Some tourist destinations in NYC are just as big of a draw to locals as well. Case in point: Nintendo NY, the gaming giant’s 10,000-square-foot home in Rockefeller Center. Part store, part gaming center, part museum, it’s a destination for fans of the company from around the world — and down the block. After a recent renovation, the iconic store is showcasing Nintendo games and merch in a space that’s bigger and better than ever.

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photo: Torterry C. via Yelp

Changes Big & Small
The big news, whether you have visited the store before or not, is that the new and improved version is more spacious and open. That means more games to try (and shorter lines/waits), as well as more room to accommodate all that awesome Nintendo merchandise.

The second floor of the bi-level space received the most dramatic transformation, with one of the most significant changes being the installation of a 15-foot screen hooked up to a Wii U game demo.

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photo: Amabel D. via Yelp

It’s-a Me, Miyamoto!
The Nintendo fan in your family will enjoy all the homages to popular Nintendo characters. Large Super Mario displays rise out of every corner of the store, depicting easily-recognizable scenes for the game’s fans. A display case by the entrance has a signed sketch from the “father of Mario” Shigeru Miyamoto himself, while upstairs is home to The Muppets’ versions of a few popular Nintendo characters (and even one of Miyamoto!), created for a Nintendo E3 presentation. Meanwhile, chipper Nintendo music plays over the store’s loudspeakers.

Aside from the gigantic TV — which is currently showcasing the recently-released Starfox — the space is outfitted with six 3DS stations downstairs and at least a dozen more 3DS and Wii U stations on the second floor. The stations are loaded with playable demos of the latest Nintendo games, and kids are free to try their hand at some new games with no obligation to buy anything.

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photo: Ernie K. via Yelp

Relics…From1990
Nintendo fans and newbies alike will enjoy the small museum-like corner of the store, located on the second floor. There, you can see the evolution of the Nintendo gaming console from its beginnings with the NES, right up to the current Wii U. (And yes, Nintendo scholars, even the ill-fated Virtual Boy makes an appearance, as does the legendary game boy which survived a bombing during the Gulf War. Yes, it still works.)

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Your Princess IS in this Castle
Does your child (or do you) have a particular attachment to a specific Nintendo property or character? Say, Pokemon or Pikachu? Super Mario? Zelda, Link, Donkey Kong? You’ll find plenty of merchandise to commemorate your trip including plush everything, shirts, toys, board games, amiibo, and of course, Nintendo games. If you need any help finding something, lots of friendly and knowledgeable store staff are naturally standing by.

Nintendo Store

Special Events
Store events are largely focused on game tournaments, which are geared towards older kids and teens, but the store does host a number of other happenings. Certain game launches are celebrated with special events, some of which are perfect for younger kids. Keep an eye on the Nintendo NYC website for news of what’s coming up.

Nintendo NYC
Mon.-Thurs. 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
10 Rockefeller Plaza
Midtown
(646) 459-0800
Online: nintendonyc.com

Has your family stopped by Nintendo NY? Will you be? Let us know in the comments!

— Yuliya Geikhman