After openly contemplating the acquisition of Nintendo's incredibly popular Wii game console on this blog a month or so ago, I was surprised last week when my wife said she too had come to the conclusion our home needed one. Typically, I quickly recognize the need to upgrade, whether that be to a new wireless network, a new plasma TV or a new laptop, and she is more conservative, but she's catching up. Unfortunately, thanks to the much-discussed Wii shortages, even if I were ready to spring and buy one today, I'd be completely out of luck, as yesterday's journeys showed.
Yesterday, during lunch, I drove to the nearby Best Buy in Milpitas, and was told they had sold out their shipment of 25 consoles between the previous afternoon and the previous evening. They had no guess as to when the next shipment would arrive, but said they were being distributed on a first come, first serve basis. Microsoft's XBox 360 and Sony's Playstation 3 sat idly by, but I wasn't interested.
Not to be stopped, I drove a block or so further, to Wal-Mart. Yes, Wal-Mart. They too had a similar story. No Wiis were in stock. They get shipments every two weeks or so, but didn't have a clue when the next one would be.
After work, I continued my search, going to the Best Buy in Sunnyvale, near home. Again, no Wii for sale, and no knowledge of the next shipment. While I could buy replacement controllers, video game consoles, and even carrying cases for my non-existent WIi, I couldn't buy the machine itself.
So, I headed down to the Valley Fair mall in San Jose, which just so happened to be next to a Best Buy - my third on the day. I ducked in to the store at 8:57 p.m. (Store hours closed at 9 p.m.), knowing I had three minutes to ask the same questions and get the same results. Sure enough, plenty of advertising, but no Nintendo Wii. This time, I was told they expected shipment this upcoming Sunday, which led to some bickering with the sales staff, who disagreed on whether they get new consoles each week, or each month.
At this point, I'd worked myself into a consumer demand froth, ready to buy one if it were available. It wasn't a situation of trying it out, or watching someone else play. If it were there, my next move would be to grab the Visa card. But none of the stores got my money, and I didn't get my Wii. The question is - will I keep looking and showing up to random Best Buys to chat with annoyed teenagers, or should I let it go? I'm not sure yet. I also don't think I'm desperate enough to go the eBay route. It's a fun idea, but not critical. Yet.