here is how my day went. Since I work at Toys R Us (for the
past month at least) my good friend who has worked in the 'R'Zone' had
already said he would secure me a cube before the store open. So I got ready
and headed out that day (18th) to work. Expecting only a few more people
linguring on for the cubes which were already gone.
BOY WAS I WRONG. I had thought the store was gonna be normal but there
was still a HUGE line for the Gamecube! I usually work the floor but one of
the managers flung me on a register and started escorting people to me. I
rang up about 5 Gamecubes and the rest of the people were buying acessories
and games and what not. I was very happy to see, though, that our store had
set up a very effective and organized system of getting the cubes. Sure I
heard stories of people who were waiting online for hours, but when push came
to shove they got what they wanted. To my surprise at about 1 in the
afternoon I hear over the PA system "Attention Toys R Us customers we are now
our of Nintendo Gamecubes". I thought the madness was over yet felt bad for
the people who obviously still wanted some. The line in the R Zone, which I
could see since it was 5 registers away from, began to dispurse.
Yet 10 minutes later the same manager comes on again and says we got
MORE Cubes! This happens only one more time but I was still shocked. Time
passed on and I was starting to get tired and antcy. I wanted my Cube ;_;.
Before I knew it, it was 4 pm. The lines had died down a bit but it was still
crazy. I got to clock out and called for my ride. My father came (droping off
my wave race pre-sale ticket) and I stood online with the rest of the
customers who game me compliments on waiting inline and not cutting since I
worked there. I got my wave race and then noticed WE HAD CUBES LEFT! I asked
my friend Jesse how many we got in. Our Toys R Us store got in 600 Gamecubes.
I was shocked, because we previously only thought we would get 200 max.
Target across the street only got 80. Anywho I bought my game went home,
cleared the area for my cube, waited a little bit for my friend to come home
(who has my cube, he bought it so he had to bring it home) and I picked it
I must say it is very fun to play the Gamecube, Star Wars and Wave
Race really do rock. In the end it was all worth it. I went through a few
months of panic because I couldn't presale a system. Now I am a happy happy
HAPPY owner of a Indigo cube, furthermore I am happy that our Toys R Us
pulled through with flying colors. People got what color they wanted, the
accessories they wanted and the games they wanted. I didn't see one sad face
the whole day. I proudly wore my free employee Gamecube "necklace" (its a
Gamecube strap with a game card board at the end of it, I love it lol) and
gave kids and adults and teens their cubes. I am sure they are as happy as I
am right now ^_^. Happy gaming everyone and great coverage Planet Gamecube!
Life was not looking good for this last minute shopper. When I awoke this morning, (Sunday Nov. 18th, 2001) Previously I had decided to wait a week or two to purchase the Cube (because I had recently put a nice dent in the front end of my Toyota Tundra and was looking forward to paying not only the deductible, but also the nice increase in premiums). Getting the most out of my extra 2 hours of sleep before church I was awakened by a phone call from a curious mother. It seems that my brother in the midwest had already been up a few hours (time change) and purchased a system complete with a memory card and a copy of Rogue Squadron. Mother dearest was wondering if I would go and check out the availability of orange controllers for the cube (I really hate that color myself) and so I decided that before I went to church I would check it out at the local target (opens at 9:00 am).
I pulled into Target at around 9:24 and headed back to the electronics section (expecting to find a mass of people) and found no one around. I smiled to myself thinking that this launch WAS not going to go well in light of the recent events. That is when I noticed that the entire NINTENDO Game Cube section was cleared out... in less than 24 minutes, and not even a crying child was left. CURIOUS, but Cool I thought.
So I put the Game Cube on hold figuring that I would run over to Best Buy after Church and pick up a controller for my brother. By now the itch was starting to be noticeable in my foot.
As I sat in church, I began to think about the Game Cube. I had seen a child playing the new Rogue Squadron game the evening previous, and I imagined myself in his shoes, blasting those pesky fighters back to the Old Republic! Now that itch was starting to make it's way slowly up my leg, I was beginning to think that I needed to check out if anyone had the Game Cube.
Realizing that church would make me miss the opening of the Best Buy store next door, I ducked out the back door about 20 minutes early and jumped into my damaged Toyota, slammed on the gas and sped off to the big yellow tag in the sky. As I pulled up I noticed that the parking lot seemed pretty full for 11:10 on a Sunday morning, 10 minutes after opening. My heart pounded as I raced to the back end of the store where a Game Cube sign stood blinking as a beacon to a lost soul (literally- since I WAS ducking out on church). Once again as I neared the correct area of the store I was confused by the lack of people fighting over the Cube, could it be that Best Buy was also sold out, or maybe they were holding onto all of good stuff at the register- but alas they were not.
