Video games, electronics top shoppers? lists

Andrew Cannarsa
Jacob Sarnecki and Eric Wise, both of Howard County, were the first two shoppers in line outside the GameStop at the Mall in Columbia early Friday morning.

They both arrived before the store’s 6 a.m. Black Friday opening for one of this season’s must-have gifts: Nintendo’s “Wii Fit.”

Sarnecki was treating himself to the $90 exercise game, while Wise was picking it up as a holiday gift. The game, which comes with a balance board and allows users to perform 40 different exercises, was released by Nintendo in May but has remained a popular add-on to the Nintendo Wii console.

At this time last year, gamers lined up for the Wii console itself. Now, it’s all about the system’s accessories, Sarnecki said.

“There are so many things you can do with the game,” Sarnecki said. “There just seem to be a lot more things you can get to add to the Wii, like the ‘Rock Band’ game.”

“Wii Fit” was the second-highest selling game in the world from July through September, selling 2.1 million copies, second only to “Madden NFL 09,” according to market researcher NPD Group.

Nintendo sold more than 800,000 Wii consoles in the United States in October and has sold more than 13 million since the system was released in November 2006, according to NPD Group.

Most video game stores and electronics retailers throughout the region had signs outside their doors advertising Wii consoles, and “Wii Fit” games were in stock on Friday, though supplies were limited.

At the Best Buy at Arundel Mills Mall, store manager Rick Morgan noticed many shoppers armed with lists and coupons.

“Everyone’s looking for laptops and video game systems,” Morgan said. “We’re seeing a lot more people with lists than years prior.”

Other electronics stores like the Apple Store and the Ritz Camera Store had long lines waiting for their 6 a.m. openings on Friday.

“The electronics stores and toy stores are always our most crowded on Black Friday,” said Jessica Bloom, general manager of the Mall in Columbia.
View article comments Leave a comment