We manned up and scouted out nearby Walmarts around 9PM to see if we could get our hands on a Wii U right at the midnight launch. While we had already pre-ordered at GameStop, they’re not opening until 11AM, which caused quite a stir amongst GS pre-orderers.
Luckily, the second Walmart we visited had a line of 7 people and 11 consoles. Some people had been waiting since noon! Of course they only had 7 black premium Wii U editions so we got stuck with an 8GB white version, but we’ll be buying an external HD in the near future anyways.
Over the next several days we’ll be playing the heck out of the Wii U and bringing tons of exlusive content to readers of Wii U Daily and members of our Wii U Forums. We understand that LOTS of people are on the fence about whether or not to buy the Wii U and even more are wondering which games are worth the investment.
Check out the list of games we’ve purchased for reviewing. We’ll call it gaming for the greater good of humanity:
- Assassin’s Creed 3
- Bayonetta 2
- Call of Duty Black Ops 2
- FIFA Soccer 13
- Madden NFL 2013
- Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Edition
- NBA 2K13
- Ninja Gaiden 3
- Pikmin 3
- Rayman Legends
- Super Mario Brothers New U
- Transformers Prime
- Wii Fit U
- Wipeout 3
- Wonderful 101
- Zombi U
Who already has their Wii U? Where did you get it?
In all honesty, I was very disappointed GameStop not only backtracked on their midnight openings but also isn’t opening on Sunday until 11am. That was frustrating. That left 3 main possibilities for us in tracking down a midnight unit: Walmart, Bestbuy, and Toys R Us.
I called many stores in advance to see who would have units, how many, what line expectations were, and get more info. As unfortunately expected, Walmart employees had no idea what was going on and different employees at the same store were giving different information. I was nervous to wait in line at Walmart only to be told they had less units than initially predicted.
But there were more Walmarts densely located in my area so we tried our luck. The first Walmart had 2 girls waiting and only 1 Wii U available. Luckily the girls were friends and sharing the device. The second store was pretty much absolute mayhem with Walmart employees giving mixed messages and customers self-organizing. Luckily, we did indeed get a Wii U after waiting for 3 hours. But about 10 or 12 others weren’t so lucky and walked away empty handed.
Even after buying ours I was left laughing and shaking my head… how much more uselessly could you “bag” my product?
There were even some employees who told people that were there HOURS in advance that they could walk around the store or even leave and come back later. When they came back, a line had formed and a list had been created, and these early birds ended up getting doubly screwed because of misinformation. I figured Walmart would do the sloppiest job of the Wii U sale and it was pretty embarrassing how it all went down.
Meanwhile, we heard of others in line at Toys R Us for the Wii U even though it was closing at 12 midnight and not re-opening for Wii U sales until 8am. That’s rough. So even though our Wii U purchasing experience wasn’t stupendous, we made out okay.
For the record: the Walmart where we got ours was located in Severn, MD. Hello to any of our friends from the line who may be reading this! Steve took this picture of me waiting in the line before it got massive.
They actually split us into 2 lines: one waiting for the black unit and one waiting for the white unit.
How was your Wii U launch experience? Let us know in the comments and visit Wii U Forums to continue the conversation!