Print 23 comment(s) - last by Davelo.. on Dec 12 at 11:37 AM

The queue outside GAME - Image courtesy CVG

Wii projected onto the HMV building - Image courtesy CVG

Celebs on site for Wii Tennis - Image courtesy CVG

After two days, Marwan Elgamal has his prize - Image courtesy EuroGamer

The Metropolitan Police show they care - Image courtesy CVG
Nintendo's newest machine of joy has officially spread across the globe

The Nintendo Wii is officially a worldwide phenomenon. The new console last week launched in most parts of Europe, Australia and New Zealand and was greeted by gamers in the similar fashion of the North American and Japanese launches.

No matter on which side of the ocean or hemisphere, gamers alike were lining up days in advance to ensure that they would go home with a Wii. “I can't believe it's real, I've been waiting for this for ages,” said Marwan Elgamal, 17, after he had queued for two days in London’s cold and rain. “It was definitely worth it, I'd do it again,”

Just as how Nintendo used Toys ‘R’ Us and EB Games in the U.S. as official launch stores, HMV was the official launch partner for the UK launch – but reports say that retailer GAME received the greatest number of units. Speaking with, GAME CEO Lisa Morgan said of the launch, “I have to say, I've just walked around the corner, and I think that's the biggest queue I've ever seen for any of the launches I've attended – and I've done every single one.”

Police were called in the night before the morning of launch to keep order over the hundreds of gamers who were lined up outside major shops. London Police went even further by proactively providing a written safety warning with every Wii console sold advising new owners of the dangers of owning one of the season’s most coveted items (see image lower right).

Regardless of territory, Wii consoles completely sold out on launch day. “It took just 10 minutes for all of them to go,” said a salesman in a Virgin Megastore in Paris.

Nintendo’s UK General Manager David Yarnton said that around 50,000 Wii units were sold within the first 12 hours of release. “We are delighted with the amazing response to Wii and that people of all ages and gaming experience are embracing the way that we are turning the industry on its head. With so many units sold it is great to see that people will be enjoying Wii with their families this Christmas,” Yarnton said.

As much as Yarnton is pleased to see people enjoying Wii with their families, there are even more who are frantically searching to put a console either next to their television sets or underneath the Christmas tree. Gamers, mothers, fathers, significant others and friends all throughout North American have been on the hunt for a Wii ever since launch day, only to find that even the millions of Wii promised by Nintendo to be not enough. The situation looks to be no different on the other side of the pond.

“We're hoping to get more deliveries next week. We haven't had anything confirmed as of yet so we don't want to over promise and under deliver, but as soon as we get stock it will be turned around and in the stores the following day,” said Morgan.

Gamers down under were in the hundreds outside an EB Games location in Melbourne, though the situation is a little bit different in the southern hemisphere. Australia has always been a tough market for Nintendo, and according to reports, some stores are not experiencing complete sellouts within minutes of launch. Some gamers were able to walk into stores without preorders and walk out with a Wii.

New Zealand, on the other hand, appears to experience the rapid sellouts that the rest of the world has. A store manager of a GamePlanet in Auckland believes that finding a Wii before Christmas would be near impossible. “It would be like finding a golden egg,” he said.

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Some people need to be arrested.
By Dfere on 12/11/06, Rating: 0
By encryptkeeper on 12/11/2006 10:09:53 AM , Rating: 4
Free enterprise man, no one is forcing them to buy the $500.00 dollar Wii. As for whether it's fair or not that someone wants to sell theirs for $500.00 bucks or not because it's, according to you, so much more available than the PS3, well you should read the article again. The Wii is the hottest thing on the market right now, and thus it is sold out. As for your Christmas tree idea, maybe you should take that money you would spend on one and give it to that family. It sounds like they need it more than you need it to shove up someone's ass.

RE: Some people need to be arrested.
By KaiserCSS on 12/11/2006 2:04:51 PM , Rating: 5
Number one: never mention anything about your girlfriend online. This will usually be misinterpreted as a sign of machismo/waving your e-penis around. Anonymity will not save you from getting bashed.

Number two: I'm having difficulty understanding your post. A lack of spellcheck does not excuse poor grammar.

Number three: I'm sorry that you don't have $500 to blow on a Wii bought on eBay for a family in need of finacial aid. I'm sure they would appreciate the gesture. Even at retail, you'd spend about $300. So, you're saying that your alternative idea is to spend $300 on a Christmas tree?

Number four: A Wii is hardly the only gift available for a group of 5 children, so when you said: "I am for a free market, but when it affects kids like this, I can't contain myself," I couldn't help but laugh. Nintendo doesn't supply every toy in existence (not yet anyway).

So take your sob story eleswhere and think about what you're saying before trying to find pity online.

RE: Some people need to be arrested.
By Live on 12/11/2006 8:08:59 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with most about what you write. But if you find the statement that somebody has a girlfriend so outrageous, you really need to get out more.

RE: Some people need to be arrested.
By Dfere on 12/12/2006 7:43:09 AM , Rating: 2
What is outrageous about my GF not wanting me to spend $500 on her nieces and nephews? And to the above poster about my GF and pity? Got a life?. If you disagree with my comment about the Grinches out there? Fine. Where does the rest of this hate come in? I knew I was going on a limb talking about people EBaying Wii's. And yes I am fed up. Get a life though, get your own girlfriend to hate.

