To catch a Wii

I recently turned my attention to getting a Nintendo Wii. For anyone that knows me when it comes to gadgets, this means that I do not stop until I’ve managed to get what I’m looking for. It will not mean that I do nothing else but hunt them on the streets, but I will schedule things around critical ‘can you Wii me now?’ calls. I did see some fun geek pack mentality on PS3 and Wii launch days – let’s call it ‘drive-by geek pack networking’, along with ‘flocking behaviour’ and it goes like this:

Scenario 1:

  • Geeks are standing outside a store waiting for it to open
  • They will know the number of likely prey inside
  • Someone drives up and rolls down a window
  • The waiting geeks get mixed feelings when saying “there are only have x units here, but I believe they will have some at xyz store” because on one hand they are happy to help out a fellow geek but on the other they are proudly guarding their kill, while of course hoping this store does in fact have the advertised quantity and that they haven’t just sent somebody extra to potentially more fruitful hunting ground

Scenario 2:

  • Geeks have just got their prize (having slept outside all week, etc)
  • They are walking out of the store with their trophy
  • Someone drives up and rolls down a window
  • Similar conversation except geek with console is thinking “yes sucker I got mine” while being genuinely helpful, and the geek in the car says “thanks” in a quite sincere way while also thinking “those bastards got one”

When one outlet runs out, the unsuccessful hopefuls all flock to the next possible venue, like voters for American/Pop Idol flock to another finalist when their chosen hopeful gets voted off.

The animalistic instinctive part in all this is that the geeks know what the other geeks are hunting without explicitly asking…

Back to my hunt…

One of the first rules of hunting gadgets at retail outlets is don’t believe what the first store assistant tells you. Yesterday from Walmart I heard “it’s hard to say”, “we wont get any today”, “the truck could show at anytime” and “it was delayed and it’s best to call between 11am and 1pm”, and not in that order.

So I called at 11:55am this morning and was told that yes today could be the day but I should call back at 12:15pm or 12:20 when they’d know for sure.

I called back at 12:25 to be told they had sold out and that the merchandise had been received at 11:30 and was on the floor at 12:00… bugger – I broke my own rule and should have invested 20 minutes going over there.

Not to be deterred I remembered that there are 4 Walmarts within a 15 minute radius, and I concluded that they would deliver quantities to more than one location, and that the deliveries may well be on the same truck.

I’d been dealing with the South location, so I tried the West location – no go – and then the East location and got “yes we have 6 left, we’ve only sold 2 and there’s no-one here”. Could this be???!?!

I got straight into the car, drove 10 minutes and I was there. This location, to which I’ve never been, is away from down-town and is in an industrial park rather than a retail park. I almost thought I was in the wrong place until I rounded the last corner.

They still had 6 left and they had no nunchuck controllers. The assistance asked me how many I wanted. Um… err… um… I almost wish there had been a way to inform those people I saw on Monday morning that they could get their system afterall.

Wii scored… now to avoid breaking my 1080p screen with a controller…

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