Sunday might be "Emergence Day" but Gears of War shipped yesterday. Some of my friends in NJ and IN were online with it last night but nobody in western WA seemed to have it in stock yesterday. I should know, I went to four stores looking for it.
On the way to Fred Meyer in Issaquah, I got a call from my buddy Eric who said that the Gamestop/EB he checked at in the area said that the shipments of the game for Washington, Idaho, and Oregon were all delayed in a Fed-Ex facility in Memphis. Yippee! Nevertheless, I went to Fred Meyer and asked the guy in the electronics department if it had come in. He mentioned nobody getting them -- said the nearby Gamestop was phoning everyone saying the delivery was delayed till tomorrow. I persisted. I asked him to call the back warehouse and see if any games came in. He did. They didn't know which ones, but I should walk around the store for a while and make my way back in 20 minutes or so.
And so I spent the next twenty minutes browsing the produce aisle, inspecting the array of organic trail mixes, and squeezing mangos. I wandered through the paint aisle and looked at the fishing rods in the sporting goods section and even smelled some lovely scented candles in the home decor area.
I eventually made my back to the electronics department and lo and behold, who did I see? The lady who in the past has put a PSP and X360 aside for me. She was on the phone and nodding her head in an up and down motion. She told me they had gotten a few copies and I should wait a few minutes longer. No problem. Five minutes later she came back with an opened cardboard shipping box with twelve copies of Gears of War. It looked like five of them were of the Collector's Edition variety which I didn't want. So I snagged the first copy out of the box and am back home and ready to fire it up.
So while the boutique gaming stores failed to get their deliveries, the grocery store got theirs. And this is why I refuse to preorder a game. Just yesterday the guy in Gamestop was trying to talk me into pre-ordering to guarantee I would get my copy today. He was as condescending as could be when I told him I make a practice of never pre-ordering games (really, why do you want to guarantee your money to a store like Gamestop?). Well lookee here, jackass. Look who has a copy. Me. And who doesn't? Everyone who pre-ordered one at your store.