Nintendo has partnered with HMV to launch its 3DS console with regional midnight openings and a VIP event in London.
HMV's 150 Oxford Street shop in central London will host the official UK retail launch event, including the first official customer purchase, when the console makes its UK debut at a minute past midnight on 25 March 2011.
The Oxford Street store will be 1 of 100 HMV shops across the UK opening at midnight, listed here.
Nintendo clearly hopes for queues around the block for the launch and said the first 500 gaming enthusiasts to purchase the console at the flagship store's midnight opening will each be able to choose a free 3DS game.
Fans at the launch will also get a pack including a space blanket to keep warm in the queue, limited edition t-shirt and an exclusive Nintendo 3DS launch edition of Official Nintendo Magazine, while stocks last. Gamers will also be able to take to a stage to show off their skills on Street Fighter IV and Pro Evolution Soccer.
As part of the launch, Nintendo will also stage an exclusive VIP event at London's Old Billingsgate for 2,000 guests, which will be hosted by comedian Russell Kane and will feature live performances from Plan B, rock band Hadouken, dance act DJ Yoda and girl band Parade.
All UK members of ‘Club Nintendo' will get an email and have the chance to be entered in a prize draw to win tickets for the VIP event at Old Billingsgate. There will also be competitions on Xfm radio station, in the Metro newspaper and 50 pairs of tickets to the VIP event up for grabs to HMV's purehmv loyalty programme customers.
"We've already been seeing huge interest for the 3DS through pre-orders in store and online at hmv.com, and on release we expect many thousands more gamers to turn up to midnight events around the country, not least at our Oxford Street flagship and our LiverpoolOne superstore," said HMV's Head of Games, Tim Ellis.