Evidently, they can't do basic arithmetic 56 out of 168 hours a week (i.e., 33% of the time). Whoever spent all this time fine-tuning the color palette of this web page clearly should have been doing something else.
This quote is a gem: "This flexible tool is designed to...". This tool which, er, does division of two floating point numbers?
No thanks to amazon.com, I finally managed to find a Wii!!! What did it take to obtain one in Northern California two weeks after the launch?
Well, first, I began by slumming around random message boards to figure out which chains were actually going to be selling on Sunday. It happens I decided on Target since there's a store within reasonable driving distance of my place. amazon.com, incidentally, has been trickling Wiis out using some sort of randomized "Add to Shopping Cart" algorithm with legions of people dedicated to sitting in front of their computers refreshing over and over until the magic "Add to Shopping Cart" button appears. Extremely annoying, especially given that the window to buy is less than a few seconds and requires that you have 1-Click buying enabled to even have a shot at it.
Second, I tried specific stores to verify Wiis were actually in stock. Some chains (e.g., EB Games) were rumored to have stock on Friday, but those rumors turned out to be false. Target (and Circuit City) was one of the few chains that actually had received stock on Thursday. Here is a useful conversation template to have with a Target employee to verify that Wiis are in stock at a store of interest:
I'm not sure how generalizable these observations are to Target in general, but here are some notes based on my interaction with Target El Cerrito:
Third, I picked a specific Target store and showed up at around 6am. While I'm sure the two hour wait here was infinitely more tolerable compared to, say, Chicago, where apparently it was -3 F this morning, it nevertheless was definitely an arctic experience queueing up there until 8am! It was interesting to see the mix of people lined up too, a fairly even split between gamers and parents (presumably) wanting to buy Wiis for their kids, etc. for Christmas. Finally, one more note on Target El Cerrito: they only received consoles this time, no extra controllers, no new games, etc. They said they would be receiving more probably this week, but that's almost a useless statement without further details on specifics. As a data point, the cutoff time for 18 consoles at Target El Cerrito was around 6:25am. Everyone in line after the cutoff point (about 30+ other people) was out of luck and obviously not amused by the lack of transparency in the process (e.g., if they knew a priori that the store was going to have 18 units, they could have just left immediately and load balanced over to the Pinole store, which evidently had 30 units).