Wii NYC: The line starts <i>here</i>

Gamers' attention slowly turns toward Wii after much-hyped PS3 launch; modest Wii line begins outside Nintendo World Store.

Sign at Toys "R" Us: the official notice of the launch party of the Wii.

NEW YORK--The North American PlayStation 3 launch may have already come and gone, but for US gamers, one of the most epic weekends in history is only half done. The Nintendo Wii makes its worldwide debut this Sunday, with the official launch party beginning late Saturday night at the Toys "R" Us store in New York's Times Square.

Still, much of the air of excitement was released Thursday night and Friday morning, with mainstream media concentrating largely on the PS3's much-hyped (and occasionally violent) launch.

In contrast to the limited supplies of the pricy PS3 on Friday, Nintendo is expected to have a considerable supply of its $250 console available on Sunday with estimates hovering near or exceeding the 1 million mark. The official line from Nintendo is 4 million Wiis avialable worldwide by the end of the calendar year.

Display cases for Wii games.

One only needs to walk the streets of New York to figure out that the desperation for a Wii hasn't reached the same level as that of the PS3. Whereas gamers lined up in front of stores almost a week before the PS3's launch, lines for the Wii were nonexistent in The Big Apple as of Thursday night.

With PS3 madness somewhat subsided, GameSpot News checked out the Wii scene on Friday afternoon, first stopping by the Times Square Toys "R" Us. Still, no line had formed outside the tourist destination, even with advertisements for the Wii launch party in plain view in the store's windows.

Employees at the store said gamers were free to line up in front of the store, but they didn't expect shortages of the console to be a problem, since they expected 5,000 Wiis to be on hand for the 12:01 a.m. Sunday launch. Still, it was interesting that none of the Nintendo faithful took the initiative to camp out, given that Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime will be handing out the first Wii.

Boxes and boxes of Wiis.

Downstairs in the games section, much of the attention was still focused on the PlayStation 3, and more than a dozen gamers huddled around the two working demo stations (a few other kiosks were not working) playing NBA 07. For the record, there were no Wii kiosks and only a few Xbox 360s playable.

Employees busily prepared the store for the launch, and the area was littered with hundreds of boxes specifically labeled "Do not sell before 11/19/06"--obviously packages of Wiis, Wii games, and Wii accessories.

A few blocks away at the Nintendo World store in Rockefeller Plaza, it was a different story. The Nintendo-centric store had plenty of Wii demo stations and its usual stock of Nintendo rarities, including unique DS Lites, Game Boy Advances, and Nintendo-branded apparel.

A spectrum of GBAs on display at the Nintendo World Store.

But more importantly, the store boasted a line of gamers waiting for the Wii. At five strong, it was a modest line, but with an abundant supply and not much to gain from in terms of online auctions, a short line was expected.

The first person in line, Pat Barsalona, got to Nintendo World Thursday night, "when it was pouring rain." The next morning, Nintendo superfan Greg Nugent joined him, and around noon Joel Lopez made it a trio.

With Wii sales at Nintendo World kicking off at 8 a.m. on Sunday, the obvious question to the line campers was, "Why choose the Nintendo World Store over the midnight launch party at Toys "R" Us?"

Each had the same answer. "It's much safer here," said Nugent. "And come on, it's Nintendo World!" he said emphatically.

"We want to get it directly from the people who make it," Lopez added.

As for the chance to meet the highly adored Fils-Aime, Barsalona already had that covered. "Reggie came by earlier this morning," he said. "He shook my hand and congratulated me for being the first in line."

Left to right: Lopez, Nugent, and Barsalona.

And while the line is barely 7-feet long now, the trio doesn't expect it to stay that way for too long. "It'll end up going around the block, definitely," said Nugent, recalling his experience when Nintendo game guru Shigeru Miyamoto signed autographs at the store.

Though the Wii line has barely begun, it's already obvious that it will be the complete opposite of what took place for the various PS3 launches.

