Nintendo has big plans for 2016.
The company is launching its first smartphone app, Miitomo, next month. Its next console is set to be unveiled later this year. Popular franchises like Pokémon are celebrating major milestones and big releases in other series are expected.
But the first big step Nintendo has taken this year is a different kind of experience. Fans lined up as early as 6:30 a.m. the day before to be the first to enter Nintendo NY, the company's rebranded store that opened its doors today. Formerly known as Nintendo World, the New York City location closed in January for a monthlong renovation period. When it re-opened, Nintendo promised that its Rockefeller Center mainstay would come with an updated look and modern innovations.
Today's re-opening was a major moment for the company, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales and marketing Scott Moffit said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. That's because Nintendo NY isn't just the United States' only Nintendo-centric retailer, he explained, but its draw is international. To the company's impassioned fanbase, there's no other place quite like it in the world.
We visited Nintendo NY this morning before its public opening. Sneak a peek for yourself, below, and look out for a surprise at the end.