Apparently I’m in the minority on this one, but I’ve been exerting quite a lot of effort this past week in an attempt to obtain a Wii Points Card. For those not In The Know™, this card is used to purchase items through the Shop Channel on the Nintendo Wii such as Virtual Console games and the Browser Channel If You’re Not Quick Enough On The Draw When It’s Released.
When I set out on a mission to purchase one of these cards last week, I didn’t think there would be much to it. It’s a gift card, I surmised. You can pick up such cards for the iTunes Store with relative ease just about anywhere, so a Wii Points Card should be no problem.
Oh what a fool I was.
As it turns out, the Wii Points Card is harder to find than the Wii itself was in the weeks following its release. By this I mean that, though the Wii was pretty much impossible to find anywhere, at least the people you called knew what it was. Here’s the gist of one call I made to the Wal-Mart in Dixon:
Me: Hi, do you have the Wii Points Card in stock?
Wal-Mart Electronics Department: …the what?
Me: The Wii Points Card? It’s like a gift certificate for buying games through the Wii Shop Channel.
Wal-Mart: Shop… Channel?
Me: Yes. On the Wii.
This wouldn’t have been as bad if the item in question wasn’t listed on their website, indicating that they do indeed sell it. Though the other stores I checked with weren’t as ignorant of their own stock, I couldn’t procure one through Target, Best Buy, or numerous GameStops and GameCrazies in the region. They had all either run out and had no idea when they were getting them in stock again, or had never seen one with their eyes. In desperation, I went back to Wal-Mart’s page and ordered one through their Site To Store option (where the item is shipped to the store when it’s available, and I can go pick it up there. No way I was gonna spend $6 on shipping for a piece of plastic!).
It’s a sad situation when something as simple as a gift card is out of stock. Unlike the Wii Remotes and Nunchucks and the like, Nintendo is basically printing money on cardstock with the Points Card. They should be shipping these things out by the truckloads across the nation and to our (proverbial) doorsteps. Instead, they’re exercising the same level of caution as they are with their entire product line, thinking the world gaming community still isn’t ready for their radical new gameplay.
Hey Nintendo: we’re ready. Quit holdin’ out on us. We can’t use your Wild Wacky Wii Sticks if you won’t sell us any.
Oh yeah, and don’t charge tax on gift cards. I’m pretty sure crap like that isn’t kosher, and trying to market your gift card as something that isn’t a gift card isn’t gonna fool anyone. That we can buy Wii Points through the Shop Channel and not pay tax should be a safe indicator that you already know better.