Wii: Hello to Hollywood

West Coast Wii launch event features several hundred eager fans, excellent SoCal weather, at Universal Studios' EB World.

Trying out the Wii at Universal Studios' Citywalk, just a few hours before the official West Coast launch.

UNIVERSAL CITY, California--Even on a typical weekend night, the narrow walkways that make up Universal Studios' Citywalk center are a buzzing mass of bustling activity and neon signage. Tonight, however, is anything but typical, as Nintendo has chosen EB World here, located in the shopping district of the popular Southern California theme park, to host the official West Coast launch event for the Nintendo Wii.

Throughout the day, an ever-growing line of folks has been snaking its way through the Citywalk center in anticipation of the Wii's launch at midnight tonight.

The line, which began forming early on Friday morning, has grown to include several hundred people, all of whom are waiting to grab one of Nintendo's anticipated consoles.

Many in line went retro as they waited for the Wii's midnight arrival.

It's an orderly scene, with portable iron fencing separating the hundreds of Wii folk from the other Citywalk visitors. At last check, the line snaked in front of several restaurants and shops, continuing up the staircase of a nearby parking garage, terminated on a crosswalk overlooking the scene below. Though the crowd is big, few people in the line seem to be worried about whether or not they will receive a console; rumor has it that the EB store has a "four digit number" supply of Wii units on hand to sell.

The first future Wii owner is one Jonathan Mann, 26, an obviously diehard Nintendo fan who came to the launch event dressed in little more than a Mario hat and a pair of bright red overalls.

Mann and his friends, who initially arrived on Thursday only to be turned away until the official line began yesterday morning, came prepared not just with chairs and blankets, but also a Nintendo Entertainment System, a Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and a bunch of games for both systems including Contra, The Legend of Zelda, and practically every Mario game Mann could get his hands on.

"Part of the reason I wanted to be first in line was to sort of bring [these old games] out," said Mann, who lives in Hollywood. "For the first fifty or sixty people in line, as they were coming, I was going around and inviting everyone to come up [and play]. I wanted to create a real sense of community. I wanted to create a sense of joy around the gaming systems that got us started in the first place. The opposite of a PS3 line, I guess, is what I was going for."

Though the East Coast Wii launch at the Times Square Toys "R" Us is full of folks bundled up against the chilly New York conditions, the weather here just outside of downtown Los Angeles is comfortable. Temperatures reached the mid-80s at the height of the day and are expected to dip down to the low 50s this evening. The nice weather and the family-friendly nature of the Universal Studios theme park seems to have carried over to the Wii hopefuls as well, as it isn't unusual to see parents camped out with their younger children.

Along with live entertainment and a stage show of sorts featuring live interviews with Nintendo executives, the company has set up a number of playable Nintendo Wii stations featuring a host of games from the launch lineup, including The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Call of Duty 3, Excite Truck, and the bundled Wii Sports, along with Nintendo reps on hand to help walk people through the games.

Lest the Nintendo DS be forgotten, a handful of DS stations were also present, running games like Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam and Yoshi's Island DS.

Check back later this evening for more on the Wii's West Coast launch.

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Discussion

95 comments
_Sam_
_Sam_

Stupidly, I didn't realize that it was taking place at Universal Studios. There could have been a chance of me being able to have gone :(

Fiku42
Fiku42

I want both a PS3 and Wii... My view is that PS3 is for hardcore gamers, while Wii is for everyone, and who knows nintendos plan of getting everyone of all ages playing games might just work.

