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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: Wii DVD functionality
By PrinceGaz on 11/19/2006 6:58:06 PM , Rating: 2

When you can pick up a proper dedicated DVD player for next to nothing these days, why would you even want to play DVDs on a console?

The Wii is a games -console. Unlike the PS3 which is trying to be a second-rate Blu-ray movie-player as well as a games-console, the Wii concentrates entirely on the games and from early reports, seems to be doing a damn good job of providing excellent gameplay.

RE: Wii DVD functionality
By Furen on 11/19/2006 10:34:27 PM , Rating: 2
I'll say that DVD playback would have been nice, though. Having just a cable box and a Wii on a TV would do wonders to cable management. Not to mention that the thing already includes a remote.

RE: Wii DVD functionality
By stmok on 11/20/06, Rating: 0
RE: Wii DVD functionality
By VooDooAddict on 11/20/2006 11:22:19 AM , Rating: 1
I certainly don't discount the utility of a PS3 for:
- A set-top Linux machine.
- BluRay Player.
I think people who want the above features are getting a great value. If they can find one at retail that is. If not they could build a Quad Core Desktop system for the eBay prices... that would be an interesting review. Benchmarks of a PS3 in linux apps vs benchmarks on a Core 2 Quad. Hey Daily tech ... put that PS3 back together and toss up some benchmarks.

Personally, due both to my work and to PC gaming... I run Windows and for Utility .. the utility of the 360 wins out for me.
- Great controlers that work on either PC or 360. (Now even the wireless ones.)
- 360 works as a media extender.
- There's a free and supported development Kit for making small 360 games. (Personally, I find this more useful then Linux.)
- HD-DVD accessory also works on the PC.

If I had the $$ to spare ... I'd own a 360 for the gadget utility it's a great accessory for the PC. After I purchase a Wii, for you know actually playing games.

RE: Wii DVD functionality
By BillyBatson on 11/20/06, Rating: 0
RE: Wii DVD functionality
By yacoub on 11/20/2006 6:39:32 AM , Rating: 2
actually it would be nice if it played DVDs so people who currently don't have a separate DVD player can get that functionality in the Wii and not have to have TWO items in their entertainment center instead. It IS a valid desire, especially considering how long DVD has been around now and how mainstream it is.

RE: Wii DVD functionality
By rushfan2006 on 11/20/2006 8:56:47 AM , Rating: 3
Guess you guys aren't into higher end HT setups....of course the true highend would be high definition players, but until the whole standards thing gets worked out I'll stick with a stand alone DVD player.

Does a console DVD player support the various dolby flavors? Does it have the fiber connections in the back? Does it have progressive scanning capabilitiy? Does it have have the little features you don't miss if you never had them but you miss immediately get used to having double, triple and quadruple fast forward speeds, zooming in, zooming out, slow motion play/advance, etc?

Not to mention -- wear and tear....just because Cd/DVD technology is a laser beam that touches the disc -- it just means the media doesn't wear out (if cared for properly of course)...but like all electronics/mechanical equipment it has limited life on the components.

Finally...even the "high end normal DVD" players today that have all the features I mentioned above cost about $200...and that's considered "high end" can get feature rich dvd players for sub $100 now.

This logic is the same thing I use for the PS3 boys talking about having the blu-ray player too....console / multifunction players are bare minimum in features and abilities.

If you want really good quality and maximum enjoyment -- stand alone is still the best choice (and it will spare the extra use on your consoles for gaming....after all GAMING is the real reason you bought it for right? ).

RE: Wii DVD functionality
By deeznuts on 11/20/2006 1:54:03 PM , Rating: 2
You are preaching to the choir man. How many dvd players are installed in the US, and how many have corresponding HT setups with them? I would guess that percentage is really low. Damn low. I'm assuming if the Wii outputs games in 480p, it will have progressive scanning.

A dvd player is now a commodity, not a luxury item. I'd bet that the majority of dvd players out there are cheapo ones bought for $50 or less. The Wii will be a great substitution.

<quote?If you want really good quality and maximum enjoyment -- stand alone is still the best choice (and it will spare the extra use on your consoles for gaming....after all GAMING is the real reason you bought it for right? ).
Who said anything about good quality and maximum enjoyment? Most people are not videophiles, therefore the wii is perfectly acceptable. You got people watching dvd's on those cheap portable players.
Not everyone is a videophile.

RE: Wii DVD functionality
By rushfan2006 on 11/20/2006 2:23:05 PM , Rating: 2
You basically just repeated the very perspective that spawned my post in the first place.

And for all you saying "not everyone is a videophile"....funny how you go around the sites and DVD/Movie playback is HUGE on the want list and folks say they will watch TONS of movies on their consoles.

Still following my logic? Keep then if you watch "tons of movies", doesn't it make sense -- if nothing else by from an investment stand point to have a cheap stand alone dvd player for the added features (which you glossed over btw -- like the audio many people forget that High Def isn't just video....technically you aren't really using High Defintion unless you have both the video AND audio component, but I digress....) and the sheer fact of helping to perserve the longevity of your console for gaming?

That was my only point. I'm telling folks not to play movies on their consoles, who the hell am I to do that (not that anyone would care

RE: Wii DVD functionality
By Oregonian2 on 11/20/2006 2:39:34 PM , Rating: 2
Point about clutter is well taken, but I can't imagine someone buying a $250 game console being someone who hasn't already coughed up $40 or more for a DVD player already. Think I've seen some advertised for $30 too (on sale), for that matter.

RE: Wii DVD functionality
By BillyBatson on 11/20/2006 11:39:10 PM , Rating: 2
I understand what you guys are saying and yes standalone is better, almost anythgin stand alone is always better. there are still denon and other branded dvd players out there that go for $500 or more! and i hear their picture is like smooth glass. I myself have a sony dvd player both in my room and in the living room. My tv in the living room is a 42" Pioneer Plasma so even if the wii had DVD functionality i would not be using it to watch movies in the living room. However i would still like it to be able to for many reasons like i said clutter, maybe for the game room or my bedroom, for the convenience of taking it over to someone's house to play games and watch tv, or say when you go camping or traveling it is easier to take your wii than a wii and a dvd player.

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