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Wii Launches, Sells Out Peacefully 565

porcupine8 writes "Like the Playstation 3, the Nintendo Wii sold out on launch day this weekend. Unlike the PS3, the launch was a peaceful affair with no reports yet of console-related violence in the US. This may be partially due to the fact that Nintendo promises to have a total of four million units in stores by Christmas, with the bulk of those going to North America. Midnight launch parties on both the east and west coasts ushered the new console in with a bang." Please, if you've managed to snag a Wii yourself, share your opinions below! Update: 11/20 17:25 GMT by Z : A few quick impressions from 24 hours of owning a Wii, and some links on the subject if you Read More.
All I have to say so far is pretty positive. I snagged Rayman Raving Rabbids, Zelda, and (on a lark) Red Steel. I haven't had the heart to play Red Steel yet, but Rayman is a great, quirky mini-game game. I think this format is going to be pretty common for the Wii, and I'm actually looking forward to it. Zelda is ... Zelda. I really, really like it, but if you're getting tired of the same old thing you're going to be disappointed. My big complaint is the glacially slow internet connection. I have never owned a Genesis, and so wanted to snag Sonic for some cheap laughs. Purchasing Wii points took about half an hour, and I never actually managed to download the game (despite having paid for it). I'm hoping that today, with less hammering on the servers, I'll have more luck. Expect a more complete review next week. In the mean time, Chris Kohler at Game|Life has had a Wii since last week, and has some considered opinions on its launch issues, and a bit more specifically on virtual console problems.
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Wii Launches, Sells Out Peacefully

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  • my launch experience (Score:5, Informative)

    by focitrixilous P ( 690813 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:01PM (#16915576) Journal
    I bought a Wii at launch at 8 am at a local Target. I got there around 1 am, and was 10th in line. The store had said they had 20-30 units earlier that day, but refused to give a full count. We played some frisbee, security yelled at a couple high school kids for shopping cart jousting, Mario Kart DS was played until everyones hands were nearly frozen off (It was around 15 degrees F) and then everyone sat around until 7:30, when they handed out tickets and popcorn and soda (nothing like a cold diet coke after 7 hours in th e cold. They didn't have enough for everyone in the line, but a bunch of people had gotten there around 7 am so they weren't that dissapointed. Bought my unit and a Wiimote + Nunchuck, I'm going to leech Zelda off of one of the 3 people I know that bought it in a couple weeks. I was waiting for more reviews of games, I might actually buy Madden 07 (first madden game in 6 years, finally changed enough to justify it.)

    Wii Bowling so far has been the most popular Wii Sport, with Boxing/Golf also being played often. Bowling's Power Shot training mode, where an additional row of pins is added each frame, leading to a final frame of 91 pins, has been played a lot.

    First system I've gotten on Opening Day, thus far I think it was worth it.

  • Re:Resell (Score:3, Informative)

    by Fozzyuw ( 950608 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:02PM (#16915594)
    The real question is, how is the resell doing?

    My real question would be... is anyone else having sensor issues with Red Steel? The cross hair jumps all over the screen and it's not hard for me to make the game spin in one direction constantly while holding the controller in the opposite direction. I wonder if I setup my sensor right. However, my 3 other games (Zelda, Marvel, and DBZ) all work very well.


  • Re:Wii/PS3 numbers (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:10PM (#16915754)
    It will all be speculation until NPD numbers are released for November next month.

    But so far just from shipping numbers:

    PS3: 400k initial shipment, 600k more PS3s in the process of being shipped to the US already. Some people on Amazon have already bought the first of the non-launch PS3s.

    Wii: It looks like there were less than a million, maybe 800k. Nintendo states they are aiming to reach 2 million by the middle of January.

    So, assuming both consoles continue to sell out, Nintendo will probably have between a 500k to 1 million lead by the end of January. Although I think Sony's manufacturing is going to be pumping out more and more every week as the process matures, while Nintendo is already at that point. So it might actually be even closer come January.

