The Nintendo Wii in March became just the second system ever to die on me. The first death was entirely my fault as I tried to escape GCSE revision to play PS2 games. Having had the power lead confiscated I decided to plug the power lead from my printer into it. It fitted, what could possibly go wrong? Well it fried the PS2 and surprisingly I still passed my science GCSE despite forgetting about amps, volts and wattage.
The Wii, however, died likely from age. It suffered from a problem faced by many a disc spinner with either its laser giving out or it losing the will to spin wii discs. It still played gamecube games just fine but thats not helpful when you are enjoying De Blob 2. I was annoyed but the Xbox gets most of the play time these days and it was after all a launch console. A replacement was needed though.
Having decided that the prices for a new console were just too high I started looking at the used ones available. Of course if the price cut by Nintendo dropping the price to £100 had happened a couple of weeks earlier I may have thought differently. Game had a pretty good deal whereby you get a used wii for £70 with a controller. With this as my benchmark I hit avforums and ebay to see if I could better that. After a couple of days searching I bid on an ebay Wii which came with the console, two wiimotes and two nunchuks along with two games in Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles (going for Â£10 on amazon used) and New Super Mario Bros. I
figured that this at marginally less price than the game offer was a great deal and so bid on it and managed to pick it up.
On the payment screen I noticed that the address was wrong (ie old address) and so I clicked change and gave my new address. I then repeated the payment process with the new address and thought nothing of it. 5 days later I was getting a little worried as there was still no sign of my lovely new console. I emailed the seller and he quickly got back to me with a tracking number. Turns out the package spent three days in Cornwall where he is before heading north and eventually finding its way to Kent on Wednesday night.
On Thursday afternoon I checked the site again and found that delivery had allegedly been refused. I then went, checked again and saw that Ebay had given the old address despite my changing it. I called Interparcel who were handling the delivery and changed the address. They said I would get it tomorrow. Friday came around and again I had a negative answer "courier could not gain access to property". I figured fair enough as Beth was out. I called the Interparcel who told me that HDNL were delivering my parcel for me. I asked them to tell them I wanted to collect the parcel from their depot. Interparcel then told me that HDNL do not allow pickups.
Deciding that this was a load of rubbish I told the lady that they did and it was mentioned when I phoned yesterday that it was possible to do so. The lady changed her mind and said it was fine and HDNL would call me. I have had experiences with HDNL before and none of them have been positive. Amazingly though HDNL did actually call me that evening and gave me their address and opening hours.
The next day (Saturday) I headed off to pick up my parcel at 9am. On receiving it I found that the request for a change of address had not been done on my Thursday afternoon call so the Friday attempt had gone back to my old address again. This led to more cursing about HDNL and now Interparcel. Still at least I had it now and it only took 6 days for it to get from Cornwall into my arms... or 10 since my original order.
On getting home I was eager to open the box and get set up. I did not realise that I was about to get my second round of frustrations. These I shall number:
1) You cannot copy Wiiware or Virtual Console games between consoles. This to me is maddening. I have spent at least £60 on game purchases from the Wii shop channel and now they are not allowing me to move them. Sure DRM makes sense on consoles but this is ridiculous. On my Xbox360 my purchases are tied to my online account so if I move my profile I get access to my games. Why is this so hard for Nintendo? Now I have to keep my old wii around and plug it in every time I fancy playing one of my downloaded games.
2) Copying game saves to an SD card takes time and is a pain in the backside. It needs to be done one by one and then even more annoyingly Super Smash Bros Brawl saves cannot be copied. No reason is displayed it just saves 'save cannot be copied'. FU Nintendo I want my Smash Bros save. The reason apparently is because it has online functionality. I think anyone who has tried the Smash Bros online functionality would dispute that and why should that make a difference (except Nintendo have screwed everything up with friend codes).
3) Copying games from an SD card is even more time consuming and tedious. To copy a game from an SD card the console needs to have seen the game before. This meant a process of putting game disc in, entering the menu, going to the sd card, copying, restarting the wii, removing the disc, repeat 15 times till all games are done. Is save game piracy really something Nintendo needed to plan against?
This all smacks of a company either thinking their hardware is unbreakable or sticking two fingers up to their customers. The experience will certainly make me think twice before even considering a future purchase of a nintendo system, though the 6 month periods with no games and poor online functionality had already made me wonder.
Other companies that don't come out blameless then are ebay for letting me change the address and then not bothering to recognise it (though I accept I should have checked the receipt after the payment went through). Interparcel and HDNL also get the naughty stick for conspiring to make sure I didn't get my package in a timely fashion by ignoring the change of address request I put through and then also lying to me about the possibility of my collecting the package from the depot.
Now that this rant is off my chest I can look at the positives, the wii is here, I have put the wii shop out of view and am not hooking the wii up to my network. I have my save games and miis and I can now play wii games. Overall I still think I got a better deal than if I had gone through game but it came with a lot of frustration.
It also leaves me with the following controversial statement - man I wish Royal Mail handled all deliveries in this country (and never striked)...