Now I was starting to become a little more anxious, the itch in my leg had now swarmed up to my hind end and was circling around the back pocket area of my clothing. It was no longer just curiosity that fueled my desire, but I didn't want to be the only one in California without a Game Cube at home... I dreamed about it's ergonomically correct features!
I raced next door to Toys'R'Us, thinking that the biggest toy store in the world wouldn't let me down... again nothing but disappointment. 3 stores down and not even an orange controller to show for it. I pressed on to Circuit City, my heart prepared for disappointment.
As I walked to the Console area, I could already tell that I was going to miss out. It looked as if there was not a soul to be found, and yet again - no Game Cube. I was heart-broken and about ready to give up when I noticed a silver colored controller made by Pellican. (At the time I thought it was a Nintendo 1st party controller... how similar they appeared.) Thinking that Silver might be enough to appease the brother god, I decided to buy it... I could always take it back right? When I approached the counter I realized that the brother god was about to smile upon me, before my very eyes was a square box with the Three Faced G squarely on top! Could it really be a Game Cube system left from the masses? I inquired about the system; was it a pre-order? Was it for sale? I was jubilated (is that a word?) to discover that the Box (or should I say CUBE) in question was in fact the real thing. There for the asking - first come first serve. I quickly took note that the itch in my pants had now found it's way to my wallet and was burning a hole right through. I reached back quickly and quenched the fire by laying down my Visa card (because it's everywhere you want to be... even at home, fat and lazy at 3:00 am playing Rogue Squadron II until even though your eyes feel like they are about to fall out of your head and your stomach is going to swallow up your intestines because you haven't eaten in weeks, but you can't stop for anything not even a period.... (whew!) and shelling out the pathetic $199.99 for the system (a bargain compared to all of the imitation systems :), Rogue Squadron, Luigi's Mansion, A Pelican Controller (which in spite of how it looks is not a real Nintendo controller and therefore has no right to be in my house) and a memory card.
Armed with these wonderful toys I left Circuit City and headed home, trying not to remember that I had just skipped out of Church and spent approximately $300 more than what I had planned on. It's a good thing that the Mrs. is in love with Luigi and has been playing for about 2 hours... it makes breaking the news about how much I spent that much easier. Thank You Nintendo... and Circuit City.
Citrus Heights, CA
I got on late on Sunday night (it's a wonder I actually moved away from the TV I connected my Gamecube to in the first place), and I read that article you posted about wanting stories of Gamecube launch experiences, so I decided to send you mine. All in all, it was an incredibly good experience. I pre-ordered from my local (I am a resident of Brantford, Ontario, Canada) Electronics Boutique, and the mall at which it is located wasn't open until 11:00, so I went with my dad at 11:00. There was only one guy waiting there, and he had already gotten a Gamecube a Zellers (I think he only wanted to get some games he couldn't get at Zellers, but I didn't stay long enough to find out). A few minutes later, a friend of mine from school showed up with another guy. He told me that EB wasn't opening until noon, so I decided to go by work (Wendy's, I know it's undignified, but whatever gets me my Cube and games for it is fine by me) and see if they had gotten anyone to cover some of my shifts I needed off (Note: I did not have to work today and forgot to get them to cover me, I've had this day booked off since I pre-ordered a month ago). Whne I was done with that, I went back to the mall and waited for 15 minutes, and noted that when I returned there were about 10 people (since the pre-order list was 4 pages long I assume people were mostly going to come as they pleased). During the wait, the EB employees kept unlocking the door just long enough to come out and do stuff, which made me feel like I was being teased (and that wasn't the worst of it - that'll come soon enough). At about ten minutes to go, another employee of EB showed up and I was like "Sweet!" - too loud, obviously, because he looked at me and said "Just 'cause I'm unlocking it doesn't mean we're opening early." Everyone was upset lby that, was it really too much to ask for them to open 10 mins. early (the worst teasing is still yet to come)? By this time, I was holding my debit card and pre-order slip, ready for their only true purpose in my life. At 5 mins. to go, the worst teasing of all came. The one guy in the store turns on the roof mounted TVs and plays nothing but Gamecube promos (the ones of the NP disk for the most part), and they still wouldn't open the door. We were all getting pretty ticked by now, but diverting our anger through verbal complaints and random conversation. My dad mentioned to my friend that we still had an Atari and he was trying to get my dad to sell it (no dice). Finally the store opened and we all went in and crowded the desk. Everyone around me was practically pushing their pre-orders across the counter, but the guy behind it just reached for mine. I couldn't believe it, I was the first one in that EB to get a Gamecube (from the store, just so you don't bring up the fact that I said there was a guy who bought one at Zellers). My bundle included the Indigo Gamecube and 3 games - Luigi's Mansion, Star Wars: Rogue Leader, and Wave Race (which I added on to the existing bundle when I pre-ordered). This was the happiest day of my life and I will never forget being the first to buy a Gamecube at the Brantford Electronics Boutique (all future genreations of my family will hear it, and some of the past ones too). Now I will go forth and spread Cube loving - first at my aunt's house tomorrow so my cousins can bask in the glory and then it will be going to my Youth Group on the last Friday of December (along with the additions of Pikmin, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and possibly NHL Hitz 2002). Let Nintendo's return to the top of the video game market now begin (and feel free to start betting on how long/how much longer than Dreamcast Microsoft's X-Box will last).
