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Reggie poses with "Triforce" with his signed Wii - Image courtesy GameSpot

Wii launches at midnight in Universal City - Image courtesy GameSpot

GameJew superstar raises his Wii in victory - Image courtesy GameSpot

The scene at a Canadian big box retailer

There looks to be more people than Wiis available

Those who were assured a Wii lookin' pretty

Wii got it!

Oddly enough, Zelda and Trauma Center were already sold out
The arrival of Nintendo Wii completes the roster of next-generation gaming

The new generation of video gaming is officially here with today’s launch of Nintendo Wii. The premiere launch site at the NYC Times Square Toys “R” Us saw a midnight release with 3,000 gamers in attendance of the launch event.

Unlike the mayhem of the PlayStation 3 launch, the Wii launched with little bloodshed. Much of this is due to the fact that Nintendo is providing ample supply of its new console across the nation. Everyone who attended the launch event in New York who was interested in purchasing a console was able to, thanks to a stockpile of 4,000 units at that location alone.

Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime made the usual head-honcho appearance that’s become common with new console releases. Fils-Aime was there to hand the very first Wii to Isaiah “Triforce” Johnson, 29, who had been waiting outside the store for several days. “I had to get it first,” he explained. Johnson couldn’t have shown his dedication any stronger, who wore a black leather Nintendo coat, a Zelda sweatshirt and NES-relic Power Glove when he shook hands with the Nintendo President. And now, he’ll be able to add another piece of Nintendo memorabilia to his collection, as he had Fils-Aime personalize his Wii with a signature.

While “Triforce” may look like a dedicated Nintendo fan, he waited in line in similar fashion for the Xbox 360 last year. When CNET asked him why he didn’t camp out for the PlayStation 3, he shook his head and said, “I didn't want to get involved in the mayhem … and it's not worth the risk of danger.”

At the other end of the country, Nintendo hosted its launch at the EB Games in Universal City Walk with Senior VP Marketing George Harrison to do the honors. Over a thousand gamers showed up for the event, and at the very front of the line was Jonathan Mann, dressed in Mario cosplay garb.

After ringing through his purchase, Mann hoisted the console above his head for all the world to see. “I'm really excited. You have no idea how excited I am. Seriously. I've been waiting for this since 1991,” he said in this GameSpot report, with no apparent explanation on what he thought of the Nintendo 64 in 1996 and GameCube in 2001.

Like his Times Square counterpart, Mann waited at the front of the line for nearly two days prior to launch. “I'm a little delirious. I've been up for about 40 hours straight. But I've got it in my hands now and it feels good,” said Mann to AP, adding that he has written songs and posted videos about the console for his Web site, GameJew. In his latest video, he sang “Wii Means You and Me” and “The Wind Whispers Wii” to a group of console pre-order onlookers.

Here at DailyTech, our staff scoured the all over the city to get a better picture of the demand behind the Wii. Big box stores such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart had campers early the night before and easily sold out hours before official store opening. Perhaps after experiencing the chaos of PlayStation 3, retailers were bit smarter in organizing crowds. Store managers handed out numbered tickets to those in line, where each ticket would represent a guaranteed console. Those who received a ticket could rest easy that their spot in line was secured, and those without tickets could leave to scavenge elsewhere. Despite the many times the available launch units of PlayStation 3, the Wii is selling out in all major centers. In fact, this editor had to hit a Blockbuster Video store at a remote location to find a console with extra Wiimotes and Nunchuks.

The difference between today’s sell out and that of PlayStation 3 from Friday is that Nintendo is shipping at least four times the units between now and the holiday season, assuring that nearly everyone’s Christmas list will be satisfied. On the other hand, some retailers aren’t expecting to have any additional PlayStation 3 consoles until after the New Year.

In an interview with GameSpot, Reggie Fils-Aime had some advice for those who are left Wii-less after today, saying that those people “should not give up hope, but they should prepared to be fast on their feet.” He reaffirms that Nintendo is committed to delivering 4 million units by December 31, adding that North America will command the largest share of shipments.

“[Demand] is what will drive shortages, that is what will drive stock out. It's not an inability to manufacture, which is what is plaguing our competition, our biggest issue is going to be an inability to satisfy the demand,” said Fils-Aimes. “So, if I'm a consumer, I'm going to want to keep calling and going to all of the likely suspects: my EB and GameStop stores, my Best Buy, my Circuit City, my Target, my Wal-Mart--everywhere--because they're all going to have it at some point in time. But when they're in, they're going to be gone immediately.”

