Wii warriors fill streets of Manhattan

Anticipation for launch nears apex as hundreds gather outside Times Square Toys "R" Us, nearby Nintendo World Store.

NEW YORK--Yesterday, when the gaming world was still reeling in the wake of the PlayStation 3 launch, the Times Square Toys "R" Us, official site of the Nintendo Wii's 12:01 a.m. Sunday launch, had yet to see a single soul lined up for it. At the nearby Nintendo World Store in Rockefeller Plaza, the scene wasn't much bigger, with a mere handful of faithful fans camped out for the system.

What a difference a day makes. Saturday afternoon, hundreds of people had lined up at the two stores to be among the first in the world to buy a Wii at retail. While the gaming giant is releasing its next-gen system tomorrow in the US, gamers in its home country will have to wait until the December 2 Japanese launch to get their hands on it.

All lined up and no where to go: the Wii line outside Toy "R" Us.

While both stores had respectable lines of people forming, the difference between these crowds and those attending the PS3 launch was like night and day. The Toys "R" Us crowd existed in an orderly line snaking along the block, rather than the massed clump of those waiting for the PS3. Early on, a member of the line had started a sign-up sheet to keep the order straight, and the line itself was self-policing, for the most part.

And while the 50 or so campers outside of the Nintendo World store weren't terribly organized, they seemed much more at ease and laid back than the PS3 crowd, with its own distinct kind of buddy-buddy camaraderie.

Those waiting for a Wii were far mellower than those who picked up a PS3 on Friday.

"It's cool waiting here at Nintendo World," said Joe Lopez, who arrived at the store around noon on Friday. "If I get bored, my buddies will just hold my place in line while I go inside and play the Wii [on one of the store's demo kiosks]."

One observer noted that the crowds waiting for the Wii were decidedly "less gangsta" than those who camped out for the PS3.

The scene was still hectic at Toys "R" Us, where the hustle and bustle of everyday foot traffic in the heart of the Big Apple is only amplified by having to share the sidewalks with a crowd of gamers. Many passersby expressed an interest in the line, although the most common question they asked of those waiting seemed to be, "Is this the line for the PS3?"

One gamer expresses his willingness to talk to reporters.

Those sorts of questions likely became less frequent this afternoon after the store hung giant banners advertising the Wii along its exterior and began promoting the official launch events on a huge LCD screen outside the store. About a dozen police officers arrived on the scene as well, closing down 44th Street to set up a stage for this evening's launch festivities.

Inside Toys "R" Us, Nintendo had finally set up Wii demo kiosks. Wii Sports, Rayman, Zelda, and Excite Truck were all available for play, and a Nintendo representative was on hand to help walk gamers through the system. An interactive monitor with Mario was also there, with a man, through a webcam, voicing the iconic plumber and chatting up passersby.

It's all smiles as those in the Times Square line wait it out until midnight tonight.

While most of the commotion for the Wii so far seems to be coming from the core gamer crowd that Nintendo has always courted, it appeared that Nintendo's strategy of bringing in the nongaming crowd with an intuitive and inexpensive console is working, at least for one family. Just after checking out the Wii in the Nintendo World store, a family of tourists expressed their interest in the machine.

"How much is it," asked one child's mother, to which the father replied "$249." Surprised, she merely noted, "$249? That's not expensive at all!"

Check back later tonight for more GameSpot coverage of the Wii launch.

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Discussion

246 comments
caveturd
caveturd

Okay I take that back a little. There arent that many sony ppl here. I admit I have a HORRIBLE username, but dont you think somthing like " sonyfanboy" is SO much worse? Oops, misspelled "leaves".

caveturd
caveturd

Hey, I was just wondering why there were so many people in favour of the ps3 here? If yall liking it so much why are u spending time in here?! This leves me completely dumbfounded. :( I really don't understand it. If the PS3 is so amazing, then you would be saying so in an article about the PS3, right?! GAH. SO. CONFUSED. WHAT IS THE LOGIC TO THIS?!

thisiharat
thisiharat

Manhattan, looks like a great place - I wanna move there.....

amakusa80
amakusa80

I played Wii for 2 h, and..well. The controler is a cool idea. But it get you tired, and hurt after some time. And then its not that much fun. Not to mentione wrong outputs on the screen at some times. I want to jump at some direction and character jumps in a different place all together. And naturaly, its sad to see such low detail, low resolution textures at this day and age. Am not jabing the last generation consoles. But Wii is apparently the new gen Consol. I love nintendo they got gameplay....but they wont go far. Just like Game cube and N64.

Helpomer
Helpomer

For some reason I see you again here Maquis, whining about other people 'trolling' while actually you are the one doing it **** kid. As for Wii itself, I tryed it, and returned it within a day, it's too lame to jump around with controllers while you could play some real games normally on PS3.

shamarke
shamarke

i playd Wii i Kopenhagen it was so cool Wii sports and twilight princess rocks like hell when you do the slash with link it was so swett

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

Got the Wii lucky from Toys R US after waiting in line at Best Buy and Wife in line at Circut City. Lucky I went to TRU because I was not going to try the line was long but I was second to last to get it. ANYWAY.... I jus whish Nintendo has a game that was Ready at laucnh. A simple upgrade of Mario Kart with 16 player online... and conection to GC to play link mode with out another copy of the game. Well, just a wish. I got Red steal but its okay my right hand gets tired and maybe its my big screen TV but it seems to be hard to turn and the gun goes up too much on screen and it gets fustrating. I will try it on another TV this weekend I am hoping it gets better.

