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(Pocket-lint) - Nintendo released its Wii U games console at midnight last night, with the official UK launch held in HMV's flagship store on Oxford Street, London. Around 300 gamers and fans queued outside the shop to get their hands on one of the new machines, with Londoner Izzy Rahman being the first to grab a Wii U Premium pack.

Having seen stock sell out in the US, HMV ensured it had ordered surplus to cover the launch event and, in partnership with Nintendo, offered entertainment and incentives for those queuing - especially as many had to wait in near-freezing temperatures outside.

nintendo wii u goes on sale while fans queue in their hundreds image 2

Characters from Nintendo's vast line-up of intellectual properties were on hand to help out, and goody bags were distributed. The first 100 in the queue also got a free copy of New Super Mario Bros. U to play on their new devices as well as another game of their choice.

Read: Nintendo Wii U review

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"We can't wait to get the Wii U into the hands of our fans in the UK and are delighted to be partnering with HMV on this exciting night," said Shelley Pearce, Nintendo UK marketing director.

The console itself is getting critical acclaim in the UK today, although not without some upset at the lengthy download times needed to update the user interface and system software before being able to play on it. Once it's done, however, you're all fit to go.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 16 April 2013.