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Last Updated: Friday, 8 December 2006, 12:31 GMT
Wii's debut for European gamers
Wii consoles on production line, Nintendo
More than four million Wiis are being shipped globally
Nintendo's Wii console went on sale at midnight on Thursday in Europe, but some gamers are disappointed that pre-orders have not been fulfilled.

Nintendo expects the console to sell out on day one and more than four million Wiis will be shipped globally this year.

The first console in the UK was sold officially to 17-year-old student Marwan Elgamal, from London.

Many gamers have e-mailed the BBC News website complaining of stock shortages.

Mr Elgamal said: "I am a die-hard Nintendo boy.

"This is the first time that you can pick one up, so I just had to be here.

"I have been camping out here, but at the same time some of my friends have been camping out waiting for me to get my hands on it."

One of the unlucky gamers e-mailed BBC News to say he had been disappointed when he went to collect his console.

"I pre-ordered a Wii from Currys," said CJ Anderson from Kent, in the UK.

"But when I went to pick it up, I found the store covered in posters telling me that they (as in all Curry's shops) had received none from Nintendo and that their allocation had been reallocated to another store."

He was offered and accepted a refund.

More than 1,200 Wiis have gone on sale on online auction site eBay in the UK within hours of the launch.

The highest price for a console so far has been 500.

Nintendo is taking a different approach to rivals Sony and Microsoft - focusing on casual games and fun, family titles.

Remote control

The console costs 179 and includes a motion-sensitive controller shaped like a remote control.

The so-called Wiimote can be jabbed, swung, waved and turned to imitate a range of real-life motions that are represented on screen.

Successful shoppers outside a Tokyo store

Nintendo hopes that simplifying the control system will make games consoles less intimidating to non-gamers and more accessible and immersive for hardened players.

Woolworths gaming boss Gerry Berkley said: "The Nintendo Wii is already a runaway success and we expect tomorrow to be the busiest day of the year for gaming."

Gamers who have not pre-ordered a machine are unlikely to find many on sale in UK shops on Friday morning.


Jason Legg, head of events at HMV, warned that many games fans who had not pre-ordered their consoles could be disappointed.
Gamers are queuing in London

"There will be a very, very slim chance of picking one up on Friday morning," he said.

Response to the Nintendo Wii's release has been very positive among consumers and journalists.

Nintendo's different approach to gaming has won over many people and the launch has been generally problem-free - in contrast to Sony's PlayStation 3 launch which was hit by chronic stock shortages and reports of early teething problems.

'Too flimsy'

Many blogs have reported that the Wiimote strap is too flimsy and there are accounts of the remote flying out of hands and crashing into TV screens.

Nintendo Wii
Nintendo has warned people to be careful

Nintendo has sent an e-mail to customers with further advice on how to use the console's controller after reports of customers accidentally throwing the remote into television screens.

"Hold the remote securely and avoid excessive motion during game play. If your hands become moist, stop and dry your hands," the company recommended.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said of the problems: "We are investigating."

He added: "Some people are getting a lot more excited than we'd expected.

"We need to better communicate to people how to deal with Wii as a new form of entertainment."

Nintendo also cautioned players to stay at least three feet away from the TV and to make sure people and objects were safely outside their range of motion.

Your comments:

I pre-ordered my Wii from an online store a few months ago. A friend of mine had ordered his before me, from a different online store, and was advised recently that he wouldn't be getting one on release day. Thankfully the company I ordered with seems to have more stock. Mine has been despatched and I'm waiting for the delivery man to arrive with it any minute now!
Tom Rushton, Stoke on Trent

Pre-ordered a Wii from Curry's. Went to pick it up to find the store covered in posters telling me that they (as in all Curry's shops) had received nothing from Nintendo and that their allocation had been reallocated to another store. They offered me a refund or a wait until January. Took the refund.
CJ Anderson, Biggin Hill Kent

I have pre-booked a Wii from Oxford Street HMV, but have been told they only got 51 units to satisfy the pre-orders, but were also told 200 people who haven't pre-ordered can wait outside Oxford Street store and queue. A lot of students and people who don't have a full time job are laughing in the queue and there are so many on ebay for sale for nearly double the price. Why have Nintendo done this? People are making money out of these units by themselves. I hope I get mine before Christmas otherwise I will cancel my order. The bigger the company it seems the less they care about their loyal fans...who happen to have a life outside video games and can't queue up for two days.
Tim Warren, London

Having not pre-ordered a machine I was highly doubting being able to pick one up before Christmas. I took a chance and headed down to the local 24-hour Tesco. I arrived there at 7pm and was 18th in the queue, with a total of 28 machines and a limited number of games available. My biggest thanks go to the staff at Tescos in Wath upon Dearne. They provided seating, hot drinks, and it was easily the most organised, efficient and top class service I have received in a long time. I left the store at 12:01 with a Wii and Wii sports, extra remote and Wii Play, for 210 all in. Top stuff.
Lee Hawksworth, Rotherham, UK

I pre-ordered with Game and successful collected it at midnight. I was just going to pick it up this lunchtime but the manager warned they "may" be short in accessories and games so I went down just in case. Got everything we needed and it is currently sitting at home waiting to be opened this evening when a party of invited people arrives. Very excited indeed.
Claire, Glasgow

I managed to pick one up without pre-ordering. A local shop had five non-pre-order consoles in stock; I arrived 30 minutes before it opened and was first in the queue. The smaller retailers are a Godsend!
Jamie Cole, Newcastle upon Tyne

I pre-ordered a Wii from Woolworths for delivery to my local store on 7th November. I was told it was despatched on 2nd December, and then nothing.... The store don't know, the customer service don't know. They have my money and they have supposedly sent it to the store, but it has taken six days and no joy. I am not quite sure where they are sending it from - but six days in this modern age to deliver a parcel in the UK is madness.
Mat Robinson, Bishops Stortford, Herts

My boyfriend pre-ordered his Wii online more that a month ago, and it never arrived today. He's very disappointed as he took the day off just to play it. It might come tomorrow, but the weekend is ruined already.
Amanda Harrigan, Dunfermline, Fife

I pre-ordered the console in November from Woolworths website, for my son's Christmas present, I received an email today informing me that as Nintendo had not shipped enough I might not receive my order. And yet, according to your news article Woolworths are preparing for a busy time ahead expecting today to 'be busiest day of the year' - charming! So the fact that I had the foresight to pre-order and not disappoint my son means very little as they obviously expect me to camp outside Woolworths for days on end. I will indeed remember to book extra time off work next year in order to do so!
Claire Inglesby, Liverpool

I ordered mine with Argos a while ago and was told that I will receive it on release date. On 5 December I spoke to Argos and again it was on its way, so far down the order on its way that I wasn't allowed to change the address it was to be delivered to but on 6 Dec I received a call to advise that they don't have enough. Now that's service for you. Merry Christmas from Argos.
Robert Cartwright, Preston

Players trying out the new-look console and its games

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