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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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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

I love this console
By gus6464 on 11/20/2006 4:28:20 AM , Rating: 2
Woke up at 6am this morning went to best buy and was the #41 ticket holder out of 87, picked up zelda and excite truck. This thing is so much fun that my girlfriends parents were playing wii sports and excite truck with us. The controls are really nothing short of amazing. Im glad i couldnt get a ps3 on friday and just bought a wii today.




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