The last time Colin and I did something goofy like this was for the Apple Store opening @ Eastview Mall. We got up at 6:30am and stood in line for 3 hours at Best Buy… but we finally scored the new Nintendo Wii!

It had been a week of trying to get it (5am on launch day at Target & EB Games) and then the whole week tracking rumors of Wii sightings.

We had a blast in the line. It particularly helped that some employees told us there were 52 in stock and we had #21. The best part was when people would drive by and ask what the line was for and kids had them convinced we were there for an American Idol tryout! A woman cut loose singing an living it up and I did Elvis.

User report: The Wii totally lives up to the hype. I love the family focus Nintendo has. That’s what put us over the edge on buying this. We didn’t own any console before (well, for 15 years, since the NES), but Nintendo is going a totally different direction from the other companies (Sony and Microsoft XBox). Where they are pushing more jazzy looking graphics and crazy prices, Nintendo is improving gameplay and focusing on ease of use and family fun.

We bought 3 games (in addition to the terrific Wii Sports that’s bundled free):
Rayman Raving Rabbids: Goofy fun. Rayman has party games… dancing, running silly, shooting plungers, etc. We’re really addicted to this one.
Excite Truck: just a fun racing game, where you steer using the Wii’s motion sensing remote
Zelda Twilight Princess: Role Playing adventure. Haven’t started it yet, but it looks like an epic quest.
Also Animal Crossing for the Game Cube, since the kids knew they loved it.

What’s cool about the Wii:

    Inexpensive ($250 compared to hundreds more for the others). This leaves money to buy games, extra remotes for family play, etc.
    Motion sensing remotes totally change how you play. I hated the old ‘press these 7 buttons together to run really fast’ thing. If you want to hit a baseball, just swing the remote like a bat.
    Games that are about fun and meant to be played as a family
    Elegant software interface, small console
    No charge for the online uses
    Creating our own characters and trading them with family, then they all show up in games
    Because of the new remote, learning a game is fast, easy and fun
    Lots of family games, not just shooters
    Download many old Nintendo games for cheap ($5-$15), also play any Game Cube game… so there are many great games available, including the ones we grew up with
    The Wii tracks play time, so you don’t go nuts
    Many of the sports games are really athletic. We actually are sweating playing. There are even games to track your skill and I can see some real exercise potential to future games. I’ve read Nintendo interview where they really are into that idea.
    The idea of sticking it to the other companies to tell them, it’s about innovation and cool games, not polygons. I read an ARSTechnica review that said the other systems’ games just look like the old games ‘with a new coat of paint’, and for more money.

The final fun part of our quest to get the Wii is that my parents in FL heard about the Best Buy sale and did an amazing thing… they also got up at 6am to score a Wii for the grandkids. How sweet was that! And here’s what Mom said about the experience : “We enjoyed sitting and chatting with the young people on Sun. morning. We were second in line so we knew that we would get one.” My folks are in there 70’s, and Mom’s never up before 10am with lots of coffee, so that’s love, eh?!

We found a good home up here with friends for the Wii they got as well, since we both got one at the same time. Ah, what an adventure.

Learn more:
IGN: Wii Launch Guide

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