    One thing that is funny is there are more Wiis on eBay than PS3s...

  • Re:Resell (Score:5, Informative)

    by revlayle ( 964221 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:10PM (#16915756) Homepage
    Not sure, but Red Steel has had lackluster reviews on gameplay and the dev-team always had some issues with the control - i.e. the small targeting "reticle" (i.e. once the remote moves out of this small reticle, the player turns). Your sensor bar may be fine, the game may just suck :)
  • by HappySqurriel ( 1010623 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:11PM (#16915782)
    Third, Wii games are getting slammed in reviews. Even their main system seller game is getting so fairly negative reactions and reviews.

    Yeah its only the best reviewed game of the year with an average review score of 97% after 16 reviews (; if it can maintain that average over 4 more reviews it will only be the second best reviewed game of all time (second only to The Legend of Zelda:OoT).

    Second, the Wii appears to be having huge numbers of problems. Not the insane failure rate/dead consoles fiasco Microsoft had with the 360s, but huge numbers of minor to medium problems. Dead/flakey controllers seem to be very common, networking problems, disc read errors, problems updating the Wii software, and a fair number of DOA Wiis.


    First the number of consoles actually shipped to NA appears to be dramatically lower than promised. Nintendo gave out new estimates for NA shipment plans for up to middle of January and they sound about half of what was promised. Only about 2 million units instead of 4. The massive lead in sales people thought Nintendo would have over Sony doesn't look like it will happen with Sony at 400k with the initial shipment and 600k in the process of being air shipped by Christmas. Nintendo appears to be around 800 from estimates so far. Nowhere near the massive installed base advantage they were hoping for.

    First off, Link?

    Secondly, every store I called on Friday/Saturday (to determine where I needed to go to get my Wii) had between 3 to 8 times as many Wiis as they had PS3s (with a guestimated average of 4 times as many units); the lowest ratio of Wii to PS3 was at the store I went to which had 5 PS3s and 15 Wii. I could see that my city being a little disproportionate, but if the PS3 sold 400,000 systems I expect that Nintendo had (at least) 1.2 Million.

    I have however heard the PS3 undersupplied, which would make sense if Nintendo Shipped 1 Million Wii and the PS3 only had 250,000 units shipped.
  • by eebra82 ( 907996 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:13PM (#16915824) Homepage
    It's not like Sony wanted to release the console this late. It was initially delayed because of problems with the Cell processor and the Blu-ray readers. This is also why there aren't that many units available for sale.
  • Re:Linux (Score:5, Informative)

    by flooey ( 695860 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:14PM (#16915838)
    What CPU does it use? Another Power-based from IBM?

    Not really related, but I was looking at how the hardware designers came together for the current and last generation of consoles, and it was pretty interesting.

    Sixth generation:

    PS2: Sony/Toshiba CPU + Sony GPU
    GameCube: IBM CPU + ATI GPU
    Xbox: Intel CPU + NVIDIA GPU

    Seventh generation:

    Wii: IBM CPU + ATI GPU
    Xbox 360: IBM CPU + ATI GPU
  • Re:Linux and BSD (Score:2, Informative)

    by bubbaD ( 182583 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:22PM (#16915970)
    Unusable! you mean for Mame-type gaming? Why, back in my day, we were happy if we could get a readable font and a color other than green or orange!