"I heard that four out of five people waiting for the PS3 were going to sell it," said Nugent. "We're not doing that with the Wii. We want to actually play it."

Stay tuned to GameSpot for more coverage of the Wii launch in New York City, including complete coverage of the midnight event at Toys "R" Us.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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308 comments
_Sam_
_Sam_

seems like a good launch

Maquis_UK
Maquis_UK

Chrisdojo: that's a fun photo of all the different kinds of GBA SP's.... hopefully no one actually owns more than one though. Umm, I do. i had a regular black SP.. but then one day I saw a NES Classic version discounted by a tenner. Snapped it up, it was the only logical thing to do!

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

that's a fun photo of all the different kinds of GBA SP's.... hopefully no one actually owns more than one though :)

landau492
landau492

reviews for nintendo games are horrible exept for zelda

moe2the
moe2the

ok for the people wondering how they went to the bathroom and all... they would hold eachothers spots, ohhhh my god thats so crazy. as for food they all had coolers or once again they would hold their spots for eachother. my sister was with pat on saturday night until the morning launch poor girl. i chilled with them for a few hours friday night. they were all cool and very excited about it but for me being there only a few hours i was going crazy about all the retards asking what the line was about. it was one after the other. and when i was there there were about 20 people behind them. i didnt like nugent haha he was a tight arse from boston who cant take a joke lol.

moe2the
moe2the

thats my sisters boyfriend pat!! first in line go pat! go pat! he got to shake reggie's hand

lithus
lithus

oh man...it's like waiting in line for the N64 all over again...don't they know?! Someone help them!

cjcr_alexandru
cjcr_alexandru

Congratulations, bamf03! That was one of the most coherent comment about the PS3 I've ever read.

Animal91X
Animal91X

I was there, I wanted a P$3 but by the looks of it they only sold 2 or 3 and told us to P***-OFF, so I left and went to get a Wii. And I'm glad I did do !!!

jonzilla_basic
jonzilla_basic

Nintendo is great, and they are all about the gamers. Thanks Nintendo.

xanst
xanst

I made the mistake of coming 30 minuites later than launch, since the store I was going to had 100 Wiis. They sold out in the first 15 minutes, and so did every other store in the area. Hurry up with the next shipment, I want TP ;o;

Maquis_UK
Maquis_UK

wish i couldve been there. sounds really cool.

freakykidd
freakykidd

I suppose people feel like they dont need to line up too much, since theres gonna be enough Wii's to go around anyway. Grat's to those dedicated enough to line up for the PS3 and those lining up for the Wii now ^_^

randomland
randomland

Wow. I love the enthusiasm of some people! It's brilliant. But personally. It's the PS3 for me! :D

