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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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 20, 2006 @11:53AM (#16915374)
    That Wii gamers are peace-loving pansies, and PS3 users are bad-ass tough guys.

    Therefore PS3 games will be cooler.

    -PS3 fanboy, loal x 3
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 20, 2006 @11:56AM (#16915472)
      That Wii gamers are peace-loving pansies, and PS3 users are bad-ass tough guys.
      Or that Nintendo made a console that can sell itself and doesn't need to be hyped by limiting supply to increase demand.

      you know... whichever you prefer.
    • by rlbond86 ( 874974 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:28PM (#16916074)
      or PS3 users just don't realize they're getting ripped off -Only spent $250 on his console
      • by Fozzyuw ( 950608 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @03:10PM (#16918774)
        Hmmm... this system is still very expensive for me...

        $250 - console
        $49.99 (4) - games
        $39.99 (3) - Wii Remotes
        $19.99 (1) - nunchuck (still trying to find 2 more)
        $19.99 (2) - classic controller (still haven't arrived at our GameStop oddly enough)
        $39.99 - 2gb SD card (Haven't ordered quite yet)
        $20.00 - Wii Points (to purchase Zelda, and have a few floating around for an impulse purchase)


        $660 - $740 (if you count the 2 Nunchucks and SD I still need/want to buy)

        Of course, I also had this...
        ~$210 - trade-in for games

        Still a lot of money. Though, I'm sure the PS3 will end up even worse when you break it down like above, since their games list price are higher along with the console.

  • xkcd (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheRagingTowel ( 724266 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @11:54AM (#16915402) Homepage
    This one nailed it: Console Lines []
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Fozzyuw ( 950608 )

      Mod points++! Funny because it's true! I talked with people who said PS3 line fans where pretty much saying that or worse. Though, I cannot say I hugged any of the people in line for the Wii... nor would I have wanted to unless some of them showered.

    • by flyingsquid ( 813711 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:25PM (#16916024)
      No violence? Yeah right. While I was waiting for a Wii someone actually jumped on my head. As if that wasn't enough, he then threw a turtle shell at me.
  • by phase_9 ( 909592 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @11:54AM (#16915410) Homepage
    And there was me thinking it was just women who suffered from this social problem... :P
  • Wii: 50 units
    PS3: 1 unit

    The question that's coming in the spring, when the PS3 might actually be available in quantity, is what kind of demand will exist once all the hardcore types already have theirs.

  • I expected it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by joe 155 ( 937621 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @11:55AM (#16915446) Journal
    I thought it would sell out on day 1, but what I worry about as an English man who hasn't pre-ordered is if we'll see stocks pick up before christmas. Ideally it'd be good to be able to buy one off the self after less than a week... but with hearing that the bulk of their stocks are going to North America I'm left a little worried - I might have to preorder after all.
    • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:10PM (#16915766)
      Of course "day 1" is a sellout...this is one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book.

      If they made 1M units available on day 1 and only 50% sold, the headline would be: "Plenty of Product X left after first day (expect discounts soon)"

      However, when they make 100K units available on day 1 and all sell in a few hours, the headline is "Product X sells out first day (don't expect a discount soon)"

      The whole point is to create a buyers frenzy and match it with artificial supply constraints to ensure everyone pays full price or more, all while getting free press from Slashdot and other media whores with lazy editors...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cmpalmer ( 234347 ) *
        Plus, I'll bet the violent frenzy over the woefully small PS3 availability probably helped the Wii sales. I don't think there would have been people camping out all night in front of Target to purchase a Wii if the PS3 feeding frenzy hadn't occurred two days before.

        Our local Wal-Mart set up an XBox360 in their layaway department for the Wii campers to play until midnight. Unfortunately, the waiting room was full at noon on Saturday, so I didn't bother. Prior to the PS3 sales (for which the Wal-Marts had lik
      • by OS24Ever ( 245667 ) * <> on Monday November 20, 2006 @01:01PM (#16916652) Homepage Journal
        Maybe that's the geniuses at Sony's marketing but it doesn't seem to be the same for Nintendo. I have a nasty flu bug/cold bug and wasn't about to camp out overnight in sub 40 degree weather. Then to top it off my youngest child decided to wake up at 11PM and stay up until about 4AM so I was in no mood to wander over to the nearest target that was selling at 8AM Sunday morning.

