So my nine-year-old son, Nick, has completed his Christmas list. What's he want? An X-BOX 360. And a PlayStation3. Oh, and throw in a Wii, too. He finally understands that since all gifts flow from Santa, you may as well ask for the world. Hell, it's free, isn't it?
After explaining to him that we just got our X-BOX a couple years ago and that there are kids in Africa dying because they couldn't pay twenty cents for proper immunizations, he narrowed his list down to the X-BOX 360. Since some of our X-BOX games are upwards compatible on the X-BOX 360, I applauded his choice. Until, that is, I saw my twelve-year-old daughter's list. Amanda wants a Wii. Making matters worse? After doing a little research, I determined the PlayStation3 made the most sense. After all, it's got a built-in BluRay DVD player - a $200 add-on if you go with the X-BOX 360.
But really, how much better can a 360 or PS3 be over the XBOX we have today? Is it worth plunking down enough money that could otherwise save 2500 African lives? Probably not. And for half the cost of a 360 or PS3, we could buy a Wii which offers a totally different gaming experience.
Thing is, how do you get one? Aside from there being a huge shortage of them, consumers far savvier than I know when to camp out and where.
Enter Google. The other day I googled "How to get a Wii" and the search returned with twenty-eight gazillion hits. I found a couple links that I think will help.
Long story short, if you want to buy one online, you need to sign up for email alerts through a service like the one offered on www.nowinstock.net which will also let you know when your local stores stock a Wii on their shelves. Be warned though. I got an email alert today at 1:37pm that Amazon.com had the Wii in stock. By the time I clicked on it at 1:45, guess what? Sold out. Ya gotta be quick.
As for snagging one at a local store, here's what I gleaned:
* WalMart receives shipments at 3pm each day. Call them at 3 (or shortly after) and ask them if they got any Wii's. If the answer is 'yes', be prepared to get down there within 15 minutes.
* Target receives shipments on Sunday mornings. Get there when the store opens.
* BestBuy receives their Wii's before the store opens on Sundays. You almost need to camp out to get these since most people think of BestBuy & Circuit City when it comes to stuff like this.
* Don't overlook stores like GameStop. They get 'em too. Call them often.
How much trouble will I go to? I dunno. But I'll make these two predictions: It'll probably be a PS3 under the tree and the names of both my kids will be on it.