The Wii U is finally here. As of midnight, Nintendo's new hardware is available in the United States. To mark the occasion, hundreds of gamers braved the cold weather last evening to attend the Wii U launch at the Nintendo World Store in New York City's famous Rockefeller Center.
Nintendo representatives kicked things off at 6 p.m., when the most dedicated fans were allowed off the street and into a roped off carpeted area to hunker down for the next six hours. The rest were compiled in a line that ran to the corner of W. 48th Street and 6th Ave, then wrapped around to W. 49th. Here's a map to show just how long the line was.
During the course of the evening, Nintendo handed out apple cider (and also grilled cheese sandwiches) to those waiting in line. An interesting combination of choices, but fans seemed eager for the sandwiches more than anything else (see pictures). The food and drinks were prepared out of a special Wii U-branded food truck on West 48th Street.
Music blared throughout the night; sometimes it was Nintendo-themed remixes, and other times it was Daft Punk or Ellie Goulding or Deadmau5. No matter the selection, fans seemed to enjoy every moment.
Nintendo of America president Reggie "The Regginator" Fils-Aime was on hand at the event, and gave two emphatic addresses to fans: one at 10 p.m. and the next just before midnight. During both, he proclaimed to fans, "My body is ready." This got the crowd going.
For more on the launch event, check out the full image gallery below and on the next page. And for more Wii U coverage, have a look at GameSpot's reviews of Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U. Additionally, check back tomorrow for an interview with Nintendo director of product marketing Bill Trinen.