Reetesh
Reetesh

:lol: Playing a NES as and When They wait in the line.. Getting into the Spirit I guess :P

pp222
pp222

The kid at the end of the video is awesome. He won $600 but was 100% sure that he wanted a Wii over a PS3.

cameeu
cameeu

I only got to play for about 1 hour, and then about 6 friends came over, I'v never got to play since then.

shizwill03
shizwill03

Very Fashionable Jonathan Mann and congrats to him! Seriously guys, the Wii is awesome. I played it yesterday for a while and I am quite impressed with the controls and Zelda is just.....awesome.

olthof
olthof

AWESOME! wish i was ther. Reggie ftw :)

eggsiboss
eggsiboss

the wii is truly for everyone, even though these hardcore gamers have all lined up there was nothing HARD about it- no robbings, or shootings, in fact quite the opposite! People trying to get their fellow gamers to play with them to "create a sense of community", fantastic, Nintendo gamers truly are a very rare breed! :)

LivingMachine
LivingMachine

If you think wii is not for hard core gamers like you then get a GAMING PC with a real GRAPHICS CARD. Not a console with a stripped down to cut cost graphics card. If you want a fun time playing game then Get a Wii.

Zonelezz
Zonelezz

lol i got a wii im happi!

mikethemonkey
mikethemonkey

playa42018 wrote: "People lined up for PS3 to sell it, but people lined up for the Wii to play it." Damn straight brother!

playa42018
playa42018

People lined up for PS3 to sell it, but people lined up for the Wii to play it.

Brain_Fart
Brain_Fart

This is how it's supposed to be done, passing the time in a good, mature manner playing some ol' NES/SNES. Glad to hear the Nintendo launch isn't like the trainwreck of robberies and shootings of the PS3.

xtremeg4m3r
xtremeg4m3r

The wii is ok but it is not right for hard core gamers.

SteveTwo
SteveTwo

RageSet, "naysayers" Darn Wii, what happened to it being easy to get. :-p Central Coast Cali is sold out!

RageSet
RageSet

I have faith in Nintendo for their continuous innovations, software and hardware wise, and like the Nintendo DS, the Nintendo Wii will silent all namesayers. Contrary to belief of fanboys (and the little kiddies who know nothing but graphics), Nintendo will do just fine. They haven't survived this far in the world of billion dollar companies to just lie down and die. Nintendo chose the correct path of not truly competing with Microsoft and Sony in the powerful hardware category; they wanted to create something different and I believe they have done so.

I now own each "new gen" console, (i.e. Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii) and I will happily enjoy each for what they are and not what they offer in "extras". I was never a fanboy of any company, not just because I can actually afford all the new consoles unlike MOST fanboys, but because each has their advantages. Microsoft has Halo (although the first Halo is still the best) and Xbox Live, Sony has the GT series (my favorite racing series!), the Virtual Fighter series (my favorite fighting series!) and usually the Playstation consoles offers niche titles that aren't on other platforms that I enjoy (Bully and Okami, I'm looking at you two!) and of course Nintendo has all of my favorites like Mario, Zelda and Metroid.

So while I'm enjoying each console, you guys can argue over the little things. Just my seven cents worth, cya!

ranman1990
ranman1990

junk 56 i agree with u man ... i live here in canada also ( ontario yea yea) and the 360 is growing cob-webs , becuz of its early launch ppl got excited but then turned to the ps3 and wii for the anticipation .. im goin for the wii tho ... i have an xbox but i rarly play it and i use it for dvds lol .. the 360 is done like no one else will be buyin that for the holiday season the wi iand ps3 tho will be a toally different story ( hopfully my parents i mean santa :P get it for me for x-mas)

yoshi_64
yoshi_64

It just shows their dedication, the mature thing is not shooting people for them.

helluvagood
helluvagood

... preople dresing up as mario are mature?

kmwamala
kmwamala

This shows just how mature and classy Nintendo Fans truely are, Congrats to all Nintendo Fans and good job Wii for the Next-Gen battle wouldn't be fun without you. Resonable prices, fun games, more systems than Sony could dish out, you rule Nintendo. Kudos!