Wii consoles are not fetching nearly the coin on eBay that PlayStation 3 is, but most sellers are still doubling their investment as the average selling price hovers around the $500 mark. Auction prices may fall when the general public finds out that Wii consoles likely won’t face the same supply issues as PlayStation 3 are and the Xbox 360 did last year. Fils-Aime also had something to say about gamers and online auctions.

“The other challenge, frankly, for consumers, is that unlike our competition, you're probably not going to see a lot of units on eBay,” he reckoned. “All of the stories that I've seen of people who have been waiting and getting their preorders in, a lot of these folks get asked, 'You gonna go put this on eBay?' And for PS3, people are saying, 'Yeah, I'm hoping to strike it rich on PS3.' For Wii, they're saying, 'No. I want to buy this and play it.'”

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RE: My day has been made!
By mikewii on 11/19/2006 6:45:59 PM , Rating: 0
You can believe what people say or... just go on ebay and check the numbers.

here are the numbers:

22953 wiis vs only 18298 ps3s are on sale on ebay at this moment. Naturally you'll be seeing even more wiis going forward as their supply is higher.

RE: My day has been made!
By borowki on 11/19/06, Rating: -1
RE: My day has been made!
By Nocturnal on 11/20/06, Rating: 0
RE: My day has been made!
By BillyBatson on 11/20/2006 4:19:46 AM , Rating: 2
nah not true, more units really won't be heading to the US and when they do only the hardcore ppl willing to wait will get them, or actually at most places like frys and sears people on the waiting list who waited on launch day will recieve them. Keep in mind sony has to start stocking up for the Euro launch in march and still has to resupply (or finish supplying) the Japanese market. By Xmas everyone will realize there are none in stores, a lot of the early listings will be gone, more and more of the systems sold would have been opened, and so less available overall, high demand, high demand cuz the holidays would be a week away, and all hope of finding a unit in stores is gone. All that would drive up prices. Only thing that would cause them not to go back up is if somehow sony ships more to the US, or people just keep buying and reselling rather than opneing

RE: My day has been made!
By borowki on 11/20/2006 10:19:51 AM , Rating: 1
Not likely. Sony had months to build up what they had at launch. They aren't going to make that many more in a month's time.

You know what really made my day? Reading about the guys who bought the PS3 then promptly smashed it with a sledgehammer outside the store. It's hilarious.

RE: My day has been made!
By Playto on 11/20/2006 8:53:54 AM , Rating: 2
22953 wiis vs only 18298 ps3s are on sale on ebay at this moment. Naturally you'll be seeing even more wiis going forward as their supply is higher.

This is an obvious reason, the PS3 will not sit at auction long on ebay because people are insane and are willing to spend the X amount of dollars just to get it off there before anybody else. So if the PS3 auction ends and they all sell off ebay does that really mean there are more Wii's that went for sale on Ebay than PS3's? Nope just means the PS3 sold much faster and was listed longer in advance.

RE: My day has been made!
By VooDooAddict on 11/20/2006 10:11:09 AM , Rating: 1
Please correct my launch numbers ... this is what I last heard.

Of 400,000 Wii's 22,000 are trying to make money off it and not using it as a gift / playing it themselves? Only around 5% are willing to give up the Wii.

Of 80,000 PS3s 18,000 are in it just to make a buck? Between 20-25% are just looking to make a quick buck...

I've got no issue with either. However simply saying more people bought a Wii to sell it on ebay then PS3 might be a little misleading.

I can't wait to see the Tie-in Numbers. Many places sounded like they were also sold out of controlers.

RE: My day has been made!
By Aikouka on 11/20/2006 10:15:47 AM , Rating: 3
Wasn't it 200,000 PS3s in North America? Your number (80,000) looks like the supposed Japanese release amount (as it was more like 88,000).

RE: My day has been made!
By animedude on 11/20/06, Rating: 0
RE: My day has been made!
By Aikouka on 11/21/2006 8:26:33 AM , Rating: 1
Isn't that kind of funny, animedude. I correct the guy, like he asks, and I get modded down -_-.

"Please correct my launch numbers ... this is what I last heard."

Wow, it's like I made this up... oh no wait, that was in Mr. Voodoo's post. Should post up this headline next on DailyTech, "Education System Failed: Some DailyTech Readers Illiterate!"

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