As the Nintendo Wii release date gets closer, those looking to secure a Wii on release day are taking more precautions, myself included. After I missed the EB Games/Gamestop pre-order as mentioned earlier, I kept a lookout for any second chances. About a week ago, I found one.
After that, I discovered that the closest Toys R Us was in Richmond. Last night, I plotted my public transportation from Berkeley to the store via 511.org, and planned to take the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to Richmond station, then take a bus to the shopping area. I packed a backpack with snacks, a drink, a warm jacked, and my Zen media player, as I was getting prepared for survival mode early next morning. Today, I woke up at 4:00am (after the time change). This is what the streets of Berkeley look like at 4:30am, when even the party animals are asleep:
When I got to the Berkeley BART station, it was closed! I waited 15 minutes, then asked a taxi driver when the BART opened. He told me 8:30am, so I decided to take the cab directly to the store. 511.org said the BART opened at 5:00am, when it actually opened at 8:30am, since it was Sunday.
When I reached the Toys R Us, there were already 17 people in line, half of them with sleeping bags:
I learned that there were going to be 6 Playstation 3 preorders and 15 Nintendo Wii preorders available. The 6 people waiting for a PS3 had been waiting since Friday night, and had been waiting in shifts for about 36 hours. I would have to guess that it was 40 degrees with a wind chill factor during the entire time I was waiting. Other people across the country had it worse – snow. I had not expected the people who arrived to buy a 10th edition Tickle Me Elmo, the T.M.X. This thing scares me – see for yourself:
This was the line behind me; these people were only able to get an Elmo:
Fortunately, I was one of the last people in line to get a Wii presell ticket. The employees handed them out to people in line:
I was able to purchase my preorder ticket at the R Zone (gaming department) inside the store at 10:00am. I was freezing, but it was worth it!