a profit. The only profit I saw being made was selling line-spaces, and those were (mostly) from people who could wait to get theirs a few weeks down the road, and were happy with $35-100 extra dollars lining their pockets.
The guy who was first to buy a spot in line (11), intimated to me that even $100 would have been worth the smile on his son's face for his birthday this week. I straight-out told him he was a great father and that his kid was lucky to have him. Wii2006 was an experience for sure.