November 19, 2006 marked the day of the Nintendo Wii launch, a nd many Seattle-area stores held midnight launch parties to pacify the many Nintendo fans. Many Toys 'R' Us and Gamestop stores opened their doors before midnight, but would not allow anyone to purchase a console until 12:01am on Sunday. Gamestop only opened their doors to those who pre-ordered and were able to show their sales slips.
The story was the same with Fred Meyer (a semi-national grocery and department store), who did not take pre-orders. Several people started forming a first-come-first-served line early Saturday, and the line grew to over one-hundred as the witching hour approached. Management confirmed that there were 90 consoles available, and those in line quickly counted to see which spot they had. As I took interviews down the line, I noticed that several 8 to 9-year-old boys had dragged their parents out for the midnight party, so there was not a 1-to-1 ratio of people vs. consoles. there was still hope for those in the back of the line.