glitchgeeman
glitchgeeman

Wow, I'm glad that there's this whole sense of community and joy over the Wii. Unlike a certain other console's launch that caused muggings, a shooting, a riot, and robbery...*cough*PS3*cough*

getoconnection
getoconnection

Benshki Im Beginning to understand this fanboy thing. It all comes down to age, mostly, the younger gamers who have been raised on xbox and ps2 cant appreciate the consoles of latter like Nes, Snes, Sega master system and the sega megadrive. These console didnt have the specs you see today but had the best gameplay and the most fun games to ever engrossed the gaming world. for example an adult comment: "mhder I'm happy Nintendo pulled off a good and fun launch event. But what I think was more important is that it seems Nintendo fans and the gamers that they have attracted are pretty good/nice people who were well behaved and represented the gaming community with class." Example of a childish comment: "GIF Oh man, talk about being in denial thinking a wand, weak hardware and old back catalouge of old ass games is going to help you beat Microsoft or Sony. Sorry Nintendo, I predict massive failure for your sinking ship." Kthnxbye. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Blame it on Gansta Rap.

junk56
junk56

You know come to think of it, the real big consoles right now are PS3 and Wii. They both attract totally different audiences and have totally different games. I'm usually an RPG and asian gamer so I tend to sway towards the PS3 more cuz of games like FF and KH. The wii however has everybody else like adults and children. Two different products that stand out for their consumers, it's a going to be a huge success for the PS3 and Wii IMO. Both of them start shining in a year or two. Up here in Canada FYI, 360s are sitting on shelves waiting to be sold, none bought for a while. Not hating but from my perspective the 360 is definetly losing some of its market up here, even previous xbox owners wont get a 360. Well people have somethign to argue about this time, wii and PS3 this christmas.

XGustaX
XGustaX

GO Wii! I got my Wii It Rocks!!!!!!!!!

GrimoireMyst
GrimoireMyst

This is how video game players should act. lol

ChitoKiryoku
ChitoKiryoku

kyaaa, I'm hyped! I can't wait for the Wii to come out over here in Europe =D

faizali86
faizali86

i wish every gamer was like jonathan mann

luigimario_64
luigimario_64

Most of the people in the ps3 line obviously weren't there to buy one for themselves, which is why so much violence occured. Those weren't gamers, they were misers, willing to do anything for a $600 profit. Nintendo will always have the faithful fans who actually want to enjoy what they buy. They've got the idea of what a console should be right. If all you care about is photorealistic graphics, go watch a movie. Nintendo lives forever!

GamerBoi1234567
GamerBoi1234567

I was there!!! I was in LA for a USC open house and went to Universal City Walk and was there. It was insane!!! The Wii is awesome to play and I know everyone will enjoy it. I was awesome at Red Steel. I was the only one able to get up to the sword fighting part. Woo Hoo!!!

godofwar2k6
godofwar2k6

I'm certainly rooting for Nintendo. I used to be a hardcore gamer, but that all stopped when I went to University. I don't know about you guys, but I feel that games have just been getting more complicated and less entertaining over the years. Anywho, wouldn't it be easy for Sony or Microsoft to emulate the gyroscopic sensor technology of the Wii-mote if it sells well? The unique controller is the only thing the other competitors can't top. However, the PS2 and DS demonstarted that amazing production values aern't sufficent to win the console wars. I hope Nintendo can rise to supremacy as they did during the NES/SNES era. But, from a realist perspective, the Big N might go the way of Sega and drop out of the console manufacturing business and just develop games. Can Nintendo really defeat companies rich enough to purchase massive countries? Peace.

MSE369
MSE369

hahaha its hilarious to look at all the sony and microsoft fanboys right now all annoyed....but then again we'll never know wat console does best for another year or 2 but now the next-gen wars hav really started!! I myself am noo fanboy of anykind never liked the xbox but the 360 blew me away...didnt always like or was in the mood of the gamecubes quirkiness but i think the Wii will be a real success....loved the ps2 n think even though all the bad vibe thats surrounding the ps3 sony could actually pull it off... u never know wats goin to happen next soo expect the unexpected i mean the game cube was great then somehow it lost all its 3rd party support the xbox was a perfect gaming console with amazin graphics n lots of potential(but a bad conroller) n look how that went the ps2 was the under dog in graphics and online support compared to the xbox but somehow it pulled off amazing games great fun and created soo many sony fanboys.....

