PS3s And Wiis Appear Briefly, Then Go MIA
We broke the news this past weekend, and by then, it was more than a rumor. It was official news, and just about everyone on the planet took notice...retailers were "guaranteed" to have at least a few PS3s and Wiis in stock for Sunday, December 17, and of course, that incited more crazed consumer throngs.
While initial reports said that stores such as Best Buy would have "at least 40 Wiis" in stock, and while other announcements hinted at the possibility of "a handful" of PS3s at GameStops and EBs, those reports seemed a bit too optimistic. At least in our area, those numbers weren't quite as robust as initially expected, which means a great many prospective owners of a PS3 or Wii went home unhappy yet again.
More than 75 people were waiting outside a local Target at 6 a.m.; the first of which had arrived at 10:30 p.m. the night before. Unfortunately, the store only had 12 Wiis to sell, and no PS3s. Just across the street, Best Buy (the home of many PS3 launch campers) was mobbed by over 100 people when the doors opened at 8 a.m. But that store only had 20 Wiis - half the "guaranteed" number - and 5 PS3s.
Essentially, anyone who didn't break out the tents probably didn't get either system yesterday. However, there is a bit of good news- Wal-Mart doesn't receive shipments on the weekends, which means they got those systems today. Most Wal-Marts in our area sported at least a few Wiis this morning, and while we must emphasize "few," the store may likely receive more this week. If you contact your local Wal-Mart and ask, the employees will say they have no idea when or how many, and that's the truth. Why?
Turns out, the last time a store employee divulged information as to when the truck would arrive, that truck was robbed. So now, company policy has the truckers incommunicado with store employees for security purposes. So this means two things- 1. Wal-Mart employees aren't just being intentionally dense; they really have no idea, and 2. there is the distinct possibility that more systems will arrive this week. Wiis are more likely than PS3s, however.
More good news- Sony has apparently "dealt with" their production issues, and therefore, we should see more PS3s this week in stores nationwide. Sunday clearly wasn't the be-all and end-all of PS3 availability...or so we hope. No need to give up just yet!
Good luck to all who are still searching.
12/18/2006 Ben Dutka