    Seriously, Nintendo is very tight with proprietary intellectual property, and it is probably too much effort to try and put *nix on it. I'm sure wireless drivers will be a nightmare, especially.
    PS3, on the other hand, sounds like it was a bit rushed into production, and offers 'expandability' and seems therefore more likely to be hackable.
  • Re:Sold Out? huh?? (Score:3, Informative)

    by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:26PM (#16916046) Homepage Journal
    Dude only a fool takes offense when none is intended, and it is the bigger fool that takes offence when it is.
    AKA. Don't feed the trolls.
    This guy is some poor fool has to make himself feel better by tying his self worth to where hey lives since he can not find anything about himself to be proud of.
  • Re:Resell (Score:4, Informative)

    by DinZy ( 513280 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:27PM (#16916070)
    eBay has 25K+ steady with 50 selling every minute. Some units are going for reasonable prices (360 w/ Zelda shipped which would cost 330-340 on amazon ), but many are still about 100 bucks higher than retail (not including tax). The volume is rather ridiculous and the listings are very misleading ( Wii sports = 5 games, extra controller = the one that comes with the system). There are 42 from my locale and from estimates that appears to be 15-20% of all consoles sold here.

    I think sooner or later this is going to bust.
  • Re:Resell (Score:3, Informative)

    by hibiki_r ( 649814 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:29PM (#16916100)
    I've had no problem with it. That said, the game is not great. Do you have a reflective surface in the room? I've heard reports of issues just like yours from people with glass coffee tables and such.
  • Re:Resell (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:29PM (#16916104)
    I found out something good and geek-worthdy about the wii.

    There is a way to set the sensor bar sensitivity in the root of the main menu, before the channels.

    The interesting thing is that it shows you a PIXEL DUMP of the infrafed camera in the wiimote.
    that camera looks at the 2 IR LEDS in the sensor bar.

    If you see more than 2 light dots on the raw pixel dump, you can adjust the sensitivity with
    a 5 level slider.

    You can play with this by passing a refrective surface near the bar and you will see where it registers
    on the wiimote-mounted camera-sensor. (you can also deduce it's resolution).

  • by Macthorpe ( 960048 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:34PM (#16916160) Journal
    I still maintain that VG Cats [] say it best.
  • Wii Restocking (Score:3, Informative)

    by DubbaJ ( 691044 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:35PM (#16916176)
    When I picked up my Wii on Sunday from the local EB, the manager mentioned that he was told to expect more units in store by Wednesday at the latest. If that turns out to be the case, that's a far cry from what we're hearing about PS3 restocks.
  • Re:Technical Specs? (Score:5, Informative)

    by tonyr1988 ( 962108 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:53PM (#16916492)
    • 729 MHz IBM PowerPC "Broadway" CPU
    • 243 MHz ATI "Hollywood" GPU
    • 24MBs "main" 1T-SRAM
    • 64MBs other 1T-SRAM
    • 512MBs internal flash memory
    • 3MBs texture memory on GPU
    • Built-in 802.11b/g Wi-Fi capability
    • One SD memory card bay
    • AV multi-port: S-video, composite, component Analog (left/right) audio / DPLII
    • Four GameCube controller ports Two GameCube Memory Pak slots
    • Two USB 2.0 ports Compatible with up to four wireless Wii-motes
    • Self-loading media drive
    • Accepts 12cm Wii and 8cm GCN discs; no DVD movies
  • Re:Wii/PS3 numbers (Score:5, Informative)

    by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <> on Monday November 20, 2006 @01:02PM (#16916662) Homepage Journal
    Your numbers are incorrect. (Probably just out of date.)

    The PS3 shipped 80,000 units [] in Japan, and another 200,000 to 400,000 [] to the U.S. (No one is entirely sure of the exact number.) The Wii shipped over a million units [] to the U.S. with some reports saying it was as high as 1.2 million [].

    According to Sony, the PS3 is expected to ship about 2 million units [] worldwide by the end of the year. They admit that their figures are "more of a target" though. According to Nintendo, they are committed to bringing at least 4 million units [] worldwide by the end of the year.
  • by Tozog ( 599414 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @01:10PM (#16916766)
    I for one got a dead Wii. I got to play about an hour before the power just flat out went off and would not come back on. Called Nintendo tech support, he had me try a couple of things like unplugging the power adapter for 2 minutes, reseating the connectors, try with just the power adapter, nothing else attached. After 10 minutes or so, he concluded it was dead. Since my copy of Zelda is stuck in the Wii, I have to send it in for repair. Estimated time: 2 weeks. At least I only waited in line about an hour.

