As everyone who knows me can attest to I am not a fanboy. I don't pledge my allegiance to any video game company. I own a PS2 and an Xbox. I grew up playing Sega Genesis and Nintendo/Super Nintendo. With the PS3/Xbox 360/Wii on the horizon or already here and me having little money, I had to make a choice. Up until last night I wasn't sure what I was going to do regarding the new consoles. Then I was informed that pre-orders for the Wii were starting this morning, October 13th. My decision was made, I had to go get a pre-order.
I have never waited in line for anything that wasn't movies or food. But after settling on the third Gamestop in Framingham I prepared to wait in line to pre-order a console. Not even buy it, pre-order it. After narrowly getting one of the last three pre-orders I left the Gamestop feeling pretty good. The whole trip only took about an hour and a half so I didn't feel that geeky afterwards. This feeling was short-lived.
Thus this letter was born. What first was a rant turned into a letter of complaint. I decided to send it to Gamestop. Anyone who reads this and pre-ordered a Wii (or PS3, all 5 of you) I encourage you to voice your concern to Gamestop. I doubt anything will change but maybe we can get some answers.
Dear Gamestop Inc.
To me a pre-order is putting money down for something in advance so that you are guaranteed to get one when it comes out. Your company apparently thinks differently. From Gamestop receipt: "As Gamestop cannot control production and shipping issues by the manufacturer, the reservation deposit will only guarantee a spot in line when your reserved product becomes available. The reservation deposit does not guarantee receipt of a system available to purchase at launch." What this basically means is that I put down $50 to what? Guarantee a spot in line? To me this means: "You just woke up early, drove to our store, paid $50 a month before the system comes out so that someone who camps out 48 hours before launch gets it before you." Why did I get a pre-order again?
With most stores getting between 10-25 consoles not a lot of people are going to get them on November 19th. The people who waited in line to pre-order them should be the people who do. I am unsure as to whether or not this is standard procedure when pre-ordering consoles. And by standard procedure I mean screwing the customers who pre-ordered. It is absolutely inane to think that someone who doesn't have a pre-order can get the console before someone who does. Especially when they will be in such short supply initially. I shouldn't have to wait until the next shipment, that's why I paid $50.
Maybe I am overreacting. Maybe I will be able to walk into Gamestop on Sunday and get mine no problem. If so then I apologize. But something tells me that won't be the case. There were 10+ people waiting outside of all 3 Gamestops I went to this morning. I can only imagine what it's going to be like November 17th-19th. Call me crazy but the idea of sleeping outside of a store for 24 hours+ in the freezing cold to get something I pre-ordered a month ago seems a bit unfair. If it turns out that when I go to my local Gamestop on November 19th and leave empty handed, then not only will I never pre-order a console again from your stores, I will boycott Gamestop altogether and encourage all gamers I know to do the same.