Reggie hands over first Wii

The gang's all here. Well, all there.

The next-gen console battle has officially kicked off in North America following the launch of the Nintendo Wii - with Reggie Fils-Aime handing over the first console.

The Nintendo of America president was on hand at Toys R Us in Times Square, where long lines of people were entertained by live music, acrobats and Wii demo pods.

Fils-Aime gave a typically upbeat speech at the event, before selling the first Wii moments after the doors to the store opened at 12.01am.

Across the country in Los Angeles, a launch party was held at Universal Studios. Once again there were queues, entertainment and chances to go hands-on with the Wii, but this time it was George Harrison, NoA's senior VP of marketing, who sold the first unit.

Nintendo has previously stated it expects the Wii to be a global sell-out success this Christmas - despite healthy shipment figures, especially when compared to the limited numbers of PlayStation 3 consoles available.

The company plans to ship around 4 million Wii units by the end of the year, with North America getting around half of that number.

The Wii is due to launch in Europe on December 8, priced at GBP 179 / 249 Euro.

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