It appears the Web can solve all problems, great or small. Shortly after I had noted three local Best Buys and Wal-Mart were fresh out of their Nintendo Wii stock, I took to the Net to bail me out. By 7 p.m. this evening, my wife and I were proud owners of a brand-new Wii, and we've already logged three hours of family fun.
Before leaving the office, I thought I'd give the search one last go, searching for "Nintendo Wii Availability" on Google. That led me to a Wiichat forum, which offered an array of Web links to inventory data for all the major retailers, including Target, Gamestop, Circuit City, and CompUSA.
A few clicks later, I found that Gamestop on Stevens Creek in San Jose had 1-3 units available. I called, expecting the data to be wrong, but after the store clerk first denied having any Wii in stock, he relented, saying I could get it if I showed up right away. Less than 20 minutes later, I found myself purchasing one of the few Wiis around, complete with two new controllers, the included sports pack, and two additional games: Paper Mario, and "The Bigs", a major league baseball game.
It was a little bit of an investment, but after a quick day trading of Apple earlier, I'd already more than made up the cost. (More on that later)
Long story short, the Wii looks right at home next to our plasma TV, aside our TiVo and Apple TV. It's a venerable array of technology entertainment nerddom. In minutes, Kristine and I had our two controllers out and were dueling one another in bowling, tennis, baseball and golf. The fun was enough to make us consider moving our furniture around to dedicate more real estate to gaming. After all, playing on a Wii is quite active, not just mindless staring at a screen.
There's no question this new toy has the potential to consume a great deal of our free time now, eating into "home work", blogging and all things social. But it's given us another dimension of fun competition, as we stretch for every backhand and groan at the sight of a digital 7-10 split.
And we wouldn't have gotten our Wii if not for the combination of Google, and resourceful fandom, which led us the right way.