Nintendo has confirmed dual official Wii launch events, as Toys "R" Us Times Square in Manhattan and GameStop at Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles will host official Nintendo midnight launch events on November 19th "to satiate rabid fans".
The events will apparently feature live music and entertainment, fun, games, special guests from Nintendo -- and a countdown to "the moment that will change the way video games are played forever", Nintendo claims. Many other U.S. retailers will also be holding their own unofficial midnight gatherings and events.
Nintendo's Wii, which will retail for $250 in North America with a packed-in copy of the Wii Sports
game, is already sold-out from those stores such as GameStop which have accepted pre-orders - though many larger chain stores will simply be selling the console directly on the 19th, leading to the likelihood of long lines.
Demand is expected to be brisk, even as Nintendo has confirmed
that the company expects to ship approximately 4 million Wii consoles globally during the six weeks between the system's launch on November 19 in North America and the end of 2006, with the U.S. getting more consoles than any other territory.
George Harrison, Nintendo of America's senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications, commented of the announcement: "Who'll be the first person to line up? Will it be a Zelda fan in New York or a soccer mom in Los Angeles? We're going to make sure these events help everyone feed off one another's energy and enthusiasm."