    As for other links, check the gamefaqs message boards, the nintendo message boards.. I'm sure there are plenty others. I don't think it is wide-spread, but it is out there.
  • Re:Resell (Score:5, Informative)

    by Gilmoure ( 18428 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @01:18PM (#16916874) Journal
    Zach Stroum (Nitendo dude) has a pretty good review [] of the game. Mentions the same issue.
  • Re:Linux (Score:2, Informative)

    by Nexim ( 1010095 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @01:29PM (#16917072)
    The Cell Processor in the PS3 is a Sony/Toshiba/IBM joint venture, not purely IBM.
  • by Vivieus ( 676170 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @01:38PM (#16917200)
    First off, please use paragraphs. And articles, too.

    Its relativly cheap system and new "remote" is exciting feature. It is probably something my wife would like to try out and find it fun enough.

    "Cheap" is relative. In the current offer of non-handled consoles, though, it is true it is cheap.

    However, for me, one of the 100,000,000 guys that purchased PS2, I need games that I like to play. I need my PES (real football). I cant imagine waving around an remote to play PES.

    Yeah, it's sad Nintendo didn't think about selling a regular controller or making it compatible with GC controllers. Oh wait, they did.

    Not to mention that graphics will look like PS2, which looks pretty bad on my HD screen.

    Yeah, it is well known everyone has a HDTV. Like 90-95% of the population, however, I don't. There's also (a lot) more to games than how pretty they look on a screen, too. Not to mention that "looking good" is subjective.

    So that leaves me with xbox or ps3. Xbox has the lead and has the games, but for me, difference is huge, even if price is THE same. - Blueray support from out of the box (and why is it cooler):

    Yes, Blueray. Haha. Currently the offer in terms of Blueray videos is close to what? 78 (according to the current version of the blueray article on wikipedia)? A hundred? In comparison, what's the DVD offer?

    1. HDMI connection (lack of which will make xbox unusable for HD movies in the future)

    Personally, I've never used my PS2 to play a DVD, my computer does that and much more already. Same will go when Blueray/Hd-dvd becomes mainstream.

    2. Support for H.264 compression format of Sony HD Camcoders (Both DVD and HD), which normal players cant play right now. And Sony makes around 99% of the HD Camcoders right now, way ahead of everyone else. Format is not proprietary, simply most DVD players dont have it implemented yet.

    My computer can play H.264. Isn't it amazing?

    3. Blueray HD movies - why would you have to replace complete collection of DVD's? Thats what I cant figure out from other people posts. You simply buy or rent (Netflix!!!) Blueray movies and voila!

    Why buy/rent it if you already own it? Blueray doesn't make a movie better.

    4. Support for 1080p which is a lot better than 1080i and 720p that xbox plays. Screens are very expensive right now, but in 3-4 years, they will probably be a lot cheaper.

    I might aswell wait for the PS3 price to go down too.

    And PS3 can play 1080p content without issues (unlike XBOX which might skip frames on 720p)

    I remember reading an article about how it can't display 720p games preoperly on TVs that support only 1080 and 480 (it downscales instead of upscaling). So much for your HD content.

    Free online play - you dont have to pay for online matching service like you do for xbox.

    Same for the Wii.

    Standard bluetooth - connect ANY mouse or keyboard to your PS3, no need to buy extra expensive stuff just for PS3. -

    What about people using IR sets or *gasp* serial? I expect usb to work, though.

    Standard wireless - no brainer. -

    Same for the Wii

    Support for diffent flash drives and usb drives (not only memory sticks). - Swap HD drives easily - hard drive is built so it can be easily taken out and replaced (plus it is 60GB vs 20GB in XBOX). - Water cooling - a lot cooler than xbox. -

    That's a nice feature, yes. Not sure if I want to pay the extra buck for it, when I can use my computer, though. Water cooling's ok.