        We figured the 36 they told us they'd have would be out of stock shortly, and they were. They told us they had 36 of them and 40 people were camped out front here in Wake Forest, NC.

        They also told us that they will be getting bi-weekly shipments of 'at least a dozen' from now until after Christmas. I had my wife call and she said the guy laughed and said 'good luck though if you want a PS3, nothing like that is coming'. It seems to me that Nintendo did a huge build as much as they could, shipped them, and then is going to keep the pipe full from now until the end of the year.

        Meanwhile PS3 blew their wad quickly, and is going to take months to recover.

        Also speaking as someone who is in product marketing as my day job I can tell you that personally I've never twirled my mustache points thinking 'ooh, let's make one and that'll drive up demand' because people can/do find something 'good enough' to take its place and loosing to THAT kind of a sale sucks more because you've just collapsed your market onto a competitors product. This is my personal opinion at least, maybe there's a secret club of people that do that but not at my level.

  • Be ready for the first Fedora-on-wii videos!

    Just kidding, really, but is it feasible? What CPU does it use? Another Power-based from IBM? Has it got lots of ram? And what about the data, how is it fed to the machine?

    Superb hosting [] 200GB Storage, 2_TB_ bandwidth, php, mysql, ssh, $7.95
    • by Ransak ( 548582 )
      I've heard the native OS is a custom Linux kernel [], but that's not exactly reliable information.
    • 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: (Score:3, Informative)

        by c_forq ( 924234 )
        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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Paladine97 ( 467512 )
      GC-Linux already runs on the Wii. You need to use the Action Replay SDLoad method in order to load it. You also need a complete distro on an SD card because the ethernet is not working. Maybe I'll get a wired USB ethernet adapter so I can run my typical NFS-Root system. I'm not sure if they are selling those yet.

      People already have code running on the Wii via native Gamecube mode - but nobody is sure if we have the full power of the system available yet. We'll need to figure out how to break free from
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      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.
  • by stealie72 ( 246899 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @11:58AM (#16915500)
    If Nintendo really can have 4 million Wiis in stores by christmas, a late november launch makes sense, but in the case of the PS3, why did they release this late when they know full well they won't even begin to meet demand for christmas?

    Christmas buyers aren't your hard core fanboys who will wait in line to buy the thing, so why not launch it in the summer, get the fanboys set, then work hard to produce enough of your system to keep in in stock for christmas buyers (you know, like MS did). Sony made a major error here, in that lots moms and dads buying the system for their kids are going to wait a full year till next christmas to do so. Meanwhile, Nintendo has Wiis in stock, for 1/2 the price, ready to be snatched up by Santa.
    • 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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by interiot ( 50685 )
      I definitely think Sony shouldn't have tried to launch in the U.S. and Japan so close together. With as few units as they had, they should have sold them all either in Japan, or all in the U.S. Though, from what I hear, it sounds like even the retailers (eg. GameStop, Best Buy) didn't know until ~a week before the U.S. launch that the numbers were going to be a fair bit less than what they were originally promised. So I guess even people at Sony were being much more optimistic than they should have been.
    • So their shareholders don't hammer them for letting XBox 360 have 2 holiday seasons without "competition" from Sony. While it's true that the PS3 was largely a paper launch, perception is everything.

      The PS3 will bomb though; the gaming press hates it, gamers are "meh" about it, and the best game for it (Resistance: Fall of Man) is basically seen as a shitty knock off of Gears of War.

      I wouldn't be surprised to see Sony be a takeover target here soon if their PS3/BluRay strategy backfires; they're investing t
    • so why not launch it in the summer, get the fanboys set, then work hard to produce enough of your system to keep in in stock for christmas buyers

      You mean launch summer 2007? That's essentially what they'd have to do to have enough units available for a christmas season. I don't think Sony wanted to wait that long as it gave the competition to much of a lead, plus the game makers are probbably chomping at the bit to get the thing released so they can sell games.

      Sony was probbably betting on this "limited q
  • by sa1lnr ( 669048 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @11:58AM (#16915510)
  • Does anyone have raw numbers comparing the Wii and PS3 sales? (Or noone releases these?)

