As you’re probably aware, Nintendo’s sexy new 3DS XL – a supersized 3DS – launched this weekend nationwide. To celebrate its launch, we headed down to the JHBGamersXL launch party, hosted by Nintendo and JHBGamers. Bear in mind, that for reasons I’m unable to comprehend, it kicked off at 11 in the morning. On a Saturday…which means actually getting out of bed. This proved to be the first problem.
I had arranged with our resident wookie, Garth, and his wife to pick me up so we could carpool our way to Cafe Culture in Fourways. At roughly 5 minutes past ten, as if being electrocuted, I surged awake – worried that my furry ride would soon be there – so I sent him a message to ask exactly what time he’d be there (to work out just how much time I had to get some coffee and perhaps a slice of toast in me). I needn’t have panicked – the electronic beeps as Garth’s phone received my text actually woke he and his wife from their own slumber – ensuring we’d be a little more than fashionably late.
It’s unfortunate – because by the time we’d gotten there, still rubbing crusted sleep from our eyes, all the food was gone – leaving us with little recourse but to drink – and actually chat and socialise with the cheery Nintendo gamers who’d gathered to ooh and ahh at the larger 3D handheld. It was a rather subdued, chilled and casual affair – though you’d have imagined there’d have been more people there, considering not one, but two 3DS XL’s were up for grabs.
The first of those handhelds would be given to the winner of a somewhat impromptu Mario Kart 7 tournament. Groups of gamers raced – with favourites and Nintendo stalwarts Dawid Venter (from G3AR), Jaco Van Der Walt (from Pretoria) and Brian Murdoch (from lord alone knows where) all being knocked out – by a young lad by the name of Nicholas Telford, who must’ve escaped from the shire just for this event. That not only won him a brand new, silver-and-black 3DS XL, but also nets him the title (whether he likes it or not) of being Joburg’s Laziest gamer.
I sat down and had a few words with Nicholas – but excitement in winning, or perhaps extreme nervousness resulting in having to talk to a long-haired Asian fellow who looks like he wants to eat you meant he was scarcely able to utter a few choice monosyllabic words before one of us exploded.
A lifelong gamer, Nicholas did manage to tell me that he’s been playing Nintendo games for just about his whole life – with his favourite Nintendo memory (one shared by many!) is that of playing Pokémon Red on the gameboy when he was but a wee lad. He’s played pretty much every Pokémon game to date since – including the god-awful Ranger games, so you know he’s a deserving superfan.
Tipping me off to his excitement was the fact, he told me, that it hadn’t quite hit him yet that he’d won – just that what he did feel, was amazing.
The second 3DS XL winner was the lucky, and fuzzy-capped JP – who won a random Facebook draw.
In addition to that, there were spot prizes of Nintendo merchandise, lovingly thrown at the crowd by JHBGamers organiser Jarrod Lane. After the festivities themselves, we sat around drinking beer, chatting with other gamers and listening to PCFormat’s Michael Reed talk incessantly about…something.
Last Updated: July 30, 2012