bamf03
bamf03

xangel0884 Questions for SONY FANBOYS or people who will buy a PS3 : What weakness/es do you see on PS3 ? Do you believe SOny is overpromising some things about PS3? Please give me an unbiased answer. When Phil said its about the Killer catalogue and not the killer app I actually never thought about it before. While Halo, MGS, and Zelda will do it for the hardcore, these aren't enough for the rest of the gamers out there. They want a strong library of games and I believe the PS2 had the strongest by a long shot that's why I and many others chose to stay with the PS2. For me the next Halo, GeOW that out now for 360 or Zelda for Wii isn't enough for me to warrant a purchase. If PS3 was to never happen I would go with 360 and I know I could go to the store and buy some games for it and even have some future games on my wish list. For the Wii and I don't mean to upset any Nintendo fans, I would buy the Zelda on launch but after finishing the game, I would be stuck to what else to buy. The games just don't do it for me. A console for me is my own entertainment when there's nothing else to do and on my own. I like to do other things with family and friends. I believe this gen that the PS3 will have the best catalogue of games and has the best hardware this time round. I have faith that the PS3 will last more than six years unlike the other consoles and it is defiantly future proof. And while developers are saying the PS3 is the most complex platform they have ever developed on, what your seeing now is small compared to what will come in the near future. If the other console are easy to develop games for then they must be getting allot out of those systems already. The only possible weakness I can see is the price being out of reach for many gamers. The PS3 is defiantly value for money because your getting it cheaper than it costs Sony to produce. But many gamers won't see it that way, all they see is the price and its too high for them. Most gamers buy the console later on in life anyway, whether the price at launch is $600 or $300. The PS3 is not for someone to pay $600 only to play a handful of games now and then. To buy a $600 console on launch is an investment and for someone who is a gamer and knows they'll get at least 6 years out of it. When the 20gig pack comes down to $300 and there is a vast library of games, then its time for others to invest. blu-ray movies maybe more mainstream then as well. After saying all that I could be wrong. Many gamers might be willing to pay $500 or $600 for the PS3. If Apple can sell an expensive mp3 player to millions would-wide, (I say expensive because I don't believe it was value for money) the millions of people who didn't really know if what they were spending there money on was any good, (I call this blindfold shopping) then I'm sure they can do the same with PS3. But this time get value for money and having a brill time on it for many years. For the things Sony has promised us we've already been disappointed about and are already passed that. Thing such as world-wide launch where it effected me being in the UK but that was then now its over 3 months away it has given me the time to add to the funds and aloud me to finish off my PS2 games. If I had bought the PS3 on November launch I would have some money left over which I plan for a HDTV but I wouldn't have enough for a TV and some games. Now I will have my HDTV in December, will have the money for PS3 and also there will be money for more games, a controller and maybe one off those 5.1 wireless infrared headphone systems, can't really have a full setup. The other promise's have been dual HDMI sockets and 3 Ethernet cables but I don't really care about them. The one over promises could be the on-line network. Personally I'm not into the whole on-line gaming I think it was due to having a bad on-line network on PS2. So far everything sounds good about the Sony PS3 network. 40 multiplayer action and the playstation store. It doesn't have to be so robust as xbox live as long as it works and gamers find it easy to go on-line with their user names. I do want to try Resistance on-line and I will see if I like it.

latinqueen221
latinqueen221

i went to the toys r us in times square today around 2pm to get gift cards and there were defintely at least 20 people already outside camped out. i even took a pic with my camera phone.

Hive7311
Hive7311

I think they are more MS fans than Sony, THX-DTS.

xangel0884
xangel0884

Questions for SONY FANBOYS or people who will buy a PS3 : What weakness/es do you see on PS3 ? Do you believe SOny is overpromising some things about PS3? Please give me an unbiased answer. My advice: buy a Wii or XBOX 360. You will thank me later.

Jedi_Osborn
Jedi_Osborn

I hope the new nintendo does well. I'll probably pick one up sometime next year, I'm in no rush.

longhairbilly
longhairbilly

My plan was to hit a Walmart about a hour away from me so I would not have to go into NYC. I called that walmart 2 hours ago and they were sold out already. Now I either have to drive into NYC, or take my chances in the morning driving from store to store.. I HATE going into NYC for any reason.. But according to this story they will have 5,000 Wii's at launch.. That is hard to pass up.

snakenamedjoe
snakenamedjoe

I went into a game store today for the first time in months (in preperation for the Wii launch of course) and noticed the stark color differences between the console displays. You have PS3. Shiny black on Shiny black with a newly designed shiny grey on shiny black logo replacing the old four color PS logo. There was a seven foot poster of the shiny black PS3 on a shiny black background staring ominously down on me. I half expected it to start breathing through an iron lung and force choke me down for buying a Wii. Sony has really set themselves up as the Evil Empire in more ways then one. In contrast, the Wiisistance across the store was white with blue, and the cases boasted inviting colors. It drew my eye as soon as I walked in the store. It took me about 10 minutes before I even noticed the PS3 display. Sony needs to fire all their marketing and PR crew. They'll get no sales other than to the fanboys.

pp222
pp222

If any Sony fanboys think the line for the Wii is short because nobody want Wii they are wrong. There are 2 reasons why the Wii lines is not as big as the PS3 lines CURRENTLY: 1. The system only cost 250$ not a massive 600$. This means there wont be as many ebayers. 2. There wont be shortages because Nintendo has made sure there will be many Wii's on the launch unlike Sony who rushed their launch to get PS3 out quick. This means less ebayers and less people becuase theres no reason to be afraid to not get a Wii.