    I would be interested in seeing how many times the number of Wii units sold vs PS3, since we know that the Wii supply was plentiful and the PS3 scarce.
  • by theMerovingian ( 722983 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @11:59AM (#16915528) Journal

    That's because the robbers make roughly 60% less money for each unit of felonious prison sentence.

    No way would I go to jail for 10-25 years just to make $250. But, for $600 it starts to look more attractive.

    • by jimicus ( 737525 )
      No way would I go to jail for 10-25 years just to make $250. But, for $600 it starts to look more attractive.

      So, assuming you get out in 10 years, that's an average of $60 per year. Or about 30 cents/hour.

      And I'd be astonished if the US system allowed you to keep what you'd stolen, so you would have to forfeit that.

      Don't think you're selling yourself a bit short, do you? If you're going to steal something, you might as well make it worthwhile and make it in the millions.
  • by patio11 ( 857072 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:00PM (#16915550)
    December 2nd can't come too soon. We had massive camping and disappointed pre-orderers at two local gamestores for the PS3 launch (so I'm told -- $600?! No, sorry, not even for White Knight), but the Wii launch is probably going to be smooth as silk. I say this because I walked into a store which wouldn't even take pre-orders for the PS3 and asked if I could pre-order a Wii and Zelda. "Oh, sure, no problem. Do you want us to give you a call on release day to remind you?" Thats like the definition of non-hysteria.
  • 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.

    • I also got a console yesterday - I had to do damn server moves all day, so couldn't get home to play until almost 7:00 at night. We knew the guy that owned the store, so he reserved a console for us. My wife picked it up at 5:00, seeing as I was at work all day anyway. All the games were sold out. Everywhere. Guess where I bought Zelda? Blockbuster video - for only 5.00 more than the game store. Sweet! This is a small console. Very Apple-like. The cable for the sensor bar is *really* long (12 feet?).
  • Wiilief (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Puff of Logic ( 895805 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:03PM (#16915610)
    I'm just glad to see some positive press coverage of gaming for once. In terms of friendliness, camaraderie, and just plain fun, the Wii launch stood in stark contrast to the PS3 debacle. I commented some time ago in a thread that I'm a fairly hardcore PC gamer but the Wii was enough to make me consider a foray into console gaming. This launch has only solidified that temptation.

    Good work, Nintendo
  • by A beautiful mind ( 821714 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:04PM (#16915628)
    You don't know what is a fanboy until you read this:
    The first buyer, Isaiah Triforce Johnson, had been waiting outside the store for more than a week. He wore a Nintendo Power Glove, a wearable controller that came out in 1989, while shaking hands with Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime. Johnson said he had legally changed his name to include a reference to Nintendo's "Zelda" series of games.
  • Technical Specs? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BenjyD ( 316700 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:09PM (#16915736)
    Now that the Wii has been released, has anyone found any more technical details (CPU etc.) about it? I know it's not about the graphics, but I'd like to know a bit more about what it's capable of.
    • 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
  • ...and different attitudes from what I've read

    It seems like Sony is targetting the hard-core gamers with the price tag, game selection and exclusivity of the unit itself. Nintendo seems to be going after the soft, middle part of the market that includes casual gamers, stay at home moms and other people who want to pick up and play for a few minutes a day without investing their life in it.

  • by miyako ( 632510 ) <miyako&gmail,com> on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:24PM (#16916008) Homepage Journal
    I waited outside of Best Buy for 10 hours to get my Wii. I've told myself that I'd never stand outside of a stoor waiting to buy anything except food, but I have to admit that I had great fun. Since I just moved into a new town a few months ago, it was a good opportunity to meet some fellow gamers, as well as to build up anticipation for finally getting the system.
    Although I waited all night, the line I was in didn't actually fill up until about 6:30 am. At 8 the store handed out vouches to the first 24 people in line, then we all lined up again at 9 (along with quite a lot of people who had no idea that there had been vouchers handed out earlier, and were hoping to get a system).
    I got Zelda and Red Steel (although now that I have heard how abysmal the Red Steel seems to be, and since I haven't opened it, I'm considering making an attempt at returning it and getting Monkey Ball instead), and I have to say that so far the system has definitely been worth it.
    The only problem I've had so far is that nintendo's servers seem to be having problems, because I keep running into timeout problems when trying to update the console so I can get into Wii Shop and check out the virtual console.
  • by MrJynxx ( 902913 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:25PM (#16916022)
    I preordered it a month or so back so my Wii (still looks really strange writing that) was all ready to go when I picked it up on Sunday at 10am. Bestbuy, which was next to the store I bought mine from opened at 8am, so I figured hey why not stop by at 8:15 or so just to see if I can grab zelda and the classic controller.. heh, there must of been 200 people there trying to push they're way into the doors! screw that, i'll wait till 10am and grab it with the system.. Went to the store, no problems at all, grabbed it, played all yesterday, etc..

