Kurtis the Red and the hunt for the Wii U…Part 1…

My console is all fired up, the firmware update is downloaded, and I’ve spent the last hour or so fiddling with User Settings and playing with Miiverse.  Which looks kinda awesome if I can get it to work…right now, not so much. In any case, If you’re reading this and also a #NintendoNerd, add me (Kurtis_the_Red). So, the reason I’m posting this is the ‘Nintendo Land’ needs an update as well. A small one, 5 min or so on my slow connection, just enough time to post my first of three short stories about my experience with the Wii U.

The official Wii U logo Español: Logo oficial ...

The official Wii U logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The day is finally here, the launch of Nintendo’s new home video game console: the Wii U!  Although I had my reservations at first, in the days leading up to the launch, I felt my excitement growing.  I knew that I had to get this new system, but I wanted to wait a few weeks until the holiday season. But as the day grew closer, I realized I wanted to get this system within the first few days of it’s release.  This all led up to yesterday when I could no longer stand the wait anymore. I needed to find a Wii U that was available on Launch Day.

While I might not have been a legal consumer buyer when the original Wii came out, I  do remember the stories and headlines on the News: retailer supply running out, pre-orders backed up and over booked, lucky shoppers flipping the systems for twice their MSRP on EBay  So, if this next generation of the console was going to be anything like it’s predecessor, I knew I had my work cut out for me.

My first stop, of course, was GameStop.  When I think of games, I think of GameStop, so it was only natural to try to get a Wii U there.  Plus, I had some GameCube and old Xbox games I was planning on trading in to offset the cost of the new system.  This is when I got my first taste of exactly how hard this Nintendo search and rescue was going to be. The very helpful and informative sales associate at the counter told me how they have run out of the Wii U even before it’s launch.  Having already exceeded their capacity for pre-orders, GameStop didn’t have any new systems to spare…let alone the Deluxe version that was my Holy Grail of the night.


Dollars (Photo credit: Timo Heuer)

On top of it all, I wasn’t even able to unload my old games and hardware.  Turns out 6-8 years are more like 30 years in the gaming world, and my aging property wasn’t exactly in high demand.  So, my next destination was the gaming black market known as the second hand game shop.  It is here that games, systems, and parts are sold, traded, and shelved in a dark back-room, and only sold for straight cash.  It’s also where you can find extremely old and sometimes awesome video game products.  As I was leaving out the door, my wallet considerably heavier and my games now in the shopkeeper’s hand, I noticed an original Nintendo Entertainment System with Duck Hunt…gun and everything. Smiling, I continued my quest for the glossy U box.

The next few stops were in very quick succession.  Walmart, K-Mart, Walmart, Wendy’s (I actually wasn’t looking for a Wii U at Wendy’s, I was just hungry)…but between two cities and a number of different stores, I got the same result.  Between pre-orders already promised to customers and a low stock, the Wii U was in high demand.  But, as luck would have it, I happened upon a Walmart that had a few systems available.  However, these were the white versions, the basic set. As the countdown timer neared 3 hours left, I knew I had little time to make a decision.  Soon I would need to settle down in a line and wait for the embargo to lift at 12:01 a.m.

<To Be Continued…>

~Kurtis the Red


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