P.S.: There was an X-Box doormat on the floor just inside the door - I find that to be very good placement, but it should have been a console rather than a mat. I wiped the grim on my shoes off on it regardless.
Here in Chicago, IL I got my GC with no trouble: no line, no waiting, no
stocking problems. Hard to believe but I tell you it's true. My local
Wal-mart (in the Burbank area) opened at 8AM, with other neighbouring stores
(TRU, Best Buy, Circuit City) being closed. While driving past TRU and Best
Buy and seeing up to 30 people in line, I was concerned if Wal-mart had sold
out already. At 8:30AM I arrived at Wal-mart and sprinted to the
electronics department expecting a crowd, but to my suprise there was none.
Their Game Cube cabinet was FULL with systems, games, controllers and memory
cards. Having already had 4 games, 2 memory cards and an indigo/clear
controller, I quickly nabbed my Black GC and walked off in shock, wondering
why people were waiting outside TRU and Best Buy when Wal-mart, a mere 2
blocks down the street, had plenty ready to go, along with games and
accessories. Truly odd, but at least I got mine...
My launch report from south-central Wisconsin (feel free to re-publish if you desire):
Although I live in Madison, WI I had to be up in the Wisconsin Dells on Saturday night for a party. Turned out to be a good omen in disguise as the nearby town of Baraboo, WI has a relatively new Wal-Mart Supercenter open 24/7. About 7:00pm I called over and talked to one very excited Wal-Mart employee who informed me they had 38 systems and they would indeed go on sale at midnight. He said they had one or two kids hanging around waiting for the line to form up.
Not knowing what to expect I munched down some dinner and headed over about 9:30. Was relatively smooth sailing as I was #17 in line. They handed out numbers at 11:15 or so and everybody was free to roam around the store & head back at midnight. The folks in line ranged from a couple of young kids there with Mom or Dad to a lot of teens to a few of us more (ahem) "senior gamers". I kept a few of those around me entertained with stories from my Software Etc. store manager days when the Sega Genesis was introduced. At midnight they began ringing everybody up and I think I was back asleep by 1:00 (wasn't able to play any as its a Christmas present for my kids). The guy in front of me got the last black Cube but I think I would have taken indigo in any case...I got enough black electronics in the house already.
Turns out that getting the Cube (other than costing me an extra buck for the two donuts I had to buy at Wal-Mart to stay awake until midnight) was the "easy" part...then there was everything else...
(1) Games - Luckily, I had already purchased 4 games a couple of days before at TRU. Wal-Mart was sold out of Luigi's by Saturday night. Back in Madison today (Sunday) however I saw that TRU still had stock on all the games except for RL. Game stock at Best Buy and Target was MUCH more limited - more on that in a moment.
(2) Controllers - Wal-Mart got zip for controllers from Nintendo. The store manager said they just didn't make it in time. Many people were bummed about that and bought the few third party controllers they had. I passed figuring I could score some back in Madison today (I did - EASILY - including a spice one). I picked up the last two indigo controllers TRU/West here in Madison had before noon this morning. Better yet they HONORED Target's price of $29.99/controller. I needed one more so I ducked over to Best Buy next door where they had probably 15 controllers left - including two spice ones. I picked up one of those (so the kids can tell which controller is "Dads").
I talked to the staff at Best Buy here in Madison and they said they had quite a few people that camped out overnight. When I visited them at noon they had a handful of systems left (including a few black ones - apparently due to the morning staff not knowing they had black ones and discovering it only after they had sold the initial rush of customers). I briefly pondered picking up a black cube to auction off on Ebay but decided I couldn't live with myself taking advantage of a number of (apparently) REALLY gullible people paying way more than they should on Ebay. FYI...I checked back with Best Buy around 6pm this evening and they were indeed sold out.
