December 8th, 2006, 17:34 Posted By: wraggster
The Nintendo Wii officially arrived in the UK last night, at HMV in Oxford Street, London, where the official launch festivities took place and gamers turned up in the hundreds for a chance of getting their hands on the new Nintendo hardware.
According to a HMV spokesperson almost 500 fans turned up for the event, where by midnight the queue already stretched along Oxford Street and around the corner - leaving us to ponder if the people at the back had even a fighting chance of seeing the shop counters before breakfast.
The store reportedly received over 1200 Wii-related phone calls yesterday alone - three quarters of which were from people wondering if they could get their hands on a console without pre-ordering.
Rolling up Oxford Street just before the main event at midnight, a white Wii bus unloaded a sprinkling of celebrities to show off their Wii Sports skills (or lack of) for the crowd, including virtual tennis hot-shots Ian Wright, Nell McAndrew, Ricky Hatton and Pat Cash.
First in the queue was 17 year-old Zelda fanatic Marwan Elgamal, who pitched up his tent at 5pm on Tuesday in order to guarantee a Wii in his house this weekend, which was finally handed over to him by Mr Wright at gone 12.
"I have been looking forward to this day for months!" Elgamal said. "Despite the cold and rain, it was well worth it - not only was I the very first person in the UK to own the Wii, but I also got to thrash Ian Wright in a game of Wii Sports!"
David Yarnton, General Manager at Nintendo UK said of the launch: "This is such an exciting time for Nintendo - since the launch of the Nintendo DS we have been committed to exploring a new approach and offering a more inclusive experience. The launch of Wii sees our commitment to innovation and bringing in new audiences taken one stage further, and we are overwhelmed with the incredible response we've received from the public - both young, old, male and female."
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