    And ya, now my friggin arms hurt! a good workout hurt, but still. This game system may single handledly change the fat kid playing video games generalization to in shape kids. Popped in wii sports when a few friends came over and I must say, we had a great time and had many laughs (heh, boxing is jokes, not perfect but it still gets the heart rate up and kinda makes you look foolish)

    I thought this would be a gimmicky system, but so far everything has run perfectly(controller, setup, virtual console, etc).. I'll see how I feel about it in a few months, but so far it's been an awesome experience. Good work nintendo

  • My walmart story! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AsnFkr ( 545033 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:25PM (#16916030) Homepage Journal
    Got to Walmart @ 2:30pm. Was #17 out of 20 in line. My friend Chip was #13. #8-12 was a family (father, mother, 2 sons and a daughter) all in line. They had done a few days in line earlier this week and gotten three PS3's. They were really really nice people. At 8pm walmart handed out 20 vouchers and once we had them a few of us went to Bob Evans for some dinner. Back to Walmart and at 10 they let us inside to get warm. That was nice of Walmart. At 11:45 these two doofy looking guys come up and offer $500 for a VOUCHER. No Wii, just a VOUCHER. The family in front of us took them up on the offer and also sold the doofy guys a PS3 they had for $1800. Got my Wii, headed home. Also, it is amazing.
  • 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.
  • by MooseTick ( 895855 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:36PM (#16916198) Homepage
    FWIW: I got a WII at a GameStop. They got 15. They had 6 PS3s on release day. I went by a Target yesterday and they had about the same story. They recieved 94 WIIs and said they got 32 PS3s.

    Back in the early 90's I worked at an Electronics Boutique with the NES, Sega Master System, SNES, TurboGrafx and Sega Genesis were hot. Sales often came down to availability. If a kid wanted a SNES for Xmas but we only had Genesis in stock, the parent usually ended up getting the Genesis. The reverse also happened often. Both systems were in short supply and high demand for several years around the holidays. They were both comperable and had many of the same games. It looks like the WII will get a much larger system base if they can outsupply Sony 3:1 in the near future. I suspect they could even catch up with the 360.

  • by freeweed ( 309734 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @12:39PM (#16916248)
    To all the doubters, I think we've gotten our proof that Nintendo is a contender again.

    Big box stores such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart had campers early the night before and easily sold out hours before official store opening.

    To say the least. The Future shop picture in that article is at a local mall here. They had nearly 100 units. That line-up had gone all night. But what's really amazing is that right behind that store (past the Winners you can see the sign for) is a Best Buy. With 90 units. Also lined up. Also sold out before store opening. At the other end of the mall is a WalMart. Also sold out before opening.

    Half a mile away is another mall, with a Zellers, Toys'r'us, and EB. All sold out before store opening (Toys'r'us several HOURS before). All with dozens of units each. EVERY store, big and small, sold out within the first few minutes after opening. Small towns 50 miles out sold out within minutes.

    Nintendo shipped anywhere from 2-5x as many units as Sony, and THEY'RE ALL GONE. Something like 25-50% of the PS3s were on ebay within hours, and the price is already dropped down nearly to retail value. Most Wii owners are actually playing theirs.

    This is most definitely NOT the soccer mom and grandpa crowd. These people lined up for hours in the sub-freezing cold to be the first to play the new Zelda. You don't get any more hardcore than that.

    Interestingly enough, and I've never seen this with a console launch, GAMES are sold out too. Most stores didn't get near enough copies of Zelda, and only had 3-5 titles each. The only title on the shelves that seems to be in quantity as of this morning is Excite Truck. A local WalMart here has nothing but that - and over 3 dozen copies of it. Look for it to be the first discounted game, if the stores around me are any indication.

