So while the Wii U most likely isn’t going to be the most epic or groundbreaking piece of hardware ever released, one thing you can almost certainly count on is it being sold out in stores day one. Especially after the massive shortages of the Wii, gamers and non-gamers alike are going to be ready to go and get the Wii U either for themselves or as that early Christmas purchase that is going to be so coveted come December 25th. But how do you make sure you get one of these on the very first day? The answer my fellow geeks is the midnight launch.
Now for those of you who have never attempted a midnight launch or overnight sale, here are some important pieces of advice that will help you survive (and hopefully enjoy) this risky endeavor. First is to figure out where you are going to get your system. Some stores like Gamestop will most likely be opening doors at midnight but they also do a preorder system. Make sure as soon as the Wii U goes up on preorder, you get one otherwise nothing else will matter if you show up to Gamestop and every one of their fifty systems already has a claim on it.
Other spots like Best Buy don’t usually do preorders on new hardware because they don’t know how many systems they will be getting. As a result, everything is first come, first serve which means that people begin lining up as early as noon the day before. It’s a good idea to call a store and see if they will tell you how many systems they are getting and then check and see how many people are already waiting outside the store in the shantytown line that develops.
Once you decide where you are headed, it’s time to get ready to camp out. Some people take this to an extreme and bring tents and portable heaters. Since the Wii U doesn’t have an official release date yet, we should assume it will be in either October or November since it will most likely be the big ticket electronic on this Black Friday for retailers. Depending on the weather, most people can get away with just a nice jacket and a comfortable lawn chair. Just remember that once the store opens, that line is going to move fast so anything that you bring that can’t go into your pockets is going to have to wait outside and might not be there when you are done checking out.
Also, if you end up at a place that isn’t doing a midnight launch but is opening early in the morning, bring some entertainment. iPhone batteries are only going to get you so far when you are in a line for more than eight hours. Especially for a Nintendo launch, feel free to bring a Nintendo DS or 3DS. You likely won’t be the only one and can have some fun with multiplayer games or street passing with the other Nintendo fanboys in line with you.
Don’t be afraid to bring some food and a little bit to drink. You are going to get hungry but remember access to bathrooms will be limited at best so don’t start chugging gallon jugs of water unless you are an expert at holding it.
When the doors open, go in knowing what you want to buy. While you may have a guarantee on a console based on your place in line, there will be a rush for the other items like games, controllers, wires, etc. Don’t be “That Guy” standing there and staring at the wall not knowing if he needs an S-Video or HDMI adaptor for his TV or which games he wants to pick from.
Finally, take the next day off from work if you can. You know as soon as you get home you are going to hook everything up and start playing for hours on end. And expect your sleep schedule to get thrown off too. As much as you might say when you get home you plan on going to sleep, you are going to be playing the Wii U.
That’s all for now but keep these tips in mind the closer you get to deciding if you are going to jump on the Wii U bandwagon. Just make sure you get some good games with it at launch and don’t depend on NintendoLand to fulfill that “void” in your gaming life left by Wii Sports. Best of luck getting that first day system and game on!