THX-DTS
THX-DTS

Why the low rating to all the wii games , gamespot!!!??? Sony fanboys maybe????????'

Caedus
Caedus

Wii reaches Europe *after* the Sint Nicolaas feast :-(.

GrimBee
GrimBee

"IGN gave Twilight Princess a 9.5, so dont worry. vvvvvv " I wonder why Jeff gave the game such a bad review.. I like Jeff's judgement, but i mean.. isn't ridge racer 7 also EXTREMELY similar to Ridge Racer 6? I mean... its all well and good giving the game a good review for being pretty much just a graphical update to the previous one.. but I thought Zelda was like, totally new with its motifs intact, not basically the SAME levels, the same dungeons etc. I haven't played TP at all, but I have played most other Zelda games, and with a game that lasts about 30 odd hours.. especially with Zelda... hmm.. TP is getting rave reviews everywhere except gamespot. Oh well, Well done Jeff for breaking the mould. I like Zelda games, not as much as to like them TOO much.. but enough to like them more than Ridge Racer... I mean... "Its Ridge Racer.... Riiiiidge Racerrrr!" I think if Greg reviewed the game it would of had a better review because I think he likes the formula of the zelda games (even without speech), and that they don't need to follow suit of every other game. I mean okami was a relatively simple game, it had like ZERO speech.. yet it had an incredible review... Strange..

Supersonic2000
Supersonic2000

Hmm. No robberies have been reported. I guess I probably will go to the Wii launch because I want that ASAP.

NFunspoiler
NFunspoiler

IGN gave Twilight Princess a 9.5, so dont worry. vvvvvv

GrimBee
GrimBee

THIS is how it should be ya see! Proper manufacturer to consumer traditions, plentiful in supply so it makes the buying experience much much easier. And YESS I KNEW that the wii cases would be white, i just KNEW it! Its great, white its going to be the new black...lol. Its going to be a strange war though.. ps3 will settle for the bluray cases, whilst the 360 will have the more traditional cases (in green) AS WELL as the wii (with white). On a shelf, I think that the wii will stand out more (in terms of catching the eye) simply because of its clean white design, and there being SO many around the stores. Local games stores around the UK are literally filling their stores with wii displays.. when the ps2 was about to be launched, and even when the 360 was to be launched.. THREE MONTHS before stores had displays and pre-order sections set up. Absolutely NOTHING is around for the ps3! NOTHING, not even a freakin poster! everything is wii, and gears of war! In America, I think its going to be fantastic for the wii (especially more so in japan!) because of the vast multitude of consoles, and especially since its released at an ideal time for parents to do some christmas shopping. In the UK, i went to get my gears of war pre-order and EIGHT people (parents mostly) pre-ordered the wii, all in the space of about half an hour! its pretty crazy, but I think people only pre-ordered it because they actually have a chance of getting one! people who pre-order around christmas time would rather save that £20 on something they COULD get. Well done Nintendo for sticking to what you said you would do! :)

ThePhilatron
ThePhilatron

I'm hoping that IGN's review of TP is more accurate than Gamspot's, so I plan on getting a Wii soon.

Gamin_Guru
Gamin_Guru

Cant wait for Wii Just a few more hours Come on.....Come on

bizsumpark182
bizsumpark182

This is what happens when you don't have 1000s of people just going to a system launch so they can sell a system on Ebay. This is how it should be.

