Wii launch coverage

Created on Friday, December 8, 2006.
Filed under , .

You know how the Wii launched in the States, and in New York they had a massive block party, with live entertainment and the head of Nintendo America and burly black men yelling, “Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess!”?

Not so in Sydney.

I went to some backwater suburban shopping mall (Stocklands at Wetherill Park) to pick up my pre-order from EB Games and make myself $510 poorer. After I went to buy some odd groceries, I joined the short queue at EB, third in line. In front of me there was a woman waiting with her chubby high school son, and they whispered to each other. They whispered.

At the front of the line was a mother, obviously a non-gamer, price matching a Playstation Portable and some of the worst-titled games I’d ever heard of. This took about twenty minutes.

Looking around I saw about five security-sealed cardboard boxes‚ obviously containing the Wii and its games and accessories‚ and when a shop assistant went into the storeroom I saw more of these boxes. The store was not as crowded as it could be (I once went to the store just after Christmas and found the entire space packed with people), and it was certainly quiet. No dressing up as Nintendo characters, or playing with a Gameboy while standing in line, to the extent that I felt I needed to shout, “Wiiiii!” to get this dang party started. Where were the cute Nintendo fangirls I was supposed to take pictures of?

About three other people picked up their pre-ordered Wiis while I was there, and one lady tried to buy one without a pre-order. I’m reasonably sure she got one.

While I paid for the thing I grilled the shop assistant for launch info. He told me that they had “not a lot” of Wiis in, and he had “only a few” units for sale to those who didn’t pre-order. He also said that the Australian launch was “hectic”, that they had only eight games out of twenty, didn’t have the Classic Controller in stock and didn’t even have Wii Points cards. All these things, Nintendo AU says, are coming around Dec 14, though Component cables apparently have arrived just today, Dec 8. Of course he tried to sell me the extended warranty. Of course I turned him down.

Even then, Australia got great launch packaging. In the States their controllers come in blister packaging (a sandwich with two slices of very rigid plastic, heat-sealed and crimped around the sides so you can’t open it without a blade), and the included Wii Sports comes in a paper sachet. Here in Aussie Land we get sexy cardboard-and-plastic peripheral boxes, and Wii Sports comes in a DVD case. This is a great break for gamers who like to collect packaging, like me. I want bookcases for Christmas so I can display all my game boxes. I must have hundreds.

The thing is tiny, about the size of three stacked DVD cases as Nintendo says. It runs quietly and on very little electricity, though it is quite heavy (about two kilos or slightly more). It feels like I could drop the thing and still find it working. I have it in the vertical position using the sexy, sexy stand. I hadn’t read about this anywhere in the I won’t buy a wireless router to connect the Wii to the internet until they release some good Virtual Console games.

The Wiimote works awesome well. My dad and I had a blast playing Bowling together, and he doesn’t pick up new technology that easily. You can use the Wiimote with just a few flicks of the wrist, but when you’re playing with friends it’s hard not to swing the thing around as if you were really batting or golfing. But I’ll tell you now that you have better odds of a home run in Baseball if you just flick your wrist lazily instead of doing full swingy movements.

So far so good. I haven’t played much of Zelda yet, so I have nothing to say on the matter. Just know that I’m having fun.

That's all there is, there isn't any more.
© Desi Quintans, 2002 – 2018.