    Support for LINUX out of the box. PS3 has an option to install additional OS in its menus. Can it be less complicated? -

    That's a cool, though somewhat limited in its use, option.

    You can play DRM free audio/video over your HDMI connection. How cool is that? Easier and simpler than playing DVD's
  • Re:Craigslist (Score:2, Informative)

    by zkwang ( 957831 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @01:40PM (#16917224)
    Get Rich scheme is failing ...

    Sadly enough, it appears the average price of PS3 units on eBay has dropped (Tanked is a much more proper way of putting it). Doing a quick search [on ebay for Playstation 3] should reveal that a large number of units with prices over $1k are being left unsold.

    ROI from 400% now down to 100% in 2 days ...
  • First Impressions (Score:3, Informative)

    by ADRA ( 37398 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @02:33PM (#16918142)
    -- The Lineup --
    Loved the wait in line for 8 hours... really.. the rain, not so much. Seeing all the poor parents with their kids show up an hour before openning, even more depressing. Getting my sweety hands on the Wii, priceless.

    The EB I got my console at was rather isolated so I didn't expect a ton of people to show up. Even so, over 300% of the crowd that wanted it were turned away.

    The other problem with such a small store was games. Every twilight princess had been pre-oredered. Guess what, they were taking pre-orders for the games up to the night before. Since pre-ordering for the console was over months ago, I didn't even consider that the games would be pre-orderable up to last bloody night. The really sad part of this whole thing is there are probably a large number of people who pre-ordered the games and have no console and a few people like me who have the console but can't play the choice games since they were all pre-ordered. So I'm forced to hunt them down at other stores when stock comes in. That annoyance rests squarely on EB in my mind. Don't allow pre-orders of games unless they have a system pre-order you fcking tools!

    Everyone in line was great, and I can't praise them enough for making the wait tolerable and at times a lot of fun.

    -- The Wii --
    Firstly, the controllers are a lot smaller than I expected. There was no problem in them fitting my gigantic hands though, so no problems there. I have noticed that the sensing of the remotes isn't as good as it could be. I'm not sure if this is realted to my enormous television (50") or maybe the placement of the sensor bar, but I did notice the system just plain act wierd once and a while. I hope a system patch will eventually come out to deal with the issue. It wasn't bad enough to stop playing, it just wasn't always consistent.

    The system setup was fun and interesting. Wi-Fi was a snap, the setup of the rest was almost brain-dead. There were two system updates on launch. They took around 3-min a piece on my reletively fast broadband.

    The Weather and News channels were dead. The pictures channel was empty since I didn't have an SD card (why no out-of-box support for USB media?). The shopping channel had games, but I decided to hold off getting into them until I had seen the rest of the system.

    I had a few friends over when I got it so the first thing we did was set up all their Mii's (character avatars). Everyone enjoyed this function and I'm glad it was included. My other friend bought a Wii, so maybe we'll do a Mii parade... Seriously Nintendo, there must be something better that you could do with that. How about an embedded sims or something of the sort? Btw: There is the equivalent of friend codes in the Wii, just in case you misses the memo.

    -- Wii Sports --
    I jumped into Wii Sports next to see how to use the controls in a gaming situation. I tried each game in turn to get a feel for them all. The controls were definitly hard to get used to the first while. I was doing quite poorly since the wii-mote's behaviour sometimes felt erratic in how it recognized things. After a while, I understood how to use the controls well enough to get through most of the games, and have a lot more fun.
    Tennis is really fun. I got a little (physically) tired playing it after a while.
    Baseball was ok. It was simple and low impact fatigue.
    Bowling is a sport I hate in real life and it hasn't changed here.
    Golf was pretty fun and not very fatigueing. It had a lot more problems with my wii-motes though. I tried and tried to find the 'right' way of doing it, but what I did perfectly right one time would be perfectly wrong the next. Frustrating at times, but still a fun game.
    Boxing was really fun to play, makes good use of both controllers, but man does it tire me out. Jab Jab Jab Swing Miss Block Dodge!! ACK
    There are a few training / testing modes in the game as well. This seems right out of brain age, but for workouts. I can say that this sports title was fun to play if a little fatiguing at times. I enjoyd it because a little extra fitness in my daily nerd life could never hurt.