    The Wii might just end up being the "Tickle Me Elmo" of this year's xmas season.
  • "Camping" out (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bilbravo ( 763359 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @01:22PM (#16916950) Homepage
    Best Buys had over 100... I planned on going around 3am, but a friend called and said over 100 people were in line at midnight.

    Went to a Circuit City that had 15, only 4 people in line when I got there at 2am. They handed out vouchers at 7am. Was surprised at the influx of people around 6am. Almost felt bad for the parents who showed up at 10am when the store opened, but yet I didn't. I braved the cold, and had fun with some other fans all the same.

    Relatively little commotion, some people were upset... the employees had a meeting before the store opened and a lot left with empty display boxes, but did it obviously to incite some sort of "envy". A guy in line was friends with all the employees and he told me that they had empty boxes. Seems ridiculous that the manager would allow this.

    At any rate, love the Wii... worth the wait.
  • 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.
  • by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @02:44PM (#16918308) Homepage Journal
    at the EBX (aka Gamestop) at Pacific Place Mall in Seattle, and were 6th out of the store (yeah, that was my son with the RESERVED sign).

    Our well-oiled and hot cocoa filled band of three got there around 11:30, only 18 in line ahead of us, but some were like us, a group of people there as support staff. After delegating tasks, we managed to pick up our pre-ordered Wii and got out sixth (6) from the store, with official Nintendo staff taking pics of us. Even though we had forgotten to preorder a memory card, an extra Wii-mote, an extra nunchuk, or any games, we left with the only copy of Rayman's Raving Rabbids as well as someone's preordered Legend of Zelda game. All the controllers - both Wii-mote and nunchuks - were sold out ahead of time, as well as most cool games.

    Drove over immeadiately to the Fred Meyer just a few blocks from our house, which apparently let customers into the store (but couldn't purchase) at 11 pm. They were sold out of Wii consoles (they had 70) and controllers as well, by the time we got there at 12:30, and had closed the doors.

    We set it up and made Mii versions of ourselves, storing one on the Wii-mote, and played a quick game of bowling, and boxing. Then we went to sleep until 7 am. OK, only four hours sleep. Total cost still way less than a PS3 or an xBox360, with Sims 2: Pets and guide books for both Zelda and Sims 2: Pets thrown in. No, not a Wii version of Sims 2: Pets.

    Next morning, tried out the boxing game (fun! exhausting!), tennis, bowling, and golf. Played Legend of Zelda until one of us had to leave (his mom came over, so it was down to my son and I). Also played a fantasy RPG (dungeon) for the GameCube, using GameCube controllers, on the Wii - graphics were sharper, load times were superfast, plays like a dream.

    After talking with some friends, we figured out the Sears store might have some controllers and Wii consoles left over - our friends had picked up two consoles out of three people.

    So, back in the car, went to Sears (next to Starbucks international HQ), picked up one of their two last nunchuk controllers (sold out of Wii-motes), and got Excite Truck (they still had one copy). Next door, picked up a 1GB SD memory card for the Wii at OfficeMax for $19.99 - sweet!

    Then drove over to Costco. They said they won't get delivery until Tuesday, but if you get their sweet package (dirt cheap), you get both Zelda and Excite Truck with it! Best of the bundles we heard of! Think they may also sell it online [] if you're a Costco member. Well, no Wii stuff, but we bought four two-packs of beef jerky and some nuts, so worth going there.

    Back home - played various games. A wonderful day!

  • Got a Wii and a Mii (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eefsee ( 325736 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @03:03PM (#16918652)
    My 9 year old son had been saving up for over six months to buy the Wii, so we just _had_ to get on on Wiiday this Wiikend. Of course, he's cursed with a dad that can't do anything as sensible as preorder! We planned our early AM assault on two Target locations in the Twin Cities, one in town with 39 consoles, a backup just-opened suburban with 70. At 7:45 when we hit the first Target (7:45 for an 8am opening, I tell you, the poor little guy is cursed), we found a line much deeper than 39 people long. We just kept driving out to the second and got there at about 8:05. No luck, all 70 were spoken for. Very sad moment for poor cursed son. The story had a happy ending, though, since we realized Best Buy opened at 9am and we found one by 8:20 and got ticket #75 of the 84 they handed out. Best Buy was terrific, very organized and helpful. Linemates, some of whom had waited from 11pm Wiiday Eve till 8am when Best Buy handed out the first round of tickets, were a friendly and talkative crowd. We waited the 40 minutes and got the Wii.

