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Wii U: Australian launch all smiles, balloons and sugar

VG247 stood patiently in line at the Wii U's official midnight launch in Bondi Junction to capture the excitement of the first shot in the next-gen console war.

Almost every major shopping centre in the country held a midnight launch for the Wii U, with most punters opting to visit their local bricks-and-mortar, leading to a modest turn-out at EB Games' Bondi Junction launch party.

The retailer lined up Mario and Luigi-themed treats - red and green slushies and Krispy Kreme donuts - which quickly sent part of the crowd into hyper sugar rush mode, ably assisted by the efforts of a two-man DJ team. Caricature and balloon artists kept less active attendees entertained, and Mario himself made an appearance.

Just one demo unit was available in the narrow store, but Nintendo Australia PR boss Jamie Wilson was on hand to make sure everyone got a turn - although he couldn't do much about one Tanooki-suited attendee repeatedly handing everyone else their collective arses.

Nobody seemed to mind, though, and as midnight approached, the crowd grew and coalesced into an orderly (and typically Australian) queue as prizes were handed out. Young Tanooki won a prize for his costume, which included a pretty sweet cardboard tail, and door prizes were also awarded; the tenth in line was pleased to find himself the owner of a Wii U Elite bundle, making his pre-order ticket suddenly unnecessary.

When midnight struck, nobody hung about, instead taking Wilson's advice to hurry home and get the hefty day-one update downloading; in typically Nintendo fashion, attendees were advised to play in the morning, when well-rested, rather than sit up all night. I'm not sure anyone took this sterling advice, although they did take a balloon Mario home with them.

The Wii U has now launched in the US, Australia and Europe, leaving only Japan waiting for Nintendo's latest console offering.

    Launch titles:
  • Assassin’s Creed 3
  • Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition
  • Ben 10: Omniverse
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
  • Darksiders 2
  • Family Party: 30 Great Games Obstacle Arcade
  • FIFA 13
  • Funky Barn
  • Game Party Champions
  • Just Dance 4
  • Mass Effect 3 Special Edition
  • New Super Mario Bros. U
  • Nintendo Land
  • Rabbids Land
  • Scribblenauts Unlimited
  • Skylanders Giants
  • Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
  • Sports Connection
  • Tank! Tank! Tank!
  • Tekken Tag Tournament 2: Wii U Edition
  • Transformers Prime
  • Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper
  • Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2013
  • ZombiU

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