I had spoken to someone in the electronics department at Walmart last week. They said they were expecting Nintendo Wiis this morning.
I woke up early this morning knowing that Walmart would open at 7am. So…
I pulled up at 6:55 and the store was already open.
On the way in, I saw other people of the ‘appropriate type’ strolling in. I wondered if it would be a foot race to the check out, though given the fact that the store was already open, I was kind of expecting them to have sold out.
As it turns out, the department was desserted and I was the only one there, well at least for 2 minutes, at which point a young asian couple and a teenage boy both showed up just as a staff member appears at the counter.
Undeterred by the make-shift ‘There is a shortage of Wii and DS – please call Nintendo for details on ….’ sign on the display case we all asked the guy what the deal was.
He kept on repeating that it was “Hard to say”. I resisted the urge to be pedantic and go with “But still possible then?”.
So then it was time to leave the store empty handed with that… ‘perhaps I should not leave because I need to stalk the display case for any possible sign of Wiis surfacing and I can not have those other people getting one an not me’ mentality. OK, not really. In fact there’s actually a kind of instant fellowship between console hunters, though this can be quite interesting given that heavy duty gamer types can be awkward social geeks – this was evident at 7am on the PS3 launch day last year when we were all waiting outside EB Games in the cold engaging our social skills; probably to avoid de-evolving to cavemen and ripping each other’s head off for the primal prey kill.
On my way out I remembered that Walmart has begun mandating a large amount of RFID chipping on supplier palettes (not yet individual items). I don’t know how widespread the mandate is yet and I wondered if Nintendo was subject to this. With my IT head on I thought of all the smart but useless things I could have said like “This is the company that mandates RFID chips – surely you know exactly where the shipments are and when they sneeze”.
So really my point is that I am (of course…) somewhat appalled by the fact that ‘in this day and age’) Walmart did not know whether a shipment of Wiis was coming, and couldn’t show me GPS tracking of the truck in question (highway robbery anyone? OK that’s the PS3). Actually I was pretty sure that someone somewhere did now, but of course they wouldn’t dare tell the floor guy for fear that alien beings would extract his brain matter just for the chance to be able to play some human entertainment.
So Walmart may have RFID but they only still pass on a RFIDer to the customer. Yes, OK, it’s cheesy.