    I have been _very_ impressed. I'm a long-time Mac and Apple fan and the Wii shows signs of thoughtful design. Very easy packaging, simple setup, soothing interface, usable without reading any instructions. We started setting up by 10:20 Central time and the Wii asked to go through two rounds of "update" (about 10 minutes each) after we got the console up on our home wireless. My son picked up Tony Hawk, but has mostly played Wii sports with his father, his brother, and four friends.

    A few highlights...

    - the little "bump" the controller gives you as you pass over a button in the interface
    - the spacial effect of sounds from the controller
    - the fun every kid (and I) had designing our own Mii
    - the wonderfully smooth action of the control, even allowing a physically challenged brother get into the action
    - the soothing music of the interface
    - the clever (and appropriate) animation during disk insertion (9 year old _loves_ that one)
    - the appearance of all the Miis we'd created on our baseball team (a riot watching kids thank each other for "their" hits)
    - the messaging and calendar system with the automatic log (poor cursed son) of play time spent on each game each day
    - the ability to email into and out from the console

    A few issues...

    - neither news nor weather are working (later found the press releases about these being delayed for a few months, but Nintendo really should have updated the Wii Menu to either say that or remove the buttons until they work)
    - the lengthy update cycle before we could play (would have been nice to have had some piece of paper or warning that it would happen, or an option to skip until later)
    - the Wii froze once during baseball and had to be unplugged, luckily it started up again just fine

    Bottom Line...

    I think Nintendo has a real hit on its hands. The Wii is just a blast.

    One thing I had heard very little about was the integration of Miis into the Wii experience. Each Mii is an avatar of sorts, designed and named by a player. A Mii looks a certain way (maybe a bit like you? maybe not?) and has certain attributes (favorite color, birthday). When you play certain games (Wii Sports, for now) you choose which Mii is playing the game, stats and skills accrue to that Mii. Baseball was especially clever in its use of Miis: your team wears the favorite color of the Mii you picked to play, other Miis from your console populate the home team, etc. Miis can "mingle" and go on "parade" to other consoles (we'll have to wait for a few more Wii's in the hood to test this feature). Miis can also be downloaded to the controller (the Wii Remote) and taken on the road to other Wii consoles where they can be uploaded and used (this is a much more natural process than I just made it sound like). The Miis represent a kind of social gaming trainer that will change how people interact with their gaming environment. It will be really exciting when other game authors come to learn and use the whole Wii ec
  • by Demon-Xanth ( 100910 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @03:05PM (#16918692)
    My cousin came over to visit for the holidays and we ended up camping out at a Target at 4AM, we were 27-28 in line at a Target that got 60. Around 7:30 or so lucky #60 showed up. Not too bad, things went quickly. We were home at about 8:30 and unpacking. Target did a great job on this one., my cousin also needed one for his work (yes, he is a lucky SOB), so we went over to Costco about 5 minutes before opening. They had about 48 and we were number 40 on line. Things took a bit longer, and they had a much stronger focus on making sure everything stays in order vs. setting up a nice streamlined method to getting everyone thier stuff quickly.

    Playing the Wii feels like this is the future of gaming, it doesn't have a wow factor graphics wise, but it DOES have a "Wow, this feels like the way games should be played" feel. IMO, it's the freshest idea to come to gaming since 3D. Playing Excite Truck is more like driving than just mashing down buttons and tapping the stick. Playing golf feels actually satisfying. Playing tennis with four people was a blast.

    Online capabilities were effectively MIA for the GC. The Wii however... we got IMs going back and forth between them, they have an easy to use store, pleanty of room for more capabilities. I give Nintendo many props for getting thier online stance setup and off and running extremely well.

    In conclusion:
    Launch: great titles, good supply, well organized
    Play: fun and fresh
    Capabilities: a refreshing feature set that has pleanty of room for expansion
  • It's day two (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zarthrag ( 650912 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @03:42PM (#16919354)
    ...and everyone is just now going home! My birtday was Nov 19th, and the wii/lan party went from midnight (launch) into today, with varying numbers of people. The one thing that has been consistent:

      People who weren't considering getting a wii want one after playing wii sports.

