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Wii lines are insane. :lmassoff:

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A Nintendo struggle: Wee hours ... Wii problem

A CNN columnist joins the holiday scramble for Nintendo's Wii game console.

December 17 2006: 10:02 AM EST

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- I swore I'd never do it. I'd never be one of those people scrambling at Christmas time trying to get the "hot" toy for my kids. I'd never let commercialism command my life. And my kids' happiness would never depend on just the right piece of molded plastic. Yet there I was ... 5:30 in the morning in the Toys 'R' Us parking lot. Thirty-four degrees.

I hate you, Nintendo.

The elusive Wii.

Yes, like many other parents this year, I was stalking a Wii. It wasn't even on the Christmas list three weeks ago. My wife and I have purposely resisted video game consoles, fearing their zombie-like effect on kids. But my family went to a Christmas party hosted by CNNMoney.com's game columnist. And the girls played with the Wii. They loved it. And it didn't turn them into zombies. "Dad! I hit one out of the park!" panted my eldest, her face flush with the exercise.

Okay, the Wii is on the list. But where to get one?

Nintendo World at Rockefeller Center in New York City got a big shipment early in the week.... "All sold out," said the man in the "Wii" shirt, when I arrived about an hour after it opened.

Best Buy? ... Target? ... Various phone calls produced a range of "Nope," "Sold out," and "You gotta be kidding."

Connections through the games columnist? No dice. (Now I hate him too).

Then the word came down. The last Wii shipments were going to hit over the weekend. Major chains would have them on sale Sunday morning. And Toys'R'US "always" gets the big shipments, according to various shopping mavens and the games columnist. (Okay, I don't hate him that much).

How early to go? The store I targeted opened at 8 a.m. A little more than two hours early should do the trick.

"I'm going to feel like an idiot showing up at an empty parking lot," I thought as I drove down deserted streets. But then came the store ... and the lot was practically full. A line of roughly 100 people stretched from the door. Those closest were wrapped in sleeping bags, sitting for the most part in fold-out chairs. A police car idled watchfully near by.

"I've got a girl friend over at the Best Buy," said the woman in front of me, motioning with her cell phone. "She says the line there is around the store."

"My friend went to the Target," said the woman next to her. "But they said they only have 15."

How many are here at this Toys'R'Us?

The word passed down. 75.

"At least that's what the guys at the front of the line are saying," said the first woman, who wandered up the line from time to time for info while we saved her space. "But you know," she shrugged, "line gossip."

My rough count, the line widened and wiggled as people made trips to their cars, put me at 130. Please let the line gossip be wrong.

The line grew. Time passed. My toes numbed. Shouldn't have worn sneakers. Should have come earlier.

"Are they going to hand out tickets?" said the guy behind me. "They really should hand out tickets."

Finally the manager came out.

"Folks, we only have 70 Wiis," he yelled. Hmmm, five put aside for the store staff, I wondered. "We're going to limit one to a family," he continued. "If you want T.M.X. Elmo, you need to come back tomorrow."

People way behind me started to leave. I stayed, hoping a severe flu outbreak would take down some of the people in front. But that didn't happen. The manager went down the line with a clip board. He stopped about 40 people away from me.

"It ends here," he yelled, motioning at the cut off point.

At least 150 disappointed people, each willing to drop about $500 or more for Wii paraphernalia at that store, walked away. Business lost. Lots of business, since this scene was probably repeated across the country. Something for investors to consider when calculating how long the Wii will ride for Nintendo (Charts) and which retailers ... Toys'R'US (Charts), Best Buy (Charts), Target (Charts), Wal-Mart (Charts), Circuit City (Charts) and the rest ... will benefit the most from it. But for old consumer me, defeat.

I hate you, Nintendo.

----------------------------------------

Nintendo's hype machine keeps building!! :D

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Even worse: http://www.gametab.com/news/768728/

When the launch of the PS3 and Wii happened within two days of each other, we all heard terrible stories of the PS3 launch lines gone awry while the Wii launch lines were like some sort of hippie love-in. But, as we get closer to Christmas and the Johnny-come-latelys get closer to not having that system they want for the big day, even the Wii lines are starting to get ugly.

CNN staffer Krysten Peek tells the tale of a truly frightening Wii line experience in which she had the unfortunate circumstance of being the one to receive the store's last Wii from their current shipment. As she turned to leave with her prize, she realized that there was still a long line of disgruntled shoppers behind her. Her walk back to the front of the store became a mass of jeers and people grabbing at her bag while she clutched on for dear life. She barely escaped from a tug of war match with another customer by the intervention of a store security guard. The guard escorted her to the street where he hailed down a police car that drove the terrified woman to her home.

