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I Got a Nintendo Wii

This article was written by in Consumer, Fun and Contests, Shopping. 17 comments.


On Sunday, I purchased a Nintendo Wii. It wasn’t for me. My girlfriend, celebrating her thirtieth birthday, wanted the game system as a gift.

Not knowing much about the current state of demand and supply for the game consoles and assuming any frenzy ended with the past holiday season, we went shopping on Saturday. Our first stop was the nearby Toys R Us.

Nintendo WiiThey had none in stock, but there were laser-printed signs all over the store indicating they expected a shipment of Wiis in the next day, in addition to some kind of Pokemon thing. I couldn’t help thinking that this really wasn’t my kind of game.

We stopped into other stores, including Circuit City and Best Buy, but no Nintendos could be found. Best Buy would have them in the next day like Toys R Us, but no one at Circuit City seemed to have any information about their next shipment.

After confirming for the third time that my girlfriend was positive this was what she wanted for her birthday, we decided to head to Toys R Us on Sunday before the store opened.

When we arrived, there was a long line of eager would-be customers waiting at the door. A few people at the head of the line had blankets and chairs. They must have been there for hours, if not overnight. I had no idea demand was still so high for these devices.

As we arrived in line about 30 minutes before the doors opened, a store employee handed us a number (64), which guaranteed us a Wii. By the time the store opened, they were turning people away.

After the line moved inside the store, it still took another half hour before we’d enter the game section of the store and head to the counter to turn in our numbered slip and claim the prize. While in line, the girls behind us (numbers 65 and 66) were on the phone with their friends, talking about whether they could create an eBay account to sell the consoles online to those unable to purchase one in person, theoretically for a nice profit.

These girls were on their way back to Connecticut, saw the line at the Toys R Us, and got sidetracked. While we were on line, one lied to her father on the phone by telling him they had just stopped for coffee and were getting back on the road.

A quick search of eBay reveals that recently auctioned consoles are selling anywhere from $270 to $320 plus shipping. The regular price is $249, so I guess demand is still rather high.

super-mario-bros.pngToys R Us was sold out of the new Zelda game, which I would have liked for myself. The only extra we opted for was an additional controller. Game systems used to come with two controllers, but someone discovered they can make more money by selling them separately.

After getting the system hooked up — we decided not to wait for my girlfriend’s actual birthday next Saturday — we played the bundled sports game. It was interesting, and it took a few times to get used to the motion-sensitive controller. We connected the Wii to the Internet and downloaded a classic NES game, Super Mario Brothers.

That classic game seems to be the winner so far. If you take the Wii’s strange remote-control-looking controller and turn it sideways, it vaguely resembles the original NES controller, and that’s how it is used in the game.

We were discovering “warp zones” I forgot existed, and my girlfriend was able to do that 100-free-lives trick with the turtle guy on the blocks. You know what I’m talking about.

Updated May 26, 2009 and originally published April 24, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Henry @ Binary Dollar

Your GF wanted a Nintendo Wii? She’s cool.

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avatar henry

This is wierd but right before I read your post, I read a story on the design and marketing of the Wii on the CNN money site. You should check it out. Pretty interesting.

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avatar Blain Reinkensmeyer

That is awesome, i still have yet to play a
Wii Flexo! The classics are the best, and the be honest with you I never could figure out how to get the 100 lives off that turtle, your gf obviously has skills!

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avatar Blain Reinkensmeyer

O btw, grab a download of super mario 3, thatll keep you busy for a while :p

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avatar mapgirl

I’m not a huge fan of Nintendo games, because I’m a spaz, but someone brought a Wii to a party one night and it was lots of fun for us to make our Mii’s and play tennis and golf.

The plunger shooting duck and bunny game is pretty hilarious.

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avatar Kurt

The Wii is in my opinion a brilliantly executed project. However, the thing i really appreciate is the story: a decades-long arms race in which the incumbent finally is brought down only to blindside the competition with something completely out of left field. Nintendo put it all on red, spun the wheel and knocked the house down a peg or two. Fantastic.

Also, the virtual console is as much fun as the new games, I think. It sucks to have to pay $5-$10 for things that don’t cost the company a dime, but I suppose that shows just how great the product is: we’ll pay for it and smile while doing so.

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avatar Hazzard

That is hilarious. You guys stood in line all that time and got the WII, only to go home and play a Nintendo classic. That speaks well for that timeless Mario Bros!

I bet you will like the Sports pack. I’ve heard it’s really addictive once you get in to it.

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avatar Zachary

I actually just tried this system this past weekend at a friend’s house. The controllers took a while to get used to, but it was fun to have a more physically engaging video game system.

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avatar craig

This is one of my favorite posts. You know what I’m talking about.

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avatar Lazy Man and Money

“Your GF wanted a Nintendo Wii? She’s cool.”

Your GF remembers how to do the 100 1-up turtle on the blocks after this many years… much, much cooler.

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avatar Amy

Wow, your girlfriend is cool and much much cooler with skills. You must be so lucky to have her!

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avatar raising4boys.com

Haha. We bought one on Sunday, too. I picked up Zelda and some extra controllers, but have only played sports thus far.

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avatar Dax

I’ve played it at a friend’s house and am thoroughly impressed (and already addicted!) The controller is brilliantly designed and works much more responsively than I anticipated. It really picks up on the nuances of swinging, tilting and twisting… even just a little. My only complaint is that they didn’t include shoelace sensors (or something similar) so that you could use your feet for such potential games like kickboxing (or ANY fighting game), soccer, olympic decathalon, etc.

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avatar Jonathan

Dude, can I come over? I promise not to break stuff…

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avatar J.D.

Flexo, you and Nickel will have to pop in to give updates on your progress at various Wii Sports modes. My high game in bowling is something like 257, but my rating is only 1250 or so. My tennis rating is about 1915. My “fitness age” is generally about 28-30, but the best I’ve done is 23. My wife loves the Wii, and so do I. Don’t forget it plays GameCube games, too, which you can get for cheap. I played all the way through Mario Kart Double Dash in a week. My blog suffered for it… :(

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avatar dong

Props on the Wii. I got one a couple months ago (and some nintedo stock which I could sell now to pay for the wii), and am very happy with it. It’s great system. Too bad I don’t have enough time to play it.

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avatar Livingalmostlarge

I have one and had it since it came out. And I’m a woman, who has a husband who wanted it at the last minute. I stood in line at midnight to get it. Sigh, 30 and still playing games. Okay I admit to playing it a lot, we’re finally done with Zelda and I have to go buy paper mario. We also bought raving rabbits fun, super monkey ball fun.

I am waiting for mario kart, my favorite game on the gamecube. FWIW, we’re DINKS without kids and in our late 20s. I think I’m fufilling DH’s childhood dreams, although I must admit that I’ve greatly enjoyed it as well I must considering how many gamecube games we have.

I think it’s a generational thing, I had a super nintendo growing up and loved mario games. Friends a few years older aren’t as into it and the people we know who are a bit younger adore it more.

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