    It's simple, it's MUCH better than most reviews give it credit. I think it's meant to wash the unconverted of their hesitance. Red Steel, the other game I picked up for launch, is "ok." I'm expecting some other studio to make something similar, and actually do it right. The game's concept is spot-on, but the execution feels undetailed, and like....a launch game. The sword combat is most dissapointing, I was kinda expecting a hyper-difficult simulator along the lines of "Kengo: Master of Bushido" or "Bushido Blade" - But it's clearly possible, and certainly coming.

    Yes, I'm an idiot - I decided to wait on Zelda :-(
  • by 7Prime ( 871679 ) on Monday November 20, 2006 @05:04PM (#16920678) Homepage Journal

    Well, it was a balmy -25F here in Fairbanks, Alaska. GameStop had sold out preorders, and I have no idea what was going on down at WalMart, but my choice (and the choice of most Fairbanks residence) was the Northwestern based, Kroger owned chain, Fred Meyers, of which there are two Super-center sized box stores in town. The one I went to reported having 100 Wiis and the other reported having 90. Just for your info, they reported having 8 PS3s at launch.

    They close at 11pm, but for the Wii openned at 12:01am for an hour. Since it's so cold, lauches up here aren't exactly the same kind of thing they are down in the states, noone camping for hours on end, partially because everyone knew that NOONE else was going to be crazy enough to do that. I got there at about 10:40pm, and stood in line with some guys. It was a really nice, relaxed atmosphere, some people brought chairs, but most stood around and gabbed, trying to keep themselves warm and taking turns going back and forth to warm up in near-by idling cars (noone was going to be an ass about it... it's called "survival"). Nintendo DSs were out of the question, since it's kinda hard to push buttons with thick, canvas and wool gloves.

    At just after 11pm, "Freddy's" shoed out it's remaining customers and did something wonderful we didn't expect, they openned their doors, gave people numbered tickets, and let people line up inside. There were many people there (a number of my buds) who weren't even buying that night, but just wanted to join in the festivities. After going inside, some Nintendo DSs broke out, but we were having a good enough time just hanging out that I didn't really have much interest in playing mine.

    At midnight, there was a joyous cheer as the line started moving a bit. The staff (all of which were wearing "Wii Play" shirts), had set up a few islands in the middle of the front isle, which had games and accessories. The Wiis were handed out in order of ticket number (I was #44 out of 100), at a window, and everyone (surprisingly calmy) went for games and accessories. When I got there, there were a number of copies of Zelda left (one of which I nabbed), something like 3 VC Controllers left (also one of which I nabbed), but unfortunately they had long since run out of extra Wiimotes and Nunchucks, but that'll be okay for the moment, especially since one of my other friends bought a system, so we'll have two controllers for the moment. Copies of Red Steel were long since bought out, but I hadn't planned on getting one, since Zelda will keep me well enough occupied for a while, and FF12 and Okami are still running strong on my PS2. Overall, a very pleasant and successfull launch experience.

    Now, onto my impressions:

    I had a little trouble, at first, getting the sensor bar setup in the right place, considering my TV setup, but when I came up with works fairly well, and I'm planning on getting a new TV soon anyway. I was able to get up online instantly, although I noticed that besides the shopping channel, none of the other channels were currently up yet. It's really nice to have the controllers separated for Zelda, I never noticed how ridged a one-piece controller could be. When not having to use the pointer features of the Wiimote, it's wonderfull to just lay your hands down on the couch on either side. My only real gripe is the speaker in the Wiimote... I won't mince words: it sucks. I wasn't expecting anything stellar, but I was hoping that they would be smart enough to use it for only very simple sounds: clinks, and swipes of swords, things like that. But they're trying to use it for too much: voices, menu sound effects, various atmospheric-based sounds that don't even make sense to be coming from your hand... just not smart, and feels a bit gimmicky. I imagine that down the line, companies will become more intelligent about WHEN to use the really really basic speaker in the Wiimote... but it seems they're not, yet. Also, the lack of volume control, or mute on the Wiimote totally baffles me. My only other gripe is th

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."