Ah, Christmas. Always so full of cheer and good will towards all. So much for the Nintendo Love In... Flynn De Marco

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Damn, this sucks. There is absolutely no Wii accessories (controllers, points, etc.) at the WalMart here at all... and it's the only place around here that carries videogames and videogame related things. :(

I'll have my Wii # up in a bit.

EDIT: Wow, I totally didn't notice that this was a new thread. :lol:

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Yeah, I want to buy the classic controller but I can't find it anywhere. I guess I can wait though.

According to various sites (and their diagrams) the Gamecube controller works with all VC games. Maybe you can use one until such time a classic controller become available.

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My PS2 committed suicide a few weeks ago, so I've got all these ps2 games eating a hole in my bookshelf:

I'm considering selling all this stuff off (minus the GC games) to add to my "Wii Fund", which, as of yesterday, totals... zero.

I wonder what's the best way to sell these for the most money? I also have another dualshock controller, and a shadowblade arcade joystick.

How much for gradius?

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Better graphics will always impress some core gamers. The fact is less people are impressed with the the HD jump than the PS2's and especially the N64's.

Frankly I'm not impressed with HD gaming at all. It's smoother lines and more detailed textures. $1000 for a console + TV is asking too much right now.

Can we please talk more objectively here? It can't possibly be some "pure fact" that people aren't impressed. Please read what you just said.

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I totally care about graphics. And by graphics I mean cleaner animation and less clipping. Higher resolution = better graphics? If that's the case then slide shows have AMAZING graphics. Look at that realism!

I'm actually very disappointed that the 360 and PS3 support HD. By supporting HD so much processing power is being used to render more pixels. And if you've got it hooked up to a standard TV, the system will still be wasting that power to render the images in HD, even though you don't get to see them.

I was hoping to finally be through with half assed animation for everything but controllable characters, or maybe some non-super-shiny reflective surfaces. It looks like I'm just going to get more of Square's pretty cut-scenes, only now in a higher resolution. :(

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I totally care about graphics. And by graphics I mean cleaner animation and less clipping. Higher resolution = better graphics? If that's the case then slide shows have AMAZING graphics. Look at that realism!

I'm actually very disappointed that the 360 and PS3 support HD. By supporting HD so much processing power is being used to render more pixels. And if you've got it hooked up to a standard TV, the system will still be wasting that power to render the images in HD, even though you don't get to see them.

I was hoping to finally be through with half assed animation for everything but controllable characters, or maybe some non-super-shiny reflective surfaces. It looks like I'm just going to get more of Square's pretty cut-scenes, only now in a higher resolution. :(

I wonder how many people here have actually seen a game in HD. My roomate has an HDTV and I have to say, Gears of War and Ninja Gaiden look mighty impressive on an HDTV.

Take Ninja Gaiden for example. On a normal TV, it looks like any other XBox game. Its kind of fuzzy around the edges, and the camera is pulled far enough back that you can't really tell if Ryu's legs are fully modeled or just triangular prisms. Now take it to an HDTV and you can see a massive improvement in the graphics. Not only is the image sharp and vivid, but many details that are not obvious on a normal TV become quite apparent. Ryu's whole outline is quite visible, and its is amazing how good it looks on XBox. The only downside is, no real detailed texuring, making it look kind of like the original Toy Story.

Then Gears of War. On a regular TV, it looks pretty damn good. Same problem though, its fuzzy, and sort of bland (and if your TV is even slightly dark Gears of War is very difficult to play). Plus, some text and icons (which are extremely important since they are the action indicators for your character) are difficult to make out at times. On an HDTV, the picture lunges to life. Sharp, distinct, vivid. The whole thing just pops off the screen. And text and icons become very visible.

On a absolutely necessary basis, no HD support is not. But as far as graphical impression, its a must.

PS-Super Smash Brothers Melee looks like shit on an HDTV. Pixelated, blurry (and even worse with the deflicker on).

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I totally care about graphics. And by graphics I mean cleaner animation and less clipping. Higher resolution = better graphics? If that's the case then slide shows have AMAZING graphics. Look at that realism!

I'm actually very disappointed that the 360 and PS3 support HD. By supporting HD so much processing power is being used to render more pixels. And if you've got it hooked up to a standard TV, the system will still be wasting that power to render the images in HD, even though you don't get to see them.

