I found this forum this afternoon searching for help with my Wii; apparently the problems with them are fairly widespread. Here's my story:
I organized a group of my friends and I to camp for the Wii at our local Target store. From the rumors that we heard, they would be getting the most units in our area. We expected to have to be out sometime in the evening the day before hand, then camp through the night. Unofficially we had heard that our Target would be issuing numbered tickets at 6am, after which you could leave and come back any time to get your unit before noon.
Since I live down the street we got together at my place. After doing some drive-bys every few hours we noticed that people were already starting to line up outside of the store (it was roughly 10am at this point). We waited a while longer and after some debating decided we might as well stake out a claim, since we couldn't devote our attention to anything else while checking the line so often. We got together our gear and headed over to the store, executing a quick plan to set up our table, chairs, etc.
It was now slightly after noon, and we were numbers 4-7 in the Wii line at Target. We introduced ourselves to the people in front of us, who were all good guys (and obviously like-minded). Of course given how quickly the beginning of the line formed we assumed others would follow shortly after us. An hour went by. Two hours. Finally almost three hours later two guys got into line after us. Okay, so we knew our timing was overkill- but hell, it's for the Wii, right? Needless to say the line began to fill out very slowly, hitting the 40-50 mark around midnight.
The first ten or so people in line were a blast, and we had a great time screwing around, talking, and playing games. Many of the others that arrived after were not quite as entertaining; in fact, they became downright annoying. Around the 20-30 mark was a group of obnoxious high school students, some of which looked to have just hit puberty. These guys were screaming, swearing, and eventually began drinking and causing trouble. Don't get me wrong- I don't have any qualms with a party. I just didn't think it was the place with the police driving by every half an hour, and customers still coming and going.
As if the people in line weren't bad enough, others decided to harass us as they walked by. Some times they were just dumb questions, which we didn't have a problem answering. Most of the time it was people telling us we were crazy, idiots, or any other barrage of insults. One man walked by with his small child, quite loudly explaining, "This is what happens when you don't go to college". A quick show of hands in the line showed that a good portion were either in, or had graduated from, college. But I digress. Another winner came by to tell us he had *built* the Wiis and the PS3s, and he knew it was better to camp at Walmart (which we knew had already reserved every unit they had). What he did and where he couldn't say, but he knew he built them, and he would be damned if anyone said otherwise. Words can't describe the looks of this guy- just imagine a crazy mountain man in camo. Yep.
Much of the harassment wasn't verbal either. Throughout the night some real winners decided it would be fun to physically torture us. These incidents ranged from squirt-gun drive-bys (in freezing weather- I'll cover that soon), blaring music to keep those awake who wanted to sleep, and flashing headlights at us as we sat in the dark. One group was particularly clever: after sitting with their lights glaring at us for nearly 5 minutes, they managed to spit out, "Uh, you guys like, aren't going to get any. We got dibs... we're seriously not kidding. Sucks to be you." It took five minutes to think that up? Yikes, if your hobby is going to be being an asshole, at least do it well.
Insults aside the weather was an assortment of horrible. Temperatures ranged from the 40s to below freezing, with a wind chill quite a bit lower. Even with a ton of layers and full camping gear the middle of the night can be hell- at least with real camping you get to have a fire. Instead we shivered together and thought of the joy that would come the next day. Snow and rain appeared intermittently as well, almost on cue with us taking out our electronics. The number of things to do quickly decreased; evening playing cards faded as an option when we couldn't feel our hands due to the cold (gloves weren't too handy for playing, either).
As I alluded to earlier, some of us tried to get some shut-eye, mainly in the interest of being conscious the next day to enjoy the system we had waited so long to get. The cold and the harassment didn't help, but eventually a good portion of us campers got to sleep. That is, until around 2:30am when "Number 51" showed up.