(3) Target - well in Madison at least Target would have been the place to purchase your Cube if you wanted a deal:
Buy 2 games save $10, buy 3 games save $20. Controllers for $29.99 and the first round of people that purchased Cubes got a free Nintendo Game Cube stool (for the player to sit on - not the cube). Needless to say when I stopped over there today and checked things out they were sold out of pretty much everything. I have no idea why Target felt they needed to discount the games other than they wanted to really stoke things up a bit vs. their competition here in the Midwest. It didn't make much difference as I was able to get TRU to match the deal on the games I had already purchased during the week.
(4) Memory Cards - Wal-Mart (Baraboo) only had a few cards for the 38 game systems they got in. Not sure what genius made that buying decision at Wal-Mart but that was a BIG oversight. Perhaps they are just under heavy allocation from Nintendo? It wasn't a problem back in Madison however, TRU, Best Buy and Target all had memory cards. I picked up two not knowing any better.
When the dust settled here in Madison this evening there are very few Cubes - if any - left in town. Judging from the folks I talked to most (if not all) buyers who wanted one today got one. Score "1" for Nintendo in getting enough units in place for the launch. The larger test will be replenishment in the upcoming week for the post-thanksgiving shopping frenzy. I certainly hope that they are able to get another round of Cubes in the stores by the weekend. I have to believe local shortages of games,memory cards & controllers will work themselves out in time for the holidays.
One last note...not to be found AT ALL was the S-Video adapter I needed to pick up to round out the system. I didn't see (or hear of for that matter) any Nintendo branded ones at any of the stores I was at. I also saw no Nintendo branded component video cables either.
PGC has been my primary info source in making a decision to pick up a Cube for my kids (okay...and me). What a WONDERFUL site and community!
So I had written off my chances of getting a Nintendo GameCube before,
say, January. I wasn't lucky enough to manage a pre-order, didn't win a
contest, and had too much pride to camp out in front of Toys R Us
overnight. In fact, I rented a PlayStation 2 yesterday as a surrogate.
The PS2 came without a memory card, so I couldn't save any games, which
got annoying. After lunch I headed to Fry's to buy one. At the videogame
aisle I was looking for the PS2 memory cards, and chatting with a woman
who was picking up a PS2 for her son, when a kid about ten feet away
called out "Hey! Anyone want a GameCube?" He was holding a box. I
teleported next to him, said "Yes!" and he handed me the box. Turns out
there was mysteriously a single GameCube sitting on the shelf that had
somehow evaded the morning rush (it might have been returned) and the
kid, who wasn't in the market himself, decided someone ought to know
about it. I thanked him very, very profusely.
Fry's had many copies of Star Wars: Rogue Leader but no Luigi's Mansion
and, quite ironically, no GameCube memory cards. So I drove over to
Software Etc. and picked those up. Then home, where my wife was happy
for me but appalled at the sheer number of video game consoles in the
living room (N64, Dreamcast, rental PS2 and now GameCube, not to mention
the mothballed Genesis in the garage). The Dreamcast was quickly evicted
to make room for the tiny purple GameCube.
I then spent most of the rest of the day playing Luigi's Mansion. It's
much better than the reviews had led me to expect. The graphics and
motion are just stunning -- it's like an interactive cartoon. The game
is sort of a combination of Ghostbusters and Disneyland's "Haunted
Mansion", with a strong element of ... fishing. The process of luring
the ghosts, stunning them with the flashlight beam, and sucking the
struggling ectoplasm into your vacuum cleaner requires some skill and is
not unlike reeling in a big fish. (Or so I imagine. Except you don't
catch fish with vacuum cleaners, do you?) My kids love watching the game
and go into absolute transports of hilarity when Luigi bags a ghost. And
we're all humming the theme song. (Oh yes, and I've played a bit of
Rogue Leader too. Made it most of the way through the Death Star run but
got nailed when the TIE fighters appeared in the trench behind me.)
Well, my launch went well. I started off by being first in line at 2 P.M (est) at the local Meijer. The employees were surprised I was there, with my mom (even though I'm almost 18). I went through the first hour doing homework. After that, another group of people showed up. A kid who had to have a short attention span and a religious mom. 4 rolls around and another group show up. Then, 2 employees come up and ask us, "What's a Gamecube?". Time passes, each magazine in the rack I read that day. My mom read two 300 page books with time to spare. Time goes on and the religious person says "The good Lord has helped me loose stress" Well, 10 finally comes around and our chairs were full. Oh, they had chairs for each Gamecube... sit in a chair, get a 'cube. Well, at midnight I got the first Gamecube (Jet Black of course) and everyone clapped. My dad got another one. He was unrelated to me that night though, since it was limit one per family. Well, it was a wasted night, I could've gotten there at 11:30 and still had a seat. GAH, as the old religious person said "You wouldn't have had the pleasure of meeting everyone". Right...