    Anyways, I hope that gives some insights into what you can expect out of the Wii whenever you get yours.
  • Re:Linux (Score:3, Informative)

    by the_greywolf ( 311406 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @02:53PM (#16918490) Homepage
    The CPU is an IBM PowerPC 750CXI, nearly identical to the GameCube's PowerPC 750CX. (It's clocked higher and has a few more advanced features over the older model.) This, in addition to the higher RAM capacity, more powerful GPU, and DVD-style drive, makes little difference to the OS. It doesn't surprise me at all that it already runs GCLinux.
  • Re:Resell (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 20, 2006 @02:56PM (#16918540)
    Not an easter egg. It helps pin down any source of interference.

    The funny thing is that people who know, get a little insight into
    how the whole arrangement works and corrects itself.

    Its a set of accelerometers working in concert with a camera-reference point system
    not unlike those used in motion capture for CGI and movies.
  • Re:Wee Engrish (Score:3, Informative)

    by MagusSlurpy ( 592575 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @03:26PM (#16919078) Homepage
    All 'i's are pronounced 'ee' when written in Romaji (japanese sounds in english characters). The 'i' vs. 'ii' has to do with the length of the syllable, 'i' is almost swallowed when you say it, 'ii' is elongated slightly. We would hear shitake as 'sh-tokk-ay.'
  • Re:Resell (Score:2, Informative)

    by ThJ ( 641955 ) <> on Monday November 20, 2006 @03:54PM (#16919548) Homepage
    I have had that happen. I think it's because the IR circuits get overloaded. They have to have a lot of gain to pick up the faint light from the remote control. It is no match for the sun.
  • Re:Resell (Score:2, Informative)

    by Hillie ( 63573 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @04:55PM (#16920530) Homepage
    I agree. A lot of control problems seem to root in people trying to make over the top movements (myself included.. case in point: hammer throw in Super Monkey Ball)..

    I must say when zooming in Red Steel I feel a bit like I need to be Mr. Fantastic to pull it off completely, but it turns out okay in the end.

    The problems I have with Red Steel aren't control related but the game slowed to a crawl once for ~1 second and freezes everytime it loads a new checkpoint or a new area. This for me is really annoying.. I can get used to it by not moving the remote when it freezes (it caches your actions like a slow computer) but it's still kinda lame. I think the whole "drag the pictures to make this happen" in the menus is kinda unneccesary and lame, but again, once you accept it it's ok.

    All in all it's a good game.
  • by yarbo ( 626329 ) <> on Monday November 20, 2006 @06:23PM (#16921914)
    "Is there word yet on how much is onboard the Wiimote?"

    "The Wii Remote features 4KB of internal flash memory. This memory is used to store Mii avatar settings." - Wikipedia link []
  • by Desert_Scarecrow ( 998677 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @06:32PM (#16922034)
    If you are looking for something that upscales DVD to 1080p, the PS3 is a pretty bad choice, because it does not. This is one of the features being dogged quite a bit by reviewers. However, that still doesn't stop it from being the cheapest Blu-Ray player out there. And hey, last I heard they were at 74 titles and adding ~5 a week...
  • Re:Linux (Score:3, Informative)

    by c_forq ( 924234 ) <> on Monday November 20, 2006 @07:32PM (#16922812)
    The Gamecube graphics was actually done by Art-X, which ATI bought and assimilated. ATI had no part in the design, and only had their name on it due to buying the company.

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury