Online retailer Amazon UK opened to preorders for the Nintendo Wii this morning, 21 November — and sold out in just 10 minutes. When CNET.co.uk checked the site at 9.25am, preorders were not open. When we refreshed at 9.30am, the site was offering the Wii, with the Wii Sports games compilation, and Wiimote and Nunchuk controllers for £179.99, which is the recommended retail price.
By 9.40am, the site said, “We are currently unable to offer this item.”
Amazon had stated it would only be offering preorders for the same number of consoles it had been allocated for launch day, 8 December — meaning if you managed to snag a preorder, you should be guaranteed a Wii. Only one console was allowed per customer so that “as many of our customers as possible can enjoy a Wii console this Christmas,” Amazon said in a press release.
For a surcharge on orders to the UK, the console will arrive on the launch date, Amazon said. Games and accessories will be sent separately from the console, and “most launch titles” should also be delivered by 8 December. The company echoes Nintendo’s advice to customers by suggesting people “order early, because the Wii console will be in very short supply” — prophetic indeed.
Nintendo has pledged, however, to have 4 million Wiis in the hands of gamers’ across the world by the end of the year. The Wii launched in the US on Sunday.