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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.'”

Comments     Threshold

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

The reason nintendo has more Wii available
By adam92682 on 11/20/2006 11:48:45 AM , Rating: -1
All they did was disasemble all the gamecubes that didnt sell and put them in a new case

By bldckstark on 11/20/2006 1:13:04 PM , Rating: 4
My house has 3 kids, a PS2, PS1, XBox, Xbox360, Super Nintendo, Gamecube, N64, 3 GBA SP's, one DS, 5 computers, about 15 PNP games, and a V-Smile.

One kid spends 95% of HER video game time on the DS. The twin boys spend 75% of their video game time on the Gamecube. I'm getting them a Wii, and am not even considering the PS3. If they found a way to make the Gamecube better by putting it in a new box, then great for them.

By StevoLincolnite on 11/20/2006 7:37:24 PM , Rating: 4
All they did was disasemble all the gamecubes that didnt sell and put them in a new case

You sir' are a completely and utter idiot.
The Wii has completly new tech, but instead of the tech being revolutionary, it was more evolutionary.
for Instace the Wii Processor is 729MHZ "Broadway"
And the Gamecube was 485Mhz.
Like is said it was evolutionary, But seriously the Average PC idiot would look at those specs and go "ewww! Its slow!"
But Consoles a made and programmed for, to do one job, And thats to game. (Occasionally you get someone who makes a web browser etc...)
Not much is known about the Wii's hardware, and alot of people have just said "Its a re-packaged gamecube". I doubt any company would be that stupid. Especially in a market that is as fierce as the console market. Get yourseld educated before you talk.
Just looking at screenshots alone shows that the Wii's Graphics is far better than the Gamecubes, Xbox 1, and PS2.

By StevoLincolnite on 11/23/2006 2:12:46 AM , Rating: 3
You obviously dont know, that an increse of say 300mhz has a dramatic increase in AI,
Physics, And graphics and other such tasks on a console, Remember there is NO bloated operating system,
No hundreds of thousands of different drivers and what not. They are built to do one thing to game, For instance the Nintendo 64 had a
94Mhz 64 bit processor. (1.5x multiplier).
4Mb of ram, upgradable to 8Mb.
And a custom Vector based 3D accellerator running at 62.5mhz.
Yet it was able to play 3D games? these specs are similar to whats found in a 486 Machine. (If going by Mhz and memory).
Forward to today, with the Gamecubes processor and the Wii processor theres 300Mhz difference.
An extra 16Mb of ram,
And a 3D accellerator that shits all over the Gamecubes.
Plus... (Been confirmed) a Physics Processor.
Now, The difference may not be all that great hardware wise, but every little kb of memory, or every little Mhz can be OPTIMISED for a game,
Remember back in the old DOS days, how you were constantly compiling things, making them smaller, so there was a smaller footprint? Well, all those optimisations do not go un-noticed.

And in future of calling someone a "fan-Boy" as sort of a,
lame way of "Paying someone out, or giving them shit" try and think of something a little more constructive.
Most people would have owned a nintendo at one point or another, be it a gameboy, nes, snes, DS And what not.
I have never owned a PS2, yet allways wanted to play the final fantasy games. (The PS2 was just allways to expensive).
If I could get a game machine, with awsome features, with new games, good graphics, and a cheap price, They have me.
Which Places me in the Nintendo camp once again.
(My last console was the Xbox 1, There were not any Gamecube titles that enticed me).
And I really dont give a shit, if you portray me as a fanboy, At least thats leaps beyond what you could achieve with your narrow and frigid mind.

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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