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burningsoup avatar 12:18 PM on 11.16.2012  (server time)
Roll Call: Those Who Missed the Wii U Preorder Boat

Anyone who follows my comments on this site can probably tell that I am in desperate love with Nintendo. And like that girl you had a crush on all 4 years of high school who was WAY out of your league, no matter how many times Nintendo puts out questionable policies and occasional sub-par games, I forgive them and continue to love them.

I was born into a Nintendo family. SEGA was never even mentioned under our roof. I didn't find out till much later was a Genesis even was because my older siblings had a strict policy to not talk about it. So I grew up with a Super Nintendo, N64, Gamecube, Gameboy Advance SP, and DS. My brother eventually bought a PS2 and that quickly became a personal favorite of mine, but once the Wii was announced (then called the Revolution, naturally) I felt all those same feelings as when I ripped into that Christmas gift-wrap to find a new Gamecube... so I did the only logical thing and lined up outside Best Buy the night before it came out with a piggy bank filled with $200 in bills and about 70 or so in quarters. I pissed off no less than 50 people waiting behind me while they counted those quarters, but it was worth it: I had my Wii.

In reflection, I realize how lucky I must have been. I didn't have a pre-order. And by walking around stores in the following days I noticed that the Nintendo shelves were void of any Wii games or consoles. And that was all before the days when online shopping became the norm.

I don't have the money for a Wii U. Fortunately, as a college student, I'm still at that age where my parents are willing to grant one Christmas present to their children, and my brother and I are willing to share a Wii U as a joint present. Since most people predict that after the initial shipment of Wii U's there won't be a steady supply of the consoles until well after Christmas, our only real chance is to try and pick one up on launch day.

But we don't have a pre-order. 6 years ago that didn't matter. These days? Well, it's all up in the air. Some people say it's hopeless to wait outside the stores for half a day since, chances are, all the consoles may already be spoken for in pre-orders. Others think that Nintendo will learn from their initial Wii supply and demand problems and stock ungodly amounts of the console. Me personally? I don't try to get too much in my head about it. So what's my edge here?

I've got a team, and I've got a plan. Today I'm going around to all the stores in my city (which are all packed fairly close together): Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, Kmart, Toys R Us... I'm staying away from GameStop cause that will be a certified battleground. I'm going to check if the managers have an idea of how many shipments they're getting and if they're all spoken for. I'll run their responses through a complicated algorithm to determine where our best shots are.

Then tomorrow night the team moves in. First, it's me: The Heavy. I've got the card with the funds for the purchase and I'll be stationed outside the store with the highest chance of success. If it's no good for me, I've got at least two other guys stationed at other stores. One with an equivalent cash amount, and one who's placeholding at a less-likely store.

Overall, I've placed our probability of success at 25%. But that's more than enough for a sappy Nintendo romantic like myself.

So... anybody else gonna try the camping method without a pre-order? Suggestions, questions? Feel free to share!

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