OPOLO
OPOLO

I'm getting mine soon

kaim_i
kaim_i

y are they waiting in line? they said they have enough for everyone!

cheater777
cheater777

Wii! Wii! Wii! Wii! Wii! Wii! Wii! WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII(i'd contiue typeing more I's but......)I!

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

Wii-Zelda not getting a 9.2+ I will be waiting until I can walk in and buy the Wii and Trauma Center. -Dont line up people unless you know martial arts or a cop. =P

Mohsin4
Mohsin4

Well if 4/5 people are sellin the ps3, then there is still about 20 thousand people on ebay buying it for $2, 000 + just to play it. Also some even at $15,000, now that's a whole load of playstation 3 fans. Know matter what, where ever 20 thousand ps3 will go on thier journey through ebay, eventually someone will play it, even if it does cost them 15 grand.

DarthRevan891
DarthRevan891

Yea thats my cuz he was holding my master replicas lightsaber

dogdirt2000
dogdirt2000

A bit off topic here, but does anyone think that there's a light sabre in that box in the picture of lopez, nugent, and barsalona?? i guess he plans on using it to batter anyone who tries to push in front of him. hehe

Mohsin4
Mohsin4

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

MacUser511
MacUser511

cyborg100000 "I heard that four out of five people waiting for the PS3 were going to sell it," said Nugent. "We're not doing that with the Wii. We want to actually play it." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- You really think that 1/5 of the crowd are fans? Thats ridiculous! Yet again wii fans stir things up and make the ps3 look bad just because the ps3 had a much bigger crowd outside. I bet if the wii decided to have n64 graphics, the same old mario games and a lame controller and the ps3 had virtual technology you would still suck up to nintendo. STFU troll, or GTFO

Zelda_Freak_666
Zelda_Freak_666

"maxxseven 11 hours til launch and I don't see a single story online about Wii line violence, people running into light poles, riots, shootings, robberies, or anything nasty. You could look at the data a couple of different ways, but I'd say this already qualifies as "the most successful launch ever" compared to all of the bad news that surrounded the PS3 launch. By this time yesterday, everywhere you looked there was some crazy story about some PS3 line gone horribly awry. Of course, I don't see many stories about Wii lines at all, which I still assert is a good thing. People don't *need* to line up like they did for the PS3. All the same, once the rest of America (everyone except us who are "in the know") sees the Wii, this sucker is going to be sold out all the way through xmas and beyond. I showed the commercials to several non-gamer, middle-aged coworkers of mine the other day. People who didn't even know Nintendo had a new console. They all flipped out over it. Show those same people 360 or PS3 games and they'll just shrug their shoulders. Wii will be bigger than we realize. The word of mouth alone will sell millions of systems." i completly agree with everything you just said, wish there were more people like you in SW...lol...

cyborg100000
cyborg100000

"I heard that four out of five people waiting for the PS3 were going to sell it," said Nugent. "We're not doing that with the Wii. We want to actually play it." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- You really think that 1/5 of the crowd are fans? Thats ridiculous! Yet again wii fans stir things up and make the ps3 look bad just because the ps3 had a much bigger crowd outside. I bet if the wii decided to have n64 graphics, the same old mario games and a lame controller and the ps3 had virtual technology you would still suck up to nintendo.

hunter8man
hunter8man

Too....much....gaming...... PS3 yesterday, and a Wii at midnight tonight. I love launch days. Proud owner of a PS3!! 8 hours till PSWii!!!!!!!!!

FormulaTroll
FormulaTroll

Cool story. Hats off to Lopez, Nugent, and Barsalona. True gamers.

hotplayer220
hotplayer220

I pre-ordered my Wii at EB. I get to go in the store 1 hr before opening time and get the first crack at games and accesories.

MrPuzzlez
MrPuzzlez

Dedicated fans. Wish I was there... and had more money... and stuff...