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WiiThis Sunday, Best Buy, Circuit City, and Target will finally have limited quantities of the coveted Wii available. I’ll be waiting in line at the local Best Buy with a few people from our office in hopes of satisfying my latest obsession.

I haven’t played a video game in almost a decade. But as an interaction designer, the Wii can’t be ignored.

By now, you’ve heard the die-hard Wii lovers touting its innovative motion-sensoring controller and cutesy interface. Once you’ve held the controller in your hand and actually played a Wii game, it’s difficult to disagree with the fanboys. I’ve become one of them.

Unlike the Playstation 3 which emphasizes raw specs and features, the Wii focuses on joy and fun. Much like the Apple iPod, the Nintendo Wii is successful because its branding and interaction design resonates emotionally. In the end, the Xbox and PlayStation systems are just vacant piles of circuits and plastic.

Update (Jan 21): I didn’t get to Circuit City early enough, it sold out before it opened. :-(

5 Comments

  • Robert

    gravatarJan 20, 2007
    5:59 pm

    From a guy who got his Wii on the 1st day, I have to say that if you really want one so badly, please do yourself a favor a wake up 1, 2, or even 3 hours before the store opens. Bring a magazine. Heck, why not bring your DS? You can only talk to complete strangers for so long.

    I remember how many parents came to Toys R Us along with their kid hoping to get their gaming on only to be shocked at the long line of fans more eager than them. I was one of those people who thought “Meh, there’s going to be enough at my location because c’mon this is just Nintendo at not THE Playstation 3.”

    And if you need to know, try Toys R Us 1st since TRU and Nintendo have had a long relationship with each other.

  • Terri Ann

    gravatarJan 22, 2007
    7:00 am

    December 28th or 29 my mother and I had some shopping to do at Target before she brought me back to my apartment in Boston and while at Target we wandered by the electronics department and as she had been doing since the Wii came out she glanced at the spot in the case where the Wii’s would some day be stocked and there they were, 5 shiny Wii boxes. The sales man was shocked when our first question was “Are those Wii’s real?” He took his keys, opened up to case and handed one to us.

    We didn’t get there at open, heck it was probably more like 11:00am, but my brother got his Christmas wish. It may have been a couple days late but he didn’t seem to care.

    Moral of the story, serendipity occurs with electronics, not just mittens in the summer.

    Oh, and I agree, the Wii is an essential learning too for interactive designers. Thinking outside the box is easier while you wave your arm around like a crazy person and give yourself tennis elbow in your living room.

  • n0s0ap

    gravatarJan 22, 2007
    10:01 am

    Research goes a long way with this. I got my Wii on day one because I spent the whole previous week on the internet trying to get a handle on what the buzz would be like and carefully strategizing my attack.

    I’ve found a lot on the mystery of Target’s workings. Apparently they’ll randomly put out there stock in the middle of the day. There are a ton of articles on how to check their stock from in the store. You should check it out. Target is a good place to go because it’s not the first place people think of but they usually have plenty o’ stock.

  • Mario Vellandi

    gravatarJan 22, 2007
    2:56 pm

    I’d love to eventually buy a Wii myself. I’ve already invested in a Xbox360 and absolutely love it…so I must disagree with your easy dismissal of it as a vacant piece of circuit and plastic. I absolutely love the user interface design with its well designed tabs and straightforward setup and configuration options.

  • Maryam in Marrakesh

    gravatarJan 23, 2007
    4:47 am

    Hmmm….the things we are missing here in Marrakesh. Like Target!