HMV Oxford Street, London is to sell the first Nintendo 3DS console at 0.01am on 25 March, and is the venue chosen for the official UK launch event. However, another 99 HMV stores countrywide will also open at midnight on 24 March, ready to sell the new handheld console at 1 minute past to eager gamers, including the LiverpoolOne superstore.

The first 500 Nintendo 3DS consoles sold will also bag a free game each of the customer's choice, and goody bags will be distributed to those visiting the official launch in London's West End. Each launch pack will contain various Nintendo "rewards", including a space blanket to keep them warm while queuing, a limited edition t-shirt, and a special edition of Official Nintendo Magazine (while stocks last, of course).

Inside the Oxford Street store, attendees will be able to take each other on in head-to-head battles of Street Fighter IV and Pro Evolution Soccer as part of the events happening on the night.

In addition to the HMV shenanigans, Nintendo is hosting a special VIP party for Club Nintendo members at London's Old Billingsgate venue on launch night (24 March - 25 March), with entertainment provided by Plan B, comedian Russell Kane (currently to be seen cavorting as Beyonce on the BBC's Let's Dance for Comic Relief), Hadouken, DJ Yoda and girl band Parade.

Invitations will be released to members by email today, who can reply to be entered into a prize draw for tickets. Entrants have until 11 March to respond, and will be notified by 14 March if they have been successful.

Further tickets will be available through competitions on radio station XFM and in the Metro free newspaper from 14 March.

Finally, 50 pairs of tickets will also be available to members of HMV’s purehmv loyalty programme - details will be posted on the purehmv arena site at

The Nintendo 3DS retails for £230, and a list of the stores that will be open at midnight on launch night can be found at

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