On Saturday night gamers everywhere were waiting for Wii, things weren’t that much different at the Universal Citywalk except well… Nintendo was hosting the party. At 6PM, two hours before the party started, the line for the Wii wrapped around the Gamestop, snaked around the Café tu Tango up a flight of stairs where it ended on a green bridge to the parking lot. Needless to say, it was a long, long line. Most of the line was waiting since the early afternoon with a few stragglers jumping in at the end. GameJew who held the first spot had been waiting since 10AM on Friday. There were over a 1,000 Wiis to be sold, but even that wasn’t enough to satisfy the demand.
At 8PM the festivities started, Wii demo stations were opened up for eager gamers to try out Zelda and DJ Rap took center stage. Instead of playing her usual drum ‘n bass gig, DJ Rap had remixes of Nirvana’s “Come as you are” and the Killers “Mr. Brightside” in her playlist. Some of the younger crowd danced, but most were busy playing Wii Sports or waiting in line. DJ Rap’s sessions were occasionally interrupted by Antigravity, a performance group that had a guy spinning inside a giant metal ring. Interesting, but it didn’t pull the crowd away from Wii Sports. Most partygoers came as a pack and a select few brought their favorite video game character with them. Mario, Sonic and Mega Man all appeared in plush form.
While the party was going on, most people continuted to wait in line. After getting the coveted white Wii bracelet, which meant that you were getting a system, people continued to wait for to purchase their console. To pass the time most people had their DSes ready to play multiplayer rounds of Mario Kart DS and New. Super Mario Brothers. Pictochat was a popular option since people could talk with other people in front of them and see if anyone would share Elite Beat Agents with them. A few people had PSPs and even fewer had laptops to watch movies with. One group spent their time playing the board game Life and another group made a Mario Shrine. Brian Dionne (*corrected name) took his Mario surrounded it by white glowsticks passed out by the Nintendo staff. The shrine got enough attention and Adam Sessler stopped by to sign his Mario. With them was Rebecca Livengood who “just came for the fun of it.” Rebecca was the very small minority since most people waiting were proudly wearing their Wii bracelets. Starting at 9PM Nintendo unleashed the Segwiis, mobile Wii kiosks driven on a Segway. Gamers in line finally got a chance to try out Wii Sports and Excite Truck without having to lose their spot.
At midnight Jonathan Mann who was number one in line was greeted by George Harrison and purchased his console. Meanwhile over a thousand other hopeful owners waited in line. Gamestop continued to sell Wiis throughout the night long after the event closed down. At 4AM the line was still moving at a snail’s pace since only twenty or so people were allowed in at one time. Even though the wait was much longer than the wait for Terminator 2 3-D, no one was angry. Instead gaming continued, line mates became friends and more people went home with one Wii console.
While there we managed to snap these pictures of the event click on each one to see a larger version.