We knew he was number 51 in line, mainly because he was screaming it and other equally shockingly obvious facts at the top of his lungs. People starting getting pissed and would yell at him- but for some reason it just wouldn't sink in for this guy. It was like he was completely oblivious. Or drunk. Yeah, it was that one. Not only that, this guy doesn't look a day over 18, is grotesquely overweight and wearing a huge tarp of a red shirt. It didn't take us long to start calling him Kool-Aid man. Anyway Kool-Aid eventually became uninterested in waiting in line, and after a few hours got up and left without saying a whole lot (other than begging for alcohol from us, who didn't have any).
At that point we realized trying to sleep was a futile effort, and tried to find ways to amuse ourselves. Bordem. More bordem. Fast forward to 6:15am- we finally get our tickets that guarantee us a system. Fast forward again to 8am, when we actually get to enter the store and get them. Nothing could be more rewarding than walking out with the console after all of that hardship. I rush home, start unpacking my car, and realize I can't find my laptop bag with [my laptop and] my PSP. I go into a spiraled panic- someone must have stolen it while I was asleep, but I swore I remembered putting it into my car before that. But had I locked the doors? I couldn't remember.
After a good 15-20 minutes of total panic and dismay I remember that my wife had stopped by and taken them off my hands the night before. I had been so overtired I had completely forgotten, as had my friends I called during the panic to see if they had seen anyone messing with my car. They were sitting in my damn office waiting for me, I just hadn't noticed. What a roller coaster, right? At this point I'm exhausted and stressed/relieved, so I promptly passed out in my bed. Hell, I already had a unit, what was the rush now?
I wake up after about two hours (1pm) and immediately unpack the system. Damn it is sexy. I get everything up and running in no time, and the system works without a hitch. That is, until I get the main setup done. Something just doesn't seem right about the main menu icons; they're slightly distorted. Well, my TV kind of sucks so I figure there's a good chance it's the problem. I get the baby online so I can play with the basic features before popping in a game- and run an update.
The system ran two updates, after which it rebooted itself after a friendly warning. Wait, now there are weird dots everywhere, and the textures look even worse. I start adjusting cords checking for a bad connection, but everything seems solid. In fact, I hadn't touched them since they were working previously. My experimentation quickly leads to increased panic as I realize it isn't the connection; my Wii is broken. Obviously something was wrong before the update, the update just made it worse. So I try to back out my updates by "formatting" the system.
"Format", what a joke. Of course I should have guessed it wouldn't get rid of updates, since Nintendo will likely use the update system to squash pirating as holes are found. Thinking like an engineer I consider ripping it open and resetting it manually, but I quickly realize it might not have an internal backup of the original version, and I could easy brick the system and void the warranty. Well shit- is this a known problem... is Nintendo working on it? Can it be fixed in software? And that's how I found this forum.
Of course it seemed I was the only one with that particular problem. Every one of my friends had a working system, both before and after me in line. No complaints, no issues- except for mine. Well I'm irate now, and I want to see what Nintendo can do to resolve the issue for me. First I try the support website- it was down. Second the 800 number... busy. Thankfully it took me an hour before I could get through on the phone, so I had some time to calm down. I understand that this kind of thing happens all of the time at launch, but why me? Of everyone standing in line at my Target- I get the one broken unit with an unknown problem, after 20 hours in the cold?
After getting through I spend about 20 minutes on hold before getting through to a human being. Thankfully Nintendo are gods and know how to treat their customers. The agent was very helpful and very understanding of the problem, offering a variety of solutions that could get me a new Wii or a repair of the existing unit before Thanksgiving. I ended up having them send me a new unit, which I should get by Wednesday, after which I will mail the broken unit back to them.
Right now I find myself completely cathartic, drained of both motivation to play and anger. Was camping out for it worth all of the cold, stress, idiocy, depression, anger, and cost? Hopefully my new Wii will answer that question- and I will be sure to keep you all posted. As for right now, nothing would make me happier than a few drinks and a long long rest before going back to work tomorrow morning.
I sincerely hope you all had better experiences than I did.