DVD7227
DVD7227

Nintendo's launch for the Wii was the best idea they ever done, for those gamers going home without a PS3 only 2 days after got a Wii (not all but some). In the Marketing area for hardware I believe the Nintendo Wii will sell more units then the PS3, its price is cheaper and it got released within a few days of those fellow gamers who got the extra money laying around for a next gen system. Seriously the people who were looking up to the PS3 are my fans as well, but now, come to think about it. "What's a system best for the Christmas season to get under your christmas tree without shelling out a thousand" People forgot about spending money wisely. Get the system when its hot, not when it's price is high. The PS3 will have its time to shine but right now it seems not everyone will have the chance to see it shine. Best way to conserve money and entertain is getting a Wii and wait till more shipments come thru and then get the PS3, or get it when better games get released. Thanks for listening, thats my review for the Wii, as for Nintendo you guys pulled off a curveball to the other companies. Laterz DVD

dimaso5000
dimaso5000

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

kjahadi
kjahadi

Okay, I played Wii, and I have to say, I think Nintendo is on to something here... BUT... while the console will definitely appeal to kids and casusal gamers alike, I don't see huge penetration in the core gamer demographic (Male, age 18-34) The main reason? Graphics. Okay, before you start calling me a graphics wh*re, let me explain. Nintendo's whole argument for Wii is to have a console that immerses the player like no other. I had a great time with the Wii remote and definitely agree that it is a fun input device that got me "into" the games, but honestly the whole time I played, I felt short changed while playing on a large HDTV... What I think Nintendo fails to realize is that great looking games are also another means for a player to feel immersed while playing, and unfortunately the Wii is too underpowerd as compared to the other next gen consoles. Additionally, this "graphics divide" will only grow larger as the true power of Sony's and Microsoft's consoles become more apparent with 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th generation games that are relased in the coming years. I wonder if Will owners will still be as enthusiastic about their Wii games in a couple of years when compared? Seriously, can can you imagine what some of these 360 and PS3 games are going to look like in a few years?? The thought blows my mind... To Nintendo: The Wii remote thing is great, and a refreshing technology, but don't sell your console short by not giving it enough power. Support HD gaming with the Wii remote, and you got me sold!

guertt
guertt

I don't understand why my wiimote is'nt pointing at the right place on my 52 inch tv ?????? I'm I the only one who have that problem?

Schillinger
Schillinger

Frankazami, GameSpot have been taking pot shots at Sony whenever they've had the chance for the last few months, so I'm not surprised.

Frankazami
Frankazami

That article sure sounds like it was written by some Nintendo fanboy mark, trying to make it sound as though Nintendo fans are better-behaved than Sony "fans". *laughs hysterically with major rolls eyes* The Nintendo line would have been just as chaotic if the console were to be severely short in supply and the pervading notion looming around people's minds that not everyone is gauranteed one.

spelledarn
spelledarn

Yes, I suppose all the three hundred fans who still support Nintendo's non-handheld business should stick together. It is really quite similar to how vintage car or historical wargamers act. Very cute. The one benefit of Nintendo being marginalized, I suppose.

keinuveye
keinuveye

im doing the 360 thing but grats Nintendo.... you were my first love, first fling... lol

Maquis_UK
Maquis_UK

Paul_TheJerk: They are a bunch of kiddies what else. look just go back to your ps3 yeah? Riiiidge RAAAAAcer lol. Are you so bored of your ps3 already that you need to go a-trollin'? loser.

NECR0CHILD313
NECR0CHILD313

When I camped out in my local line for the Wii I experienced much of the same thing. One of the campers brought enough blankets for everyone, and another one bought a bunch of pizzas, everyone was quite friendly.

Nedemis
Nedemis

grow up Paul....Nintendo's fanbase just has more class, that's all.

badman11226
badman11226

WII>360>PS3 at the launch. Wii is off a good start .. Here is my rating for only the launch ... WII Launch B+ X-box 360 C+ and PS3 D-. sorry i have to say WIi own at the launch, the 360 did okay and the ps3 did horrible =( im a ps fan..... Well lets see next year if the ps3 can bounce back after a horrible start.

Maquis_UK
Maquis_UK

"Gojito said: Never try to generalize people especially black and/or Hiphop/rap music And instead of generalizing rap like so many caucasions do, take your head out of your ass and listen to some good artists Maybe it's also cuz new Yorkers are trash you n00b. New York has some fine hiphop, what about the superb De La as well as the Beastie Boys, Latifah etc etc? i am caucasian though so maybe may taste is "trash", huh? you sound like an eejit. (irish-caucasian for idiot)

Paul_TheGreat
Paul_TheGreat

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

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

so.... what's wrong with the sony fanboys? why weren't they mellow while waiting in line????

