Nintendo's DS Lite launch party in New York

Wouldn't you know it, last night instead of going out and getting our social life on, Paul and I cruised over to Rockefeller Center to the Nintendo World Store for the official DS Lite launch event (it being the eve of June 11th and all). We heard people were lining up over 13 hours in advance to get their shiny white DS Lite -- though the fact that the first 100 buyers got a free copy of Brain Age and a carrying case surely wasn't discouraging a crowd. While we were waiting for the NWorld employees to shuffle people in throughout the night, we took a few to cruise around the store and check out all the swag and memorabilia Nintendo had on display -- a real trip down memory lane for these jaded old nerds.

The line, as you can tell, was pretty ginormous. We'd estimate about 250 were waiting for their system, if not more. Check out the launch after the break!

You didn't know Mario worked for Hot97? Gotta pay the bills, man.

He may not have been first in line, but you really can't argue with a costume like that.

Perhaps most entertaining about this line was the enormous amount of DS Lite owners waiting to get in. Ah, to be a fanboy.

"No, I'm the real Mario!"

"Das right. Get yo fake self home, fool."

You too can own your own Swarovski encrusted DS. Only $500.

The DS Lite pods they had set up were quite nice, although you couldn't take a load off and play New Super Mario Bros. Nope, for that you had to use the OG DS standing up.

Ah, what everyone had come for. She's a fine piece of equipment, friend.

This is what the first 100 peeps got for wasting a half a day of their life in line. Now, let's see, minimum wage in the state of NY multiplied by 12 hours...

No, these aren't a perk. This Nintendo World employee bought these suckers on eBay. "You should see my place, it's all Nintendo stuff." Oh, we believe you!

Getting ready to check out some happy customers.

The natives are getting restless. It's 12:20AM and still no Lites have been sold.

Mario is extracted from the elevator by his keepers to placate the rabid fans and issue a peace accord in the name of fanboys the world over.

"It's a mee..."

'Dem boxes ain't empty, people.

First DS Lite sold goes to... this guy. His name is Jason S, and he'd been there for a freaking long time.

Paul, kickin' it with the brothers Mario.

Some very satisfied customers, who immediately began applying screen protectors and hand etching their names and phone numbers into the acrylic coating. Just kidding about that last part.

Let's go upstairs, shall we?

These rails beneath the stairs pulsate various colored lights.

It's past midnight -- do you know where your fanboy brother / son / husband is?

Why am I not surprised to see some Krypton Egg Chairs here?

This rather large plasma column juts down to the first floor rather dramatically.

Swag man, swag.

Hey man, somebody's got to play the acid-house Mario theme song remixes.

Ahh, the collector's series. Here we have the Nintendo AVS.

And, of course, the Famicom and NES.

And more GBAs than you can shake a PSP at.

The Gulf War-damaged original Game Boy, still in working condition.

R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy). The zapper. Have we really come so far?

Collectively we had pretty much every single one. The Game and Watch was by far the best, though.

Hey, we know that guy!

Original Nintendo playing cards.

Thanks, Mario -- see you at the Wii launch party. Call me, let's do brunch.