New Yorkers were treated to a beach getaway in the middle of Times Square today, courtesy of Nintendo.
To promote its new Wii Sports Resort video game, Nintendo turned the Military Island area of Times Square into a gamers' paradise, which included a sandy beach, swimming pool and rows of game consoles. The beach served as a real-world stand-in for Wuhu Island, where Wii Sports Resort is set.
Visitors to the Nintendo beach, which sat just a few yards from the huge Wii Sports Resort billboard on the side of the Toys "R" Us building, were able to test out the game days before it hits stores on July 26. The game allows players, who were given branded leis, to participate in any of 12 sports including archery, basketball, canoeing, Frisbee and wakeboarding. The game also includes the new Wii MotionPlus accessory, which attaches to the Wii Remote to provide greater precision, according to Nintendo.
The cross-section of people walking through Times Square allowed Nintendo to reach their target audience: Everyone. “Times Square is really the intersection of tourists, residents, seniors, young people,” said Denise Kaigler, a Nintendo of America rep. “Those who are walking through are truly reflective of Nintendo’s audience. It’s a broad base of consumers of all ages, all backgrounds, veterans and casual gamers.”
Top athletes in archery, Frisbee and table tennis were also in attendance to compete against passersby, as well as to offer their testimony on the game’s similarity to their actual sports. Those in attendance included tennis prodigy Alston Wang and Frisbee expert Bradford Keller. In addition to the sports players, there was an appearance by Gossip Girl star Chace Crawford who went head-to-head against Kaigler at the beginning of the day in a game of Wii Sports Resort.