NYC crowds brave cold weather for the Nintendo Wii U launch

The new console went on sale at midnight tonight, with a launch event at the Manhattan Nintendo World store.

Nintendo's Wii U is now on sale in the U.S., following a midnight launch event at the Nintendo World store in Manhattan's Rockefeller Center.

Fans started gathering more as early as Thursday for a chance to be the first to own the Wii U, a living room game console with a tablet-style controller. The Wii U is the first new living room game console from any of the big three console-makers (Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo) since the the 2005-2006 releases of the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii.

For a closer look at the midnight launch festivities, check out the photo gallery above. Our hands-on impressions of the Wii U console itself can be found here, which will be revised into a full review as the Wii U adds promised features (including streaming-video apps) that are missing on day one, but will be added post-launch via software updates.

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