I was hoping to finally be through with half assed animation for everything but controllable characters, or maybe some non-super-shiny reflective surfaces. It looks like I'm just going to get more of Square's pretty cut-scenes, only now in a higher resolution. :(

The whole point with 360/PS3 is for the higher end crowd who can afford HDTVs or those who might want to improvise with a relatively cheap CRT HDTVs or a reasonably priced 20 inch HDTV or something. But yeah, if you plug something like that into SDTVs, that's just silly. But I don't think they really are sacrificing much in the form of AI capability and smoothness of animation for the ability to push out the pixels.

And though people say that the vast majority of people current gamers have SDTVs and all, I hear a lot of stories about people finally making the HDTV switch thanks in part for the 360 or the PS3 to take advantage of it. I did the same thinking about the next generation of games and movies when I got mine. I think it's pretty significant that this generation of games is helping contribute to the HDTV market. And we all have to thank such contributions since they will make even more HDTVs to make up for the increasing demand and possibly further lower the prices on them.

And of course, the Wii is definitely there so that people don't have to make such expensive excursions to experience something. But I don't think that necessarily makes the high def option into some failed idea. Looking back at it, it was just crazy to spend $300 on a PSX that had horrendous graphical capability but with the "newness" of 3D graphics. Or maybe a Saturn that cost just as much as the 360 today. Pricing can be a concern, but I don't think it'll make or break anything. I said this before, but the PS3 is on the extreme end of that. And even then, people might just pony out the cash to play it.

However, it seems consoles are at the point where they no longer limit a developer's artistic vision. High Definition offers nothing more than a clearer picture in terms of graphics.

Processing power is a completely different story. AI and physics are just scratching the surface with what they can do with games.

I hate it when posts get this big. -_-;

I wouldn't quite say that it's a matter of being limited or not. Even in the NES days with the likes of Ultima and Zork, they had plenty of freedom to make free-roaming, multiple-endings types of games. It was restrictive to be sure, but it didn't hinder them from making them and making them playable. Also with the high definition, I can somewhat agree that it doesn't seem impressive on paper or on casual glance. At least not until you spend a lot of time with it. It's true what they say about a lot of 360 games that look unimpressive looking at some lousy quality online videos or still images. BUT, it's a whole another story to actually look at it on an actual HDTV with everything in motion. It's not simply the clarity either. But the colors are more vivid, there's more happening on screen, the animation tends to be better and etc. And we're only a generation into the 360 (which should finally see some true next gen content since the PS2 and Xbox are phasing out).

Also, high definition, I believe, can definitely help the artistic imagery of games. For example, with standard definition television, it's actually quite difficult to make up distant images on it while on HDTVs, it's much easier to make pretty sharp looking distant images. It's like making the canvas of an art have more depth and definition to it. I don't know how to describe it very well, but I think the artistic potential is definitely there. And I don't necessarily mean it in the way that we get to see more photorealism or anything. It can be cartoony, surrealistic, whatever.

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Yeah, I want to buy the classic controller but I can't find it anywhere. I guess I can wait though.

28th...nintendo world

Are they going to horde classic controllers for sale on the meetup day?

dude...they have TONS of all the controllers

Oh sweet!

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My PS2 committed suicide a few weeks ago, so I've got all these ps2 games eating a hole in my bookshelf:

http://hosting.thasauce.net/eon/forum/games.JPG

I'm considering selling all this stuff off (minus the GC games) to add to my "Wii Fund", which, as of yesterday, totals... zero.

I wonder what's the best way to sell these for the most money? I also have another dualshock controller, and a shadowblade arcade joystick.

SELL REZ TO ME AT A REASONABLE PRICE :(((((((((((((((

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However, it seems consoles are at the point where they no longer limit a developer's artistic vision. High Definition offers nothing more than a clearer picture in terms of graphics.

Processing power is a completely different story. AI and physics are just scratching the surface with what they can do with games.

I hate it when posts get this big. -_-;

I wouldn't quite say that it's a matter of being limited or not. Even in the NES days with the likes of Ultima and Zork, they had plenty of freedom to make free-roaming, multiple-endings types of games. It was restrictive to be sure, but it didn't hinder them from making them and making them playable.

I'm talking about cramming in the art itself. You couldn't accurately put Picasso's paintings into a NES game, but certainly the Cube could take it. HD could improve the clarity certainly. The point is lush, graphically immersive worlds are no longer limited to a console's processing power.

