NEW YORK: Nintendo, working to prove it can still succeed by marrying its hardware to exclusive software, began selling the Wii U console amid tight supplies and delays in implementing a new TV-viewing service.
The first new video-game console for United States homes since 2006, the Wii U initially won't offer the Nintendo TVii service that the Kyoto, Japan-based company has touted as a centerpiece of its capabilities. The feature will be available sometime in December, the company said on November 16, without being specific.
"The value of Wii U goes well beyond day one," Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo's North America president, said in a statement. "Nintendo will be enhancing the Wii U experience with continuous updates and new services for Wii U owners."
Devante Cordero, 16, drove almost two hours with his parents and two sisters to New York City from his home in Pennsylvania to secure one of the first spots in line outside the Nintendo World store at Rockefeller Center. He wanted the latest console, and a chance to meet Fils-Aime.
"He's awesome," said Cordero, one of hundreds in line at the store. "If I get to meet him, it's like a bucket list." The Cordero family arrived at the Nintendo store on November 17 at 1pm, bundled up in hats, gloves and winter coats as the temperature dropped to 43 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius) in the city. Like many there, they brought folding chairs and portable game consoles to pass the time, said Selina Cordero, 40, Devante's mother.
One appealing feature in the Wii U is that the entire family of five can play at one time, she said. That's one more than the current system allows. "Now we can actually really compete as a family," she said. "No one needs to sit out."
Isaiah TriForce Johnson, 35, a marketing promoter for Grassroots Gaming, was the first person in line for the Wii U at Rockefeller Center. He first arrived on October 23, then was forced to return home to Brooklyn as Hurricane Sandy made landfall on October 29.
The next day, he walked three hours back to Nintendo World from his home to resume his place at the front of the line. It's Johnson's eighth time being the first fan to buy a new system or game, he said.
"I just like being the first," Johnson said. "It's no different from being the first in winning in video games. Being the first is the first."