Ever since Wii Fit’s release in mid-May, I’ve been dying to review the revolutionary fitness game for Buzzine. There’s just been one problem. Four months later and I’ve still been unable to find one.
“This is ridiculous,” I remember saying, as I pinballed from one local electronics store to another. “I have the money. I want the product. I should be able to walk into a store and buy it.”
“Oh, Nicole,” my brother said, “you’re such an American.”
Maybe so, but the fact remains that over the past four months, I’ve repeatedly checked that local Target, Best Buy, etc. on the off-chance that a Wii Fit mega-shipment had recently materialized. Instead, I was consistently met with a darkened empty hole of a shelf — that absurd little price tag mocking me, as if saying, “You can buy me.” A few months later, something else appeared on that shelf –- not the game, of course, but a sign that said, more or less, “Due to high demand, blah blah, Wii Fit and Wii are temporarily out of stock.” “Temporarily,” as in every time, except in the early morning hours of some magical morning, after you’ve waited in line to get your ticket, except we can’t tell you which morning you need to show up because we get shipments at random intervals, so you’ll just have to check back with us every day (yes, this is what those poor bedraggled employees will tell you — the umpteenth person to pester them that day). So according to this sign, not only was Wii Fit out of the question, but so was the Wii system itself –- nearly two years after its U.S. release. The fact that Nintendo had to manufacture a sold-out sign for its suppliers infuriated me. Why couldn’t they stop with the signs and get to making some Wiis instead? Why oh why can’t We buy any Wiis?
One of my good friend’s theory is that the Japanese know the power of the Haves and Have-Nots dichotomy. “Just look at the Prius waiting list situation,” he said. This means that simply because I can’t buy a Wii Fit, I will want one so badly I’m apt to spit fireballs. This theory holds true, to an extent, because while Wii Fit is certainly revolutionary, it hasn’t had the greatest reviews. And did I mention it’s $90? This theory also holds true because I can remember a keen sense of satisfaction in obtaining a Wii in February ‘07, five months after its release, when the babies were that much more impossible to get your hands on. Sure, my husband and I had to wait outside Target at 7:00 a.m. to get our system, followed by a mad dash to Toys R Us at 8:00 a.m. to get the controllers (followed by a mad dash through the store, battling all those raving-mad parents to grab three additional remotes –- yes, even having all four remotes was a status symbol back then). But in the end, we had our Wii, unlike all those sorry suckers who, for some reason, still think they can walk into their nearest electronics store and buy a two-year-old system.
Demand > supply. We all get that. So, dear readers, imagine my distaste when I heard about a friend of a friend’s sister, whose “job” right now is buying up Wii systems, accessories, and games and selling them for outrageous amounts of moola on eBay. That’s right — as if the shortage weren’t bad enough, this wench and others like her are taking advantage of the situation to make some quick hard cash (now who’s the American?). Consider this: as we speak, there is a Wii, normally priced at $250, going for $1,300 on eBay. At the same time (be still my beating heart), a Wii Fit is up for $675. This is abominable, really, considering I’ve often contemplated staking out my local Best Buy some random morning for a shot at a Wii Fit that’s, you know, under $600.
Now that you see the extent of my predicament, dear readers, imagine my dilemma now that a friend of a friend has said he could nab me one of these elusive Wii Fits. No shady eBay dealings here — just an electronics store employee purchasing the game and letting me, as a friend, buy it from him at list price. What’s a Wii-lovin’ girl to do? Should I take the low road and get Wii Fit? Or take the high road and get Wii Fat staring at that empty shelf?