Upon arriving, at about 7:00am, Allison and I were the only two people at the store. About 20 minutes later, another guy showed up, and then a mom waiting in line for her college-aged son. At 8:55 the store manager arrived and said he had twelve units. At that point, there were about eight people in line. He asked that we notify anybody after the twelfth person in line that his store did not have any more.
Within about ten minutes, the twelfth person showed up. After that, it fell mainly to those near the back of the line to let the newcomers know that they were out of luck. Despite their efforts, some newcomers decided to stay, no doubt because they thought those of us in line were lying.
At 10am sharp, the doors opened and we entered. I went up to the register and plopped down the $50 reservation. As Allison and I exited the store, we passed a good twenty people or so.
I know that for past pre-order and launch events, I've always eyed the first in line with both disdain and respect. Being on the other side this time around, I could feel the stares at me and Allison as we exited the store in the number one position. Ah, it felt good...oh so good.
Anecdotally, when the manager first entered the store at 9:00, he told us that he was surprised there were not more people there. He had heard that some other local stores had people camping out in front of them since 10am yesterday and that many stores had forty or more people waiting outside of them.
Allison and I were also surprised that there was nobody at our store. Our goal was to be tenth in line or better. We'd have been happy with that. And, even though our store filled up, and other stores were packed, it was odd that people were pulling up at 9:30 thinking they could get one.
I think that demand for Wii pre-orders wasn't as ravenous as for the PS3 because gamers know that they stand a good chance of getting a Wii either on launch day or soon thereafter. Wii's production numbers dwarf that of the PS3. The mindset of the PS3 pre-order was, "get it now or don't get it until March." The mindset of the Wii pre-order was, "I'll try to get one today, but I'm not worried if I don't."
All I know is that we're happy that we have the first pre-order at one of Gamestop/EB's 3,600 stores. We share that honor with 3,599 others. There should be a club or something.