June 25, 2005

While in NYC visiting family, I was able to spend a day at the recently-opened Nintendo World store, playing games, buying stuff and taking these photos. I was once here in 2002,  when this place was a Pokemon Center. A lot has changed since there. Here's a lowdown of the place.

Here's the outside of Nintendo World at Rockefeller Center. It sure has changed since it used to be a Pokemon Center. Sometimes you could see it shown in the outside segments of NBC's Today show if the camera's pointed the right way.

Other: [Window Display] [East View]

BONUS!: [2002 Photo of Pokemon Center]

Here's the Nintendo AVS (Advanced Video System), the prototype of the American version of the NES. It came with a keyboard, wireless IR controllers, tape cassette memory recorder, a redesigned Zapper, a flight stick, and a musical keyboard. This was shown only once in the 1984 CES show, which was mostly passed over by most people, still with the bitter taste of the videogame crash that ruined Atari's image. Nintendo dumped the extra hardware and only released the Control Deck by the end of 1985, and the rest is history. Being a big retro Nintendo fan, this was the highlight of my trip here. ^_^

Close-Up: [Cassette Drive] [Basic Keyboard] [Music Keyboard] [IR Controllers] [Prototype Zapper] [Flightstick] [AVS Info Card]

Here's one of 30 Gold Triforce GBA-SP's signed by Mr. Shigeru Miyamoto that used to be sold at Nintendo World. Needless to say, they were all sold out. Dunno how much they were, but in a few years, they'd be worth their weight in gold. :P

Close-up: [Miyamoto Biography Card]

A collection of all the special-edition GBA-SPs sold thoughtout the world, with the Famicom-SP and the NES-SP right on top. Japan sure does get a lot of rare GBAs.
I remember seeing this featured in Nintendo Power 15 years ago. This Game Boy was in the middle of a bombing and melted during the '90 Gulf War, and still works today!
An evolution of the Game Boy series, starting from the Game & Watch to GBA-SP. It also shows the Game Boy Light, a Japanese-only model of the Game Boy Pocket with a backlight.

Close-up: [1] [2] [3]

Here's the Famicom, the Japanese version of the NES released in 1983. Besides loading games on top, the controllers were hard-wired to the system, with the 2P controller having a built-in mic. The port in the front was for external controllers to plug into. Nintendo of America redesigned the Famicom to the NES because they wanted to distance themselves from Atari (top-loading "cartridges" were replaced with front-loading "game paks"), the Famicom's apparent "toyish" appearance, and preventing the spread of Asian piracy to the States.

Other: [Famicom with NES] [Famicom Top View]

Before Nintendo made videogames, they made these: Hafunda cards. They made different designs, including Japanese pictures and Mickey Mouse. To this day, they still make them.
One of many Gamecube kiosks upstairs, loaded with a high number of full-on demos, including RE4, Starfox Armada, Smash Bros. Melee, and other Nintendo hits. According to Nintendo Power, these units are directly networked to Nintendo of America, where you can instantly download these games to try out. Sorta disappointed that there weren't any demos from E3 there. XD

Other: [Kiosks and Retro Display]

Here are three special Gamecube kiosks with "egg-chairs" with built-in surround sound. These systems had Konga drums for Donkey Konga 2 and Jungle Beat, which I tried out for the first time. It was very hard to hold the drums between my legs as I played those games.

Other: [View 2]

Being a store, Nintendo has games, accessories, toys, clothes, gifts and other stuff for sale, albeit at full MSRP price. Surprisingly, they actually had the Hori Digital Controller (a.k.a. the 2D SNES-like controller for GB Player) for sale there for only $15. I've been looking for this for years and could never find them locally. They only had it in black, however. Perfect for retro collections, fighters, and Game Boy Player games. Sadly, I couldn't find any Koopa stuff on sale. >_<

Other: [View 2]

This is the first floor, with the GBA, DS, and Pokemon Center stuff. The outer ring of this display has demos of different DS games, while the eight DSs in the center have a Pokemon Dash multiplayer demo. There is also a bar with a setup of GBA-SPs connected, with a "bartender" who will load up a game from a menu of selected GBA games. The Pokemon Center (what's left from the store before Nintendo World) is to the left of this photo, with toys, games, movies and cards for sale. There's also a Pokedex and tables for card battles next to the staircase. Interestingly enough, if I remember correctly, there weren't any young children upstairs in the Gamecube floor, mostly teenagers and young adults.

Other: [Single DS Demo Unit] [GBA/DS Demo Kiosks] [Pokedex Kiosk]

And that's it, pretty much. Apparently, I had such a fun time, I was told I was here for almost two hours there, taking photos and playing games. XD I just wished I took more photos of the place.