OPOLO
OPOLO

I got mine & Love It

shizwill03
shizwill03

The Wii is frecking awesome. AWESOME. Zelda had my arms hurting....so much slashing....but it is good!

GGGtaManiac
GGGtaManiac

Gojito says: "Never try to generalize people especially black and/or Hiphop/rap music" Then goes on to say: "And instead of generalizing rap like so many *caucasions* do, take your head out of your ass and listen to some good artists" As well as: "Maybe it's also cuz new Yorkers are trash" Almost as if to paint on his chest: "I'm what Norweigan is talking about!" Way to make yourself look like an idiot.

nickneo111
nickneo111

U r sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo lucky I ordered 1 online but I have to w8 until the 15th or 16th of December cuz thats when I go to New Zealand, where I ordered it to

Zonelezz
Zonelezz

WICked SYSTEM! i GOT MY WII!!

giraffepancakes
giraffepancakes

Gojito NorwegianWinter- "The reason why the PS3 launch went so crappy is because you had all the trash from New York lining up to get it. All the "gansta" morons who would shoot somebody for a PS3. Rap surely does promote the most disgusting lifestyles I would have to say, as well as the most primitive problem solving abilities." "Most of the trash in the New York lines were emo/goth losers who would shoot and kill for a PS3 because of all the crappy metal and Marylon manson they listen to. Now THAT promotes disgusting lifestyles, like eating bat heads and screaming how you love satan" Die.

Pharoah103090
Pharoah103090

Warriors of Wii??? I thought we were the Soldiers of Wii?

louiedagreat1
louiedagreat1

playin DS with some people on line, got me a Wii shirt, hat, and wristband.shoutin when some chick started flashin us from her window, and sooo much more, if anyone was there for those things, let me know

LordGamer0001
LordGamer0001

sounds like the wii was going good. i wish i had a wii right about now.

justxtremekilla
justxtremekilla

Gojito NorwegianWinter I think you should both shut up> especially NorwegianWinter Music doesn't make anyone do anything, most of those people would have stolen a Playstation 3 regardless of what they listen to. Quit trying to make usesless excuses to justify violence on someones behalf.

Wiifanboy_4life
Wiifanboy_4life

hey, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I'd take the wii over a 360 or PS3 anyday, but iw ouldnt mind having a 360 or PS3 though :)

xtremeg4m3r
xtremeg4m3r

I still think xbox 360 is better than both ps3 and wii.

King_Dodongo
King_Dodongo

Reggie will offer a small, white pill and a huge, black pill to decide to enter the new world of Wiitrix, or stay in the actual world and get bored playing with a sixaxixaxixaxis

Gojito
Gojito

NorwegianWinter- "The reason why the PS3 launch went so crappy is because you had all the trash from New York lining up to get it. All the "gansta" morons who would shoot somebody for a PS3. Rap surely does promote the most disgusting lifestyles I would have to say, as well as the most primitive problem solving abilities." Most of the trash in the New York lines were emo/goth losers who would shoot and kill for a PS3 because of all the crappy metal and Marylon manson they listen to. Now THAT promotes disgusting lifestyles, like eating bat heads and screaming how you love satan Never try to generalize people especially black and/or Hiphop/rap music I'm on the borderline of Gangsta and I'm a Nintendo fan for life, Sony sucks ass And instead of generalizing rap like so many caucasions do, take your head out of your ass and listen to some good artists Like Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Common, or any other rappers from the greatest city on Earth, Chicago Maybe it's also cuz new Yorkers are trash

terrahertz1012
terrahertz1012

I was there too! it was awesome. I videotaped interviews with people in line, including that guy decked out in nintendo controllers. The Segwii's were very cool. And NorweiganWinter, stop calling everyone that is from New York or that likes rap trash. The PS3 shootings happened in other places as well, not just NYC.

tidusjeff
tidusjeff

''Wow, just because of an icon, you must stereotype him as a fanboy of some sort? I chose my own icon because it symbolizes who I like from a game. You should try that sometime, it might make you look more than just a general user.'' He has a halo 2 icon, he points out something ovbious at the same time a comment against the platform. I should be given some slack.

dmn_link
dmn_link

I was there too!! awesomeness day :)

NorwegianWinter
NorwegianWinter

The reason why the PS3 launch went so crappy is because you had all the trash from New York lining up to get it. All the "gansta" morons who would shoot somebody for a PS3. Rap surely does promote the most disgusting lifestyles I would have to say, as well as the most primitive problem solving abilities.

Plucky7
Plucky7

Yea I was here and got my Wii there!!!!!

sumo1973
sumo1973

It's good to see that the Wii launch happened a lot more peacefully than the PS3 launch. I have respect for the people who waited patiently in the queues to get a Wii. Yes the PS3 is a great console but it's a shame that its launch was spoilt in the way it was. It will just create bad press for the console. Whereas Nintendo will get good press feedback.

jumpman14
jumpman14

One reason zelda got so low was because of the talking with words. People didn't like that.

R3DN1N3
R3DN1N3

I bought my gold-plated Zelda game....now it's a matter of saving up to get my Wii