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And away Wii go!

November 20, 2006

The Nintendo Wii is now out in the wild, after its Sunday morning launch, which in comparison to Sony’s PS3 launch on Friday, was relatively peaceful.

Maybe its because people don’t want to mug those in line when there’s little kids standing there. Or maybe it’s because your flagship game character (Super Mario) doesn’t do anything more violent than jumping on mushrooms and turtles. And wii we know how evil THEY can be!

Nintendo’s systems tend to skew towards a younger demographic, and Wii is no exception. But it was a Nintendo lovefest at many large launch parties, with adults dressing as their favorite Nintendo characters.

From the Associated Press via CNN:

The relative abundance of units, and a smaller fan base, should make Sunday a calmer shopping day than Friday. On Saturday evening, people were lining up at stores more to show their devotion to Nintendo and celebrate the occasion than because they were afraid of not getting a Wii.

At the Nintendo World store in Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center, 86 people were lined up for the morning opening. Anthony Eaton, dressed in green as the character Link from the “Zelda” series, looked chagrined when passing girls called him “Peter Pan.”

Eaton, 18, didn’t really need to be in line, since his friend had pre-ordered a Wii for him that would be available for pickup the next morning.

“It’s all in the spirit of gaming. Wiis only get launched once, and we gotta do this right,” said Eaton, who had traveled from Washington to go to the only U.S. store bearing the Nintendo name.gamejew gets the first Wii

… In the Los Angeles area, more than 500 people waited in line at the Game Stop at Universal City Walk. The store handed out numbered wristbands to avoid the crushes that were common at the PlayStation 3 openings.

The first to buy the system at midnight was Jonathan Mann, 24, who was dressed in red overalls and a cap like the Mario character from “Super Mario Bros.”

“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, adding that he has written more than 40 songs about the console for his gaming Web site, gamejew.com. His song titles include “Wii Means You and Me” and “The Wind Whispers Wii.”

Now THAT’S devotion! (or Wii-votion, if you will)

Here’s a roundup of the rest of the best stories regarding the Wii launch:

  • From Kottke.org, a list of all the puns used in mass media and blog headlines for stories regarding the Wii:

Gone with the Wii
Gamers Wii bit excited
Are Wii Ready?
Playtesters say ‘Wii’ to console war question
Wii Won’t Rock You
And away Wii go (doh! Guilty!)

Gamers Go Wii Wii Wii All the Way Home
The things Wii do for love
‘Wii’kend So Far
No Wii for Mii… for now 😦
Wii were successful (barely)
Wii Are The World: War Of The “Hard To Resist” Game Consoles
Wii Will, Wii Will Rock You.
Oh Wii Oh…
A Wii bit of gougery
Come On Over and Wii’ll Play!
Wii-lcome to the Twilight Zone
Wii would like to play!
What Wii can do
Only a Wii Bit of Excitement
PS3 Fans: “Wii are a bunch of idiots”
Wii Wish You an Early Christmas (If You’re Famous Enough)
Be Kind to the Wii Folk
Wii Love It! All about Nintendo’s new gaming console
A Wii-bit too late
Are Wii ready?
Wii Want to Play
Wii for Yoo and Mee
To Wii or not to Wii, that is the question!
A Wii Bit More

  • The blog Digital Madman chronicled a bad Wal-Mart experience with the Wii launch in New Hampshire, as the superstore made all of the Wii waiters stay out in their open-air lawn and garden area, where the temperatures were below-freezing. The line collectively staged a protest, commandeering the Christmas area of the store as their new waiting area, to the chagrin of the store management. Power to the Wii people!
  • The blog Spong tackles the issue of why Wii got less press coverage than the PS3 launch. Well, the Sony Playstation has earned massive market share over the years, the PS3 launch had fanboys lining up days beforehand to snag one and someone did get shot while waiting in line. Never such a thing as bad publicity.
  • Engadget steps up with a great FAQ section on the Wii and its features. PC World also has a positive review.
  • If you missed out on all the Wii craziness and are having trouble finding one for your Christmas list, go to WiiTracker, which is keeping tabs on where the Wii is available for purchase online.
  • This one Xanga user, named Yoshismadness, is playing Wii for a week straight. And you can watch the video stream of his gameplay and chat with him. How he can type chatroom text while using the Wii’s motion-sensing controllers at the same time is beyond me.
  • Speaking of motion-sensing controllers…just a quick thought. How long until we see the first carpel-tunnel or Wii-induced injury lawsuit from too much gameplay? I mean, Wii Sports (which Time suggests is the “greatest sports game ever) can actually give you “tennis elbow” tendonitis from hitting the virtual tennis ball around.
  • Engadget already has the scoop on the first broken TV from a flying Wii controller, as the controller wrist strap broke.
  • The boys from SmashmyPS3.com are back with SmashmyWii.com, and this clip of a Wii getting the business-end of a sledgehammer. The looks on the crowd’s faces are priceless. (Rather see the PS3 get pwned? Click here.)
  • Some alleged retailer shenanigans are coming to light. According to Consumerist.com, one FYE store allegedly tried a bait-and-switch with a customer who reserved a Wii system, forcing him to buy two games and an extra controller to pick it up (this is, of course, illegal if it was not previously advertised as such in the reservation terms). And the website Critical Hits is reporting that Amazon.com is telling buyer that bought the Wii on launch day on its web site will not receive the system until mid-January. That’s harsh.
  • And for further fun, check out this clip of a man dressed as a Wii controller in line with the PS3 waiters on Thursday, mocking them (WARNING: PG-13 clip).
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