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Virtual puppy craze hits town!

You've been hearing about it for weeks... well it's finally here! To celebrate the UK arrival of Nintendogs, the hugely anticipated virtual puppy phenomenon - HMV's famous mascot Nipper the Jack Russell will be throwing the doors open for the very first time to shoppers AND their dogs! Taking place at HMV's flagship store - at 150 Oxford Street on Friday 7th October, 8am - the launch of Nintendogs signals the end of a very long wait for shoppers pining for 'the next big thing for Christmas'.

On sale across the UK from Friday, gamers, dog lovers and kids alike will be able to get hold of a copy of Nintendogs before anyone else in the country. In addition, the first 50 people (or dogs!) reaching the till will get another free Nintendog from a choice of three breeds plus an exclusive doggy bag including free Nintendogs treats and another free Nintendo DS game!

The Nintendogs arrival at HMV is the stores' first ever early morning launch and the first time dogs have been allowed in store - breaking the tradition of midnight store openings to open its doors to pooches across the capital taking their breakfast time walk.

Tim Ellis, HMV Head of Games, commented: "There's been a real buzz around this release for some time now and many of our stores have been inundated with customer enquiries. It has wide player appeal, which will make it a perfect gift item and a big seller for us all the way through to Christmas.

"HMV feels a natural affinity towards this title given that our own company mascot is Nipper the dog. Call us 'barking mad', but we're really excited about hosting the official Nintendogs UK launch at our Oxford Street Games Department on October 7th, when Nipper will be joined in-store by lots of his canine friends."

Click onto for all of the most up-to-date official information on Nintendo.

What is 'Nintendogs"?

Available exclusively for the Nintendo DS handheld console, "Nintendogs" is a brand new way to play and develops the concept of the virtual pet by adding a whole new dimension of interaction. Players can actually touch and speak to their dog, which will in turn react realistically to this attention. This interaction is unlike any other seen before on a games console. "Nintendogs" is an ideal pet for people who can't own a real dog, it makes no mess, will never die and definitely won't moult all over your sofa!

"Nintendogs" will come in three different packages - Labrador Retriever, Miniature Dachshund and Chihuahua - each with six different breeds of puppies to begin with, giving a total of eighteen breeds to choose. Each breed will have a litter of three different puppies to choose from, giving players a chance to pick the sex and characteristics of their puppy.

Since its launch in Japan, the Japanese have been going barking mad for "Nintendogs" - so much so that sales of the Nintendo DS console have rocketed to five times the average amount during the Nintendogs launch week. In the US, the game racked up 250,000 sales in its first week - making it the fastest selling new franchise ever.

It could be the best £30 you've ever spent.

For further information, please contact Stephanie Moses or Simon Watts at the Nintendo press office on 020 7307 3103

Notes to editors:

About Nintendo

Nintendo Co., Ltd of Kyoto, Japan, is the acknowledged worldwide leader in the creation of interactive entertainment. To date, Nintendo has sold more than 2 billion video games worldwide and more than 336 million hardware units globally, creating such industry icons as Mario® and Donkey Kong and launched franchises like The Legend of Zelda® and Pokémon. Nintendo manufactures and markets hardware and software for its popular home video game systems, including the Nintendo 64, NINTENDO GAMECUBE, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and Game Boy - the world's best-selling video game system which has sold over 190 million units. As a wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of Europe, based in Grossostheim, Germany, was established in 1990 and serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in Europe.

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