On December 2, I set up for a mission… to get me a Nintendo Wii on Release Day in Japan. I knew it wouldn’t be easy but I planned for it anyways.
Option 1: Yodobashi in Akihabara
At 5:15 AM, I took the first Hibiya line subway from Kamiyacho to Akihabara hoping to be one of the firsts to fall in line in Yodobashi, a big Akihabara electronics shop, but guess what? I was greeted by a “Sold Out” message near the entrance.
You don’t need to know Japanese to know what that meant. It’s 5:30 in the morning and the Wii is already sold out? WTF?
Apparently, earlier at 10:00 PM (!), lots of people were already in line. To avoid chaos, Yodobashi decided to give away numbers to those in line so everybody could just go home, rest and come back the next day with the assurance that there is a Nintendo Wii waiting for them.
Smart idea actually, nobody would have to fall in line just to be disappointed when the store runs out of stock. Good for them.
Not for me, so back to the subways I went.
Option 2: Bic Camera in Hibiya
At around 5:40 AM, I took another Hibiya line subway from Akihabara to Hibiya hoping the line there is still short and I would still be able to be one of the firsts in the line, but guess what?
There were already more than a thousand in line and the line stretched for almost a kilometer from the southern entrance of Bic Camera all the way to the north-eastern entrance of the huge Tokyo International Forum building… yes, at 6:00 in the freakin’ chillin’ morning!
This is hopeless. I took a taxi and headed home, ready to call it a day even if it is only 6:00 in the morning.
Option 3: Give up
I already went to the biggest stores in Tokyo hours before they open and still wasn’t able to get me my Wii. At that moment, I just wanted to call it a day and sleep.
A Japanese friend, who’s also very keen on getting his Wii on Release day, sent me a message asking me how I’m doing in my Wii quest.
“Not very good,” I replied.
He told me about this small video shop near his place. He called the shop the day before and confirmed that the shop had 36 units of Nintendo Wii available on Release day.
“36!”, I exclaimed. “I went to Bic Camera at around 6:00 AM and there were already thousands in line!”
I advised him to hurry up and fall in line if he really wants to get his Wii. He did and he called me saying he’s number 15 in line so he’s most definitely assured of his Wii.
You can just imagine how envious I became.
Option 4: Local Video Shop
So at around 6:30, I took my trusty bike and searched for any “Local Video Shop” that may actually have the Nintendo Wii.
After around 20 minutes of biking, I found a Tsutaya shop where there were six people in line. The shop opens three hours later at 10:00 AM so I figured, these people must be lining up for the Wii.
And I was right, that particular shop had 8 units available and I was number 7 in line. I took a deep sigh of relief knowing that after all, I am going to get my Wii on Release day.
I did… and play Wii did.
Wii Sports (Tennis) Video