I remember when Tomb Raider III came out. You younglings may not remember, but Tomb Raider was a huge thing, a game that everybody played, an exploring game with logic puzzles. with... Lara Croft. A new release was a big event, and I remember going down to the Game shop on Oxford Street at midnight, buying a copy there and then and going home to play it.
Today is the european Wii launch. Apparently. I couldn't tell, because I haven't managed to see a Wii yet. Around midnight yesterday I went down to Game on Oxford Street, where there were no staff and a queue of about 500 people who had all preordered and there were no extra Wiis to be found. Then I managed to find the official launch event at the HMV on Oxford Street. I know it was the launch event because it had spotlights outside and I had read about it in the press. However, the party was going on inside for celebrities and pre-order people and the shop was closed to the public.
Time was, you see, when you could give someone your money and they give you a product. I reckon there are fewer than a thousand Wii in the UK on the launch day. "There is a good chance it will sell out on Friday" says the UK product manager for Wii. No kidding! I guess I'll have to wait six months until I can actually get one.