Why Can’t I Find A Nintendo Wii?

17 02 2008

You expect this sort of thing right after a new video game system is launched.

I’m cool with that.

But it has been 15 months since the Nintendo Wii was released in the U.S. and I still can’t get my hands on one of the G.D. things. I got my oldest son’s XBox 360 last summer (birthday present) with no problem whatsoever. Walked right into Walmart, got the dude in the blue vest to get one out of the case for me, paid for the damn thing, done.

My youngest child wants the Nintendo Wii. He wants a Nintendo Wii with all the hope, desire, and intensity of a middle-aged man lusting after a woman half his age. December of last year began our “journey to the center of the HELL” tour, and as a result, we were unable to get him his system as we had hoped (and sort of promised, way back when the eldest got the 360).

My youngest son is the sweetest, most good-natured and forgiving soul on this planet. I love him to bits, and I am really looking forward to seeing the joy on his face when I present him with this game system. He goes over to his cousin’s house every so often–they have the system–and when he comes home it (the Wii) is all he can talk about for days.

So I came into a little extra money. A very little extra money, let me assure you. I called Walmart and I could hear the lady leaning into the phone, speaking in a conspiratorial tone.

“No, we don’t have any in stock. We never know when they will ship because they don’t come on our regular trucks. They are sent Fed Ex. We get anywhere from three to twelve units per shipment, and they are usually gone within thirty minutes.”

What? This system has been out for over a year and still with this “standing in line” shit?

So I called up GameStop. Pretty much the same story, except that he could tell me what day they took delivery of the damn thing. Tuesday’s, eleven a.m. He said the store opens at ten, and the line starts forming about an hour or so before that. So I guess if you are an unemployed loser game-geek, you’re in good shape. Otherwise, too fucking bad.

I asked him if they sold it online. They do. The catch is that you have to buy a “bundled” package. The Wii unit, bare-bones, $250.000 (a phenomenal price compared to the freakin 360 and PS3). The Wii as part of GameStop’s “bundled” package? $480.00. Plus 10.00 shipping.

They throw in a couple of crappy games that probably aren’t selling anyway, an extra controller, call the whole thing a “bundle” and jack the price up over two hundred dollars.

So, it would appear that my son has to wait another year or more, until everybody else gets their Nintendo Wii, or I can bend over and take it up the ass from GameStop on one of these “bundled” systems. And there is no gaurantee even with that, as the website clearly states that “quantities are limited” and “orders are filled on a first come first served basis.”

My wife–who loves our dear son every bit as much as I–came charging into my office like the the U. S. Army 1st Cavalry Division to tell me that she had found them! For a great price! On Ebay!

There followed a discussion that came within a you-know-what hair of turning into an all-out argument. First off (I explained), people buying and then reselling the damn things on Ebay (at a nice profit, of course) is part of the reason that you can’t find them in the stores. Hey, I’m a capitalist. I’m all over the free-market economy thing. But that sort of reselling ought to be illegal. The second issue is one of pure paranoia. I’m gonna send $300 to some shmuck living in a double-wide littered with empty beer cans and Nintendo Wii boxes stacked to the ceiling? I daresay I shant. In fact, I daresay kiss my fat white ass about that.

Of greater importance is that fact that when you buy one of these systems at a regular retailer, you get a receipt with the unit’s serial number clearly printed on it–a “must have” when it comes to sending the thing back to Nintendo for repair or replacement (which happens a lot more often than you might think, given the nature of the components, and the rate that Nintendo is cranking the systems out, trying to keep up with demand). I don’t care if the seller has a “95% positive” rating, and I don’t care if they promise to mail me the receipt with the unit. The whole idea gives me that “icky feeling” they taught us about back in third grade.

If it was just me, I’d take a moral stand on the issue and go buy one of Sony’s outrageously high-priced PS3’s. I feel like it is Nintendo’s responsibility to make the damn game system available in quantities that allow people a reasonable chance at obtaining one of them. But my son, age seven, doesn’t fully grasp the whole “boycott Nintendo” thing. When I explained it to him he nodded enthusiastically, then proceeded to ask me why Nintendo can’t ask Santa’s elves to help them make more systems.

I told him that it was because Nintendo is run by a bunch of communists who actually hate children. Then I told him to go play his GameCube and leave me alone for awhile.

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10 responses

17 02 2008
Stormy

Feedback is usually a good indicator, and I’m sure you can find people with closer to 99% or 100% positive feedback if you did want to try eBAY.

I don’t understand why they are so rare over there though, ok, some game stores here will run out of stock on occasion, but the department stores always have them. (And usually with good bundle deals as well).

18 02 2008
sak6

You may be right…my wife certainly sees it that way. I guess I’m just not much of an ebay-er 🙂

Thanks for stopping by, Stormy.

19 02 2008
Amy Doodle

You’re not alone. I’m on this particular road to hell with you. Been looking since November. I’ve done all the calling for store scouring, checking delivery days, etc. Still nothing. Got my oldest the 360 for graduation two years ago and the youngest wants the Wii for his (wanted it for Christmas, yeah right). So whaddya do? The kid has friends that work at WalMart, Toys R Us, and Game Stop, poised to give us insider information. So far, nothing. Makes you lose faith in the fairness of free trade. But if you get one first, can we come over and play?

19 02 2008
sak6

LOL. When that time comes, I doubt we’ll be able to pry the boy away from the thing with a crowbar 🙂 Thanks for reading, Amy.

30 06 2008
Carolinagirl

LOL… this was very fun reading!!! I am trying to find, a Wii also. I would love to boycott, but but…. I am ashamed to say, ” I must have a Wii”!! happy hunting!!!

6 07 2008
jim007

Fuck it man, quit playing their bullshit games and boycott the piece of shit. Nintendo cannot compete with sony so their big marketing idea was to creat shortages and try to bring about freanzied buying.
Here’s how to take action

1st File a lawsuit against every store that advertises the Wii and then claims to be sold out when you get there.

2nd Create fake ebay accounts and go in and bid up every Wii you can find for sale on there until you have won them all. Then don’t pay and send the sellers a message telling them to shove it up their asses.

3rd- Send a box of dog shit to Nintendo executives and let them know we have no shortages of shit in this country and will be happy to continue sending it to them free of charge.

Now just imagine if everyone pissed off over this Wii shortage bullshit would start doing this. Cmon guys lets make these fuckers pay.

6 07 2008
sak6

Just a note…VG certainly doesn’t condone any sort of illegal or immoral activity. just another note, VG thinks that jim007’s comment is some funny shit.

27 02 2010
cindy

Just bought a wii console w 3 games (mario n sonic) off qvc.com for 380 including delivery.

27 02 2010
sak6

Awesome! I finally got my son one a little over a year ago. Check this out…I work nights, so I am always up nights. I shot out to a (then) local Walmart around 3am for God knows what and OMG!!!!!! There it was!!!!!!!!!!!! And I had money for it!!!!!!!!!!

That morning when my son woke up was one of the sweetest of my life. A little over a year later and he’s like “meh.”

Go figure. Thanks for reading Cindy.

14 06 2010
Bethany Yenner

This an Good blog post, I will be sure to save this post in my Mixx account. Have a awesome day.

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