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Last Updated: Friday, 8 December 2006, 16:44 GMT
Wii shortages frustrating gamers
Wii launch
Some gamers enjoyed a Wii success story
Shortages of Nintendo Wii consoles around Europe have left some gamers who pre-ordered the new machine frustrated.

Nintendo, which has already launched the machine in the US and Japan, said it expected to sell out of Wiis on the first day of sales.

More than four million Wiis will be shipped globally this year, and 50,000 were sold in the UK in 12 hours.

BBC News has been e-mailed by gamers disappointed that pre-orders for the machine have not been fulfilled.

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.

Simon Ball from Wales e-mailed the BBC News website to say he had failed to receive his ordered Wii.

Successful shoppers outside a Tokyo store

He said: "I pre-ordered the Nintendo Wii from Play.com on 15 September along with some software.

"I have been informed today that it is unlikely my order will be fulfilled before Christmas. Incredibly they have dispatched the game we ordered to accompany the console."

'Not shipped enough'

Claire Inglesby from Liverpool wrote: "I pre-ordered the console in November from Woolworths website for my son's Christmas present.

"I received an e-mail today informing me that as Nintendo had not shipped enough I might not receive my order.

Game midnight launch
Many shops opened at midnight for the launch

"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."

David Yarnton, general manager, Nintendo UK, said: "We are doing everything we can do to meet demand throughout Christmas and the New Year period."

A spokesman for Woolworths said there were problems getting stock from Nintendo.

The UK chain has said it expects to fulfil all pre-orders for the machine by next Tuesday or Wednesday.

He said: "Demand has far outstripped supply and we are delighted to have been able to secure a significant amount of consoles for our customers before Christmas."

Woolworths were not able to confirm if they would receive any more stock once pre-orders had been met.

Currys, PC World and Dixons have said they will deal with outstanding pre-orders in "strict chronological order".

Nintendo Wii
Nintendo has warned people to be careful with the Wiimote

In a statement from the retail group, it said: "When we reached the point in the pre-ordering process when demand exceeded anticipated supply, we made it clear to any customers choosing to join the list after that date there were no guarantees that we would be able to fulfil their orders prior to Christmas."

Rob Lowe, UK product manager for Wii, said: "There is a good chance it will sell out on Friday.

"Judging by the feedback we have had from the retailers I would say you would be lucky to get one on Saturday," he said.

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

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.

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


Is the Nintendo Wii a revolution in gaming? Will it appeal to people who have never played videogames before? Did you pre-order one? Have you had problems picking up it up? Send us your comments and experiences using the form below.

Here are a selection of your comments that we have received:

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




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