Nintendo of Europe dropped a bomb yesterday – over a thousand stores participating in the midnight launch of the 3DS – about 1,200 in all? From what I can tell, this sounds much bigger than the Wii’s own late night equivalents four and a half years ago. If you make it early, you might even get the chance to pick up discounted or even free 3DS software. Luckily for Europe, they’re getting the 3DS before the Americas, which means news of their midnight launches comes a bit before the same news for U.S. territories. We’ll be keeping our eyes on Nintendo’s America subsidiary for word of similar offers on our side of the pond.

Over 1,200 stores across the UK to open at midnight for launch of Nintendo 3DS

21 March – Nintendo UK has today announced that over 1,200 stores* in the UK are expected to open at midnight on 25th March to launch Nintendo’s new glasses-free 3D entertainment device, Nintendo 3DS. In addition to partnering with entertainment retailer HMV to officially launch its new portable 3D entertainment system, 13 additional stores across the UK** will also host ‘VIP’ events at midnight for fans unable to make it to the official launch in London.

At the additional 13 ‘VIP’ events the first fans to purchase a Nintendo 3DS console at these locations will also be rewarded with the chance to pick up Nintendo 3DS software at substantial discounts or even for free*** and the first person lucky enough to be at the front of the queue will get a free taxi ride home.

HMV’s London flagship store at 150 Oxford Street will host the official UK retail launch event, including the first official customer purchase, when the console makes its UK debut at 00:01am on 25th March 2011. The Oxford Street flagship will be one of 100 HMV stores around the country that will open specially at midnight, including also HMV’s Liverpool. One superstore as the focus of a major regional launch outside of the capital.

See below for list of HMV stores opening midnight (from 24 March 23.00 hrs for 25 March 00.01 hrs sale).

Games enthusiasts attending the midnight launch at HMV Oxford Street will not only be among the first in the UK to get their hands on their very own Nintendo 3DS, but the first 500 to purchase the console will each be able to claim a free Nintendo 3DS game. Fans attending the official launch will receive a special commemorative launch-night pack containing numerous Nintendo rewards, including a space blanket to keep them warm whilst queuing, a limited edition launch t-shirt and an exclusive Nintendo 3DS launch edition of Official Nintendo Magazine (whilst stocks last). They’ll also be in with a chance of taking to the stage to demonstrate their gaming skills in head-to-head battles live on stage, which will form part of the fantastic in-store entertainment on the night.

“We’ve been blown away by both retail and consumer reaction to Nintendo 3DS”, says David Yarnton, General Manager, Nintendo UK. “With over 1,000 stores opening across the UK at midnight to launch the console, this has the potential to be one of our biggest launches ever in the UK.”

** Additional thirteen ‘VIP’ store launches:

Asda – Derby – Martin Luckwood, Asda Derby, Derby Road, Spondon , DE21 7LW

Tesco – Barr Hill – 15-18 Viking Way. Barr Hill, Cambridge, CB23 8EL

HMV – Liverpool 1 – 5 South John Street, Liverpool, L1 8BU

Argos – Leeds Headrow – Unit 2, The Gantry, 22-26 The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 8EQ

Gamestation – Birmingham New Street – 138 New St, Birmingham, B2 4NS

Smyths Toys – Dublin – Jervis Street, Dublin 1

Xtra-Vision – Letterkenny – Unit 6-8. Letterkenny Shopping Centre Co. Donegal

Gamestop – Dublin – Henry Street, Dublin

Game – Glasgow Sauchiehall Street – 146 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 2DH

Game – Cardiff – 5 Grand Arcade, St Davids 2 Centre, Cardiff, CF10 2ER

Game – Manchester – 124 Peel Centre, Trafford Centre, Manchester, , M17 8BL

Game – London – 100 Oxford Street W1

Gamestation – GST Hull – 59-60 Prospect Centre, Hull, HU2 8PW

* Figure based on UK retailer information provided to Nintendo UK as of w/e 18th March 2011. No figures are extrapolated or estimated.

*** Whilst stocks last, subject to availability. Please check with your local retailer for specific plans and offers before travelling to the launch events.

Source: Nintendo Press

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