Wii Fit, Nintendo's workout simulation game designed to get couch potatoes and casual gamers off their buns and into shape, launched a few hours ago, and we (me and the gf) were there to get our hands on it. As it turns out, so were a bunch of other people.
Not knowing what to expect, we called our local Wal-Mart to see if they were in fact going to wheel it out to the shelf at 12:01am on the nose, or just wait till morning. They confirmed it would be out tonight, and that a line had already started, but that if we came in soon and claimed a spot, we'd probably get a copy. Into the car we piled and off to the store we went at about 11:30pm.
Of the 16 people ahead of us and the three behind us, I saw an equal distribution of "normal" people and "gamer" types in the crowd, which wasn't much of a surprise given the broad appeal of both the Wii and this particular title. Everyone from moms to college kids to little tykes were there. No bedtime was going to keep them from scoring a balance board!
The cart wheeled out with little fanfare and was met with several sighs of relief and outstretched necks to see just how many units they were going to have available. Turned out to be about 25 or 30, which covered the 20 or so people in line and then some. Took a little time, but we finally got up to the counter, paid, were handed the box which has a little heft to it (and a handle) and made our way to the door, parting ways with the people we'd been chatting with for the last 20 minutes or so. At the door, we were asked to present our receipt for the game, and overall they seemed to be taking the release very seriously in terms of security and available staff, which was reassuring. When asked if they expected a busy night, one cashier commented, "Maybe a little, but June 12th is going to be crazy," alluding to the release of Metal Gear Solid 4 for the PS3.
It wasn't an immense turn out tonight, but the fact that people were there at that hour to snag a copy of a game focused on working out speaks to both the heightened awareness of the importance of fitness, and how hard it is to find a Wii (and soon this game as well, presumably) in many areas.