KickinIt_ftw
KickinIt_ftw

@GIF "Oh man, talk about being in denial thinking a wand, weak hardware and old back catalouge of old ass games is going to help you beat Microsoft or Sony. Sorry Nintendo, I predict massive failure for your sinking ship." GIF, judging by the last dozen flamebate posts that you've managed to smear around any new Wii topics posted on gamespot, one can only conclude that you feel as though your e-manhood is somehow personally threatened by a resurgent nintendo. Allow me to help dispel your "sinking ship" theory... Recent polls have shown about 90% of gamers to be disinterested in the PS3. The numbers basically break down to: ~40% - Can't afford it. ~50% - Just not interested. Just in case fanboyism induces some inability to calculate percentages... (in addition to bad skin, hairy palms and an inability to speak without offending others) ...that leaves about 10% of the gaming public planning on purchasing a PS3 in the foreseeable future. By comparison, roughly 63% of gamers polled have expressed their intent to purchase the Wii. Numbers are numbers. Sales mean by X system doesn't make it better (or worse) than Y system. That said, when the numbers are 53% in favor of one piece of hardware over another, you can rest assured that those bright, young entrepreneurs at the major game publishers will adjust and follow suit. As long as tthe 3rd pary suppot keeps cozying up to nintendo, your "sinking ship" will continue doing laps around the putt-putt paced 360 and the badly listing PS3.

markshell
markshell

Man, that's absolutely amazing. Looks like Nintendo fans are more mature than most people think. Mature enough to know that gameplay and fun are what games are all about, not graphics and realism. I really doubt someone has more fun shooting people or stealing cars than a match of Super Smash Bros with his friends. I love the Nintendo way and they never disappointed me. Ever.

Benshki
Benshki

Im Beginning to understand this fanboy thing. It all comes down to age, mostly, the younger gamers who have been raised on xbox and ps2 cant appreciate the consoles of latter like Nes, Snes, Sega master system and the sega megadrive. These console didnt have the specs you see today but had the best gameplay and the most fun games to ever engrossed the gaming world. for example an adult comment: "mhder I'm happy Nintendo pulled off a good and fun launch event. But what I think was more important is that it seems Nintendo fans and the gamers that they have attracted are pretty good/nice people who were well behaved and represented the gaming community with class." Example of a childish comment: "GIF Oh man, talk about being in denial thinking a wand, weak hardware and old back catalouge of old ass games is going to help you beat Microsoft or Sony. Sorry Nintendo, I predict massive failure for your sinking ship." Kthnxbye.

freakykidd
freakykidd

Bringing retro games to play in the line? You, Jonathan Mann, are a legend!

mhder
mhder

I'm happy Nintendo pulled off a good and fun launch event. But what I think was more important is that it seems Nintendo fans and the gamers that they have attracted are pretty good/nice people who were well behaved and represented the gaming community with class.

piecake
piecake

loked fun with a capital F

Maquis_UK
Maquis_UK

GIF said: Oh man, talk about being in denial thinking a wand, weak hardware and old back catalouge of old ass games is going to help you beat Microsoft or Sony. Sorry Nintendo, I predict massive failure for your sinking ship i bet you also predicted that DS would be beaten by psp too. WRONG! moo.

SpareJesus
SpareJesus

The Wii Launch the PS3 Launch by far, people. Completely and utterly. It was amazing.

Slash_out
Slash_out

I like what did Jonathan Mann. Not the camping thing, but bringing all this old games and invinting people in line to play. It's a nice thing tot do. But I wonder how did he powered the tv and nes :p.

Supreme_Fantasy
Supreme_Fantasy

The launch coverage was great! Everyone seems to be joyful there.

delol
delol

the wii launch was quite good

FrankieLA
FrankieLA

I trust GS over anything IGN spits out. Not only are IGN's reviews more biased toward publisher's marketing dollars, but it's owned and run by News Corp which just proves they'll write and say anything.