Also with the high definition, I can somewhat agree that it doesn't seem impressive on paper or on casual glance. At least not until you spend a lot of time with it. It's true what they say about a lot of 360 games that look unimpressive looking at some lousy quality online videos or still images. BUT, it's a whole another story to actually look at it on an actual HDTV with everything in motion. It's not simply the clarity either. But the colors are more vivid, there's more happening on screen, the animation tends to be better and etc. And we're only a generation into the 360 (which should finally see some true next gen content since the PS2 and Xbox are phasing out).

Wii gameplay is hard to describe on paper as well, so I see where you're coming from. I spent my yesterday at a party with a 45" LCD HD screen and a 360 on it, and can say my heart always jumps when I watch a detailed texture fly buy, but when I'm playing the games I don't ever notice them. Certainly the smoother lines and textures are nice, but if they're not integral parts of the gameplay, they're just gimmicky. Yes graphics are gimmicky. What's the point of an HD game if you, from the players point of view, can never take advantage of the drawing distances, clean edges, or texture detail. It's all output and no input or processing. Give me a game where I need HD graphics to win.

Also, high definition, I believe, can definitely help the artistic imagery of games. For example, with standard definition television, it's actually quite difficult to make up distant images on it while on HDTVs, it's much easier to make pretty sharp looking distant images. It's like making the canvas of an art have more depth and definition to it. I don't know how to describe it very well, but I think the artistic potential is definitely there. And I don't necessarily mean it in the way that we get to see more photorealism or anything. It can be cartoony, surrealistic, whatever.

Agreed. I just wish more cartoony games would surface on the PS360. Their appeal is painfully limited right now.

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Not meaning to go off topic, but I hear that the drawing distance apparent in High Def games does make some difference especially with shooters that makes long distance shooting since you can actually see the enemy's figure from far away. Not quite in the way of seeing that small blob in the distance like in the Quake/Doom days. I also would think it can make a huge difference for something like a flight simulator where long distance sight could do a lot for the actual gameplay. The there is the whole issue with the wide-screen in itself helping with the better perspective of the action. Games like Gears of War recently is a perfect example. Almost like the panoramic view of normal eyesight.

And in one video of Lost Planet, one of the special effects done by the hardware made one huge difference: The lighting from cannon fire. It had a realistic flare lighting and not the typical smoke and 'generic huge explosion' graphics to cover it up either. If an object is in front of you and the explosion, you would not be totally blinded and it could help you in the actual game scenario.

Yeah, there's a lot more room for the 360/PS3 games to improve upon and seize the potential of their hardware just the same as the Wii does with games that needs to distinguish themselves using its own hardware limitations and the controller possibilities. There definitely could be more examples like the ones I've mentioned but in more meaningful ways. It definitely is more subtle of a change than in the NES>SNES>PSX>PS2 days.

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Injin, I think one thing you and I can both agree on, is that next generation is going to fucking blow this one out of the water, if it doesn't already get grabbed by MS or Sony later this generation.

Combine HD resolutions, with intuitive control schemes the likes of which the Wii has, and the other attributes, and we'll really see what's going down.

That and there's going to be tons of examples of just how it can work naturally, just from the PC market creating and editing PC drivers to use the wiimote in existing software.

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Won't we have holographics by then? :wink:

[Offtopic probably]

Good points Injin. The next barrier Sony and Microsoft have to deal with is appeal. Certainly shooters and action games have their uses for HD, and justify the price tag for hardcore gamers, but how can they justify less graphically intensive games with a casual/nongamer appeal. Will they even exist? I suppose Nintendo flat out owns that market though.

Silverstar, GoNintendo's been tracking patents laid own by Sony for their own free pointer device. The have three already and probably will submit more later. I'm curious to see how this pans out these next few months.

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Holographics? Probably not. But I would imagine the cost of custom projection systems might come down in price to the point where having such a projector built WITH a game system may actually be a viable choice.. Certainly, it would mean they wouldn't be limited to the confines of a TV anymore, but you would probably need a fairly sizable wall to play on, or a projection screen for it, or something.

That or we'll see the NintendoOn. be realized, which would be pretty damn sweet I say. Still.

And yeah, I know Sony's filed their own patents for similar devices, but what I've read of them, they've been little more than a pointer device that couples with the camera peripheral, lacking any actual motion sensitivity or adequate 3D positioning.

But, hey.. Sony also filed a patent for a technology it doesn't even HAVE yet. One that involves a direct mental stimulation, to directly stimulate the visual parts of the brain and allow for an augmented reality system of display.

Just imagine the eyestrain that would cause! Make your eyes bleed if the thing freezes up on you(Maybe that's why the baby was crying tears of blood..?).

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