Mon-Thu, 9am-8pm; Fri-Sat, 9am-9pm; Sun, 11am-6pm
B, D, F, M at 47th-50th Sts.-Rockefeller Center
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Unlike many toy stores, Nintendo World actually provides ample opportunities to try before you buy. As familiar animated faces like Mario and Zelda peak out from the shelf-lined walls, the central downstairs level is dominated by a circular, gray-and-white station—akin to a sci-fi Stonehenge or Star Trek round table—where customers sit on pod-like seats while trying out the latest handheld platforms. Nearby, a multiplayer wall of flat screens facilitates competitions between aficionados and novices while an adjoining sampling bar permits investigation of the latest titles. Upstairs, the merchandise becomes more concentrated: T-shirts, hats, bags, and a bounty of Pokemon paraphernalia join an endless array of games. Amid a dozen more gaming kiosks, the store has even set up a mini-tribute to the brand’s ongoing history: a series of display cases that tracks Nintendo’s evolution from prototype (Advance Video System, shown publicly only once at a trade show in 1985) to icon (a badly-charred but still-functioning Game Boy nearly destroyed during the Gulf War in 1991).Extra
The store hosts occasional gaming tournaments. Early rounds are played upstairs but the finals take place downstairs and are broadcast on a giant six-foot-wide screen lowered from the ceiling.