The Nintendo 3DS's major North American launch event is this Saturday night at Best Buy New York, but in the UK gamers have a bit more choice when it comes to the big events.

The official launch will take place at HMV's flagship Oxford Street store, where the first 500 people to buy the console will be able to claim a free Nintendo 3DS game of their choice. There'll also be a survival pack for the hardy gamers, including a blanket to keep them warm, a t-shirt — perhaps a coat would have been more practical — and an exclusive launch issue of the Official Nintendo Magazine. There's also the chance to get on stage to play some Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition or Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D, as well as other entertainment available on the night.

If you can't make it to London, there'll be a dozen other VIP events taking place, where attendees could also take home games for free or at a major discount, but the real good stuff goes to the first person in the queue. The most committed Nintendo fan will win a once-in-a-lifetime prize: a free taxi ride home.

The list of VIP events is below:


In total, over 1,200 stores will be open at midnight to allow gamers to get their 3DS consoles first. Contact your local retailer for details.

Going to a launch event? Come back on Thursday for exciting and exclusive launch content to help you prepare for the launch of Nintendo 3DS!


Unprecedented retail and consumer response sees huge number of midnight openings

Thirteen additional ‘VIP’ store openings confirmed with entertainment and rewards, incl. free Nintendo 3DS games with console purchases*** at selected stores

Official UK launch for portable 3D entertainment system to be hosted by HMV 150 Oxford Street

21 March 2011, London – Nintendo UK has today announced that over 1,200 stores in the UK are expected to open at midnight on 25th Match 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 LiverpoolOne 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 of their choice**. 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 skills on Street Fighter IV and Pro Evolution Soccer in head-to-head battles live on stage, which will form part of the fantastic instore 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.”