RE: Some people need to be arrested.
By Dfere on 12/12/2006 7:47:17 AM , Rating: 2
Ohh and the GF comment only came in originally because it is a true sob story- and it is her relatives. Geesh.

Wii's in Australia
By nibennett on 12/11/2006 9:14:01 AM , Rating: 3
In Australia the extra controllers, nunchucks, and wii play game were sold out within hours of launch as stores didn't get the shippment of these that they expected, but people can still walk in to some stores and pick them up.

RE: Wii's in Australia
By nibennett on 12/11/2006 9:15:08 AM , Rating: 2
I ment that the console's were still available.

For real
By jonnybradley on 12/11/2006 8:54:36 AM , Rating: 2
Is that letter for real? Not saying that the Met wouldn't do something like this but when since have they used terms like "bad guys", sounds like somthing out of a childrens story.

oh and that botom line looks funny....

RE: For real
By Mazzer on 12/11/2006 10:42:57 AM , Rating: 2
As you said it is like a children's story, the console is very much an everybody kind of system and there might be some younger people there to buy one and you probably don't want to induce panic by saying that you might be brutally murdered.

I am ecstatic for Nintendo and their success, i skipped over the Gamecube for the Xbox last time around and all I hear around campus is people saying nothing but good things about the Wii. I will definitely pick it up next Christmas or even over this coming summer.

Wii didn't sell out in New Zealand
By LostBoyNZ on 12/11/2006 4:03:03 PM , Rating: 2
Eh? What's this about it selling out in New Zealand? The Wii hasn't, it's still available in stores, it's still advertised in electronic store mailers etc.

By encryptkeeper on 12/11/2006 4:56:41 PM , Rating: 2
Just because they advertise an item doesn't mean a retailer has it. That's the first thing you learn about the way big box retailer's advertise.

Clear proof of a manipulated generation
By cornfedone on 12/11/06, Rating: -1
RE: Clear proof of a manipulated generation
By bldckstark on 12/11/2006 12:22:15 PM , Rating: 2
My aunt walked into Wal-Mart last week and asked if she could buy a Wii. The guy behind the counter laughed at her, then said, "no, but I can sell you a PS3". He had 4 of them sitting there. No Wii's, but 4 PS3's. Sony may be in real trouble.....

By encryptkeeper on 12/11/2006 12:45:18 PM , Rating: 3
You know what, I imagined that could happen but I didn't REALLY think it was possible. But you're right, Sony is in real trouble.

RE: Clear proof of a manipulated generation
By Samus on 12/11/2006 1:55:15 PM , Rating: 1
same thing happened to me. i walked into an eb 45 minutes after 60 wii's were delivered and all were gone. that's more than a wii sold a minute. they had two ps3 60gb's sitting behind the counter.

By Davelo on 12/12/2006 11:37:00 AM , Rating: 3
I wanted to get my kids a wii for Christmas. I went to a few stores and they are all sold out. When you ask the pimple faced geeks who staff the electronics dept about them, they get real smug and tell you that you need to line up outside the store every morning in the freezing cold waiting for the store to open to even have a chance at the priviledge of handing over $300 for one. I told them "No thanks".

I went to an EB Games store and went up to the counter and the guy looks at me before I even uttered a word and said "Nintendo Wii"? I said "yes, how did you know"? He said "Any who comes in here that I haven't seen before is looking for Wiis".

By UsernameX on 12/11/2006 2:47:25 PM , Rating: 4
Ya gotta wonder how these folks can even get thru life if their world revolves around a Wii, Xbox, cellphone, Ipod, etc. Is it any wonder the world has more social problems including crime, when we have generations of socially challenged people?

Just the same way "these folk" got through life generations before them. Social problems? I beg to differ, it has created new social trends. People who play video games, listen to ipods, and talk on cellphones all day are part of a new trend. It's not a bad thing it's just something you have to look past. Crime spawns from every aspect of social well being. Sure you will find crime in video games and cell phones, but you find it in music, alcohol, and religion.

By Hoser McMoose on 12/11/2006 3:15:08 PM , Rating: 3
Speak for yourself. In many areas of the world crime rates have dropped quite significantly. Crime rates in the US are noticeably lower than their peaks in the 1980's (, while in the UK violent crime is down over 40% since 1995 ( Canada's violent crime rate peaked in the mid-70s and has dropped pretty consistently since then ( Probably you would find the same thing if you looked at Australia, New Zealand, Japan, etc.

With relatively few exceptions this generation has FAR fewer social problems than any previous generation.

By tuteja1986 on 12/11/2006 4:56:37 PM , Rating: 2
Wii can be still bought in Australia , i have seen few retailer still have stock like the JB hifi in Sydney, townhall.

By CheesePoofs on 12/11/2006 5:06:24 PM , Rating: 1
Not all of us are obsessed.

-a 17 year old without a any new console, cell phone, or ipod.

RE: Clear proof of a manipulated generation
By obeseotron on 12/11/2006 6:16:51 PM , Rating: 2
Can't speak to any worldwide trends, but crime rates are significantly lower in the United States than they were several decades ago.

By Wwhat on 12/11/2006 11:12:31 PM , Rating: 1
Documentation? or are you making this up as you go along.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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