A Tale of Two Flagships: Nintendo and Sony in One Day!

New York is famous for flagship stores like Tiffany’s on Fifth Avenue and Macy’s on West 34th Street.

But as a nerdy child of the 80’s, I was interested in visiting two other flagships: Sony Wonder Technology Lab and Nintendo World.

Though each flagships encompassed its own whole world of wonder, they actually shared a zip code along a stretch of, advertising mecca and manufacturer of the popular conscience, Madison Avenue.

Walk of Fame

My first stop was Nintendo World. When I was a kid I subscribed to Nintendo Power and even sent them a Polaroid of myself (wearing two-tone neon, of course) standing in front of my TV and the final screen of Mario 2. That’s dedication.

Nintendo World

Nintendo World is two stories tall. The first story was filled with Pokemon and post-Pokemon stuff, which I couldn’t have cared less about. I climbed to the second floor where an even-younger generation played Dance Dance Revolution, yet another Nintendo invention I can’t relate to.

Dance Dancce Revolution

I finally realized I was old when, standing in front of a console with every Nintendo game ever loaded on it, my initial thought was “Eeewww, that controller is so greasy…”


Nintendo World did have a cool micro-museum that resembled my childhood bedroom with the all-golden NES cartridge of Zelda, the Powerglove, and R.O.B. (the robotic operating buddy).

Power Glove


Then there was the merchandising. Wow. One could really get used to the 8-bit lifestyle.

This wallet comes padded* (nerd joke).

Powe Pad Wallet

“I ‘Mario-ed’ New York” sounds like code for eating a meatball sub on the L Train without any pants.

I Mario NY

Metroid, ooooh, my pixels are getting hard!

Metroid Shirt

Princess Toadstool? She’s the Balm.

Princess Toadstool

Well, Nintendo was fun. But I was really looking forward to Sony, which wasn’t so much a store but a hands-on interactive experience called the Sony Wonder Technology Lab. From the outside, it looks like a primitive corporate Death Star.

Sony Deathstar

I went at an off time, sure…but I was the only visitor. I don’t think this place is doing that well.

When you start, you approach a computer terminal that wants to take your picture, fingerprint you, record your voice signature and more. I got freaked out by this invasion of privacy and decided to crunch my face up unrecognizably, call myself “Jose” and speak like an evil chipmunk. Wouldn’t you?

Meet Jose

As you walk through the Sony Wonder Technology Lab, you approach different displays and “sign-in” with the profile you created to demo some technology.

My first stop was the robot Armageddon display where I learned about the sensitive topic of robot Armageddon, which some parents are against.

But you know what I say: If the kids don’t learn about robot Armageddon when they’re young, they’ll just have to learn about it when it happens.

Robot Armageddon

This demo showed us how far we’ve come in game technology: Wow—Pong 2.


Finally, a certificate for Jose to put on the refrigerator. Mother will be pleased.

Certificate of Awesome


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