Britain braces for Wii launch

Official launch to take place at HMV Oxford Street, London; other events in Dublin, Birmingham, and Edinburgh. Company says only limited stock available.

For Brits who didn't manage to preorder a Wii, Nintendo's next-gen console, there is still hope--many stores have a percentage of their stock put aside for those willing to wait in line. However, the numbers of consoles available are rumoured to be low, meaning that many will likely go home empty-handed.

The Wii is to be released in Europe tomorrow, December 8, and some stores will be open to sell the console at the stroke of midnight. Some fans, eager for units, have been camping out on Oxford Street in London's premier shopping area since December 5.

This will be the first European console launch in over a year, since the Xbox 360 was released, and with Sony's PlayStation 3 delayed until March, the Wii is bound to be on many a shopper's Christmas list.

In an e-mail to customers who had preordered the Wii, Woolworths commented, "Nintendo has only shipped part of its promised stock for Nintendo Wii to all retailers within the UK." The message went on to reassure people that they would, however, receive deliveries of their preordered console before Christmas.

Nintendo has promised a "steady stream" of Wii replenishment in the run-up to Christmas, with plans to ship 4 million consoles worldwide, but also advised people to preorder to avoid disappointment. Preorders on Amazon UK closed after just 10 minutes, and orders for other retailers also sold out fast.

The official Nintendo launch event will take place at the HMV branch at 150 Oxford Street, London, and starts at 11 p.m. tonight. Those waiting for a Wii there will have the chance to play Wii Sports against celebrities including ex-Arsenal and England footballer Ian Wright, model and presenter Nell McAndrew, ex-Wimbledon champion Pat Cash, and boxer Ricky Hatton. Nintendo UK general manager David Yarnton will also be present.

There will one other event in London, at Game's Oxford Street branch. It will kick off at around 10 p.m. Music, entertainment, competitions, and Wii pods to play on are planned. At midnight, there will be a countdown. Company reps told GameSpot that there will be extra consoles allocated for those waiting in line, as well as enough consoles to fulfill all preorders.

Game's Dawson Street, Dublin, branch will also be open this evening.

Gamestation will be holding events at its Birmingham New Street and Edinburgh branches this evening--parties kick off at 10 p.m. with DJs spinning tracks, models serving food, and a "guest appearance" from Mario.

More than 200 other Gamestation locations across the country will be open at midnight for customers to buy the console. The company advises consumers to call individual stores for details. Some branches will have extra stock as well as those allocated for preorders.

Woolworths, Currys, Toys "R" Us, and PC World have all confirmed that their stores won't be opening at midnight. A spokesperson for Currys said, "We have no specific plans for extra promotion of the launch as there's so much excitement around the Wii already." Virgin has cancelled an event that it had planned for its Oxford Street branch.

The weather in London, which could dampen spirits considerably, can only be described as inclement, with heavy rain and strong winds. In Kensal Rise in North West London this morning, six people were hurt after a tornado ripped off rooftops, smashed windows, and ripped trees out of the ground. The forecast for the evening, according to the Met Office, is "severe gales." Severe weather warnings have been issued.

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93 comments
Scammeleon
Scammeleon

fortnox2005, exactly the same thing has happened with Currys stores, with them saying Nintendo haven't sent and Wiis to them... (Or they left it too long before ordering). When it comes to stuff like this I go to the Game stores as early as possible, as at least they know what they're doing.

fortnox2005
fortnox2005

I live in England, I pre-ordered a Wii from Argos and heard from them on wednesday saying that it won't arrive, because "Nintendo haven't shipped them", since then I've found out that they're apparently held up in customs, and not being let into the UK. (Some people already have them because their shops ordered Wii's earlier and have already recieved shipments) Anyone know when they're going to be getting out of customs? Argos said they might be here by next week. But then I don't trust Argos one bit.

PaperLink64
PaperLink64

How long until we get Brits tossing Wiimotes into TVs, like the rest of us?

-MuGgZ-
-MuGgZ-

wow ps3 delayed till march, meaning wii is the only nex gen over there selling starting tomarow ( except the 360 but thats been there since last year) lithus: "I see no reason for such dramatics when concerning the Wii. Just because it has a loyal fanbase, doesn't mean its got royal hardware." Wether theres hardcore gamers or loyal nintendo gamers over there or not its a family friendly system that promises fun and good games, its going to sell out regardless.

lithus
lithus

Britian "braces"? Um, unless Germany is gonna carpet bomb them again...I see no reason for such dramatics when concerning the Wii. Just because it has a loyal fanbase, doesn't mean its got royal hardware.

DangerDave
DangerDave

preoprderd mine from gamestation got a call telling me not getting one tommorow but will have it by the end of next week bit gutted but gives me more time to save more money for more games

eric2mrng
eric2mrng

its finally out.. im gettin my pre ordered wii at game in canary wharf after uni 2mo.. cant wait to play zelda

jarule2002zw
jarule2002zw

going to get mine in woking after school 2moz shud be bloody brill, l am trading in 6 games to get zelda l really shud have saved up but hey l have a life

puppiemaster
puppiemaster

G_W_X WROTE This Wii little paragraph can spoil everything... The weather in London, which could dampen spirits considerably, can only be described as inclement, with heavy rain and strong winds. In Kensal Rise in North West London this morning, six people were hurt after a tornado ripped off rooftops, smashed windows, and ripped trees out of the ground. The forecast for the evening, according to the Met Office, is "severe gales." Severe weather warnings have been issued. I'm only 85 miles from London, was sunny here all day and a nice clear night. Was probably just god pissed at the congestion charge, him and his 4 X 4

omnislash_13
omnislash_13

Ordered all of mine early and i got an e-mail on tuesday telling me that it had all ben dispatched and will be with me for launch day morning!

Lilac_Benjie
Lilac_Benjie

There have been tones of Wii adverts in the UK. I saw a Nintendo advert after Eurotrash of all things. They all seem to be between 10pm and 12pm. Good move Ninty.

Geo115
Geo115

I work at a gamestop in Rep. Ireland, and we've got enough to fulfill all our pre-orders and sate some of the hoardes!

littleman00
littleman00

Have fun Brits. And hope you guys aren't throwing your Wii-motes into your TV's like some of us in the States are.

Septimus
Septimus

Had mine yesterday, so far, fantastic :D

JDSPORTS0
JDSPORTS0

i have mine apparently guaranteed on launch day at GAME in Lewisham

wii_sean_wii
wii_sean_wii

i cnt w8 4 d wii 2 cum out i hope my parents get me 1 for xmas

G_W_X
G_W_X

This Wii little paragraph can spoil everything... The weather in London, which could dampen spirits considerably, can only be described as inclement, with heavy rain and strong winds. In Kensal Rise in North West London this morning, six people were hurt after a tornado ripped off rooftops, smashed windows, and ripped trees out of the ground. The forecast for the evening, according to the Met Office, is "severe gales." Severe weather warnings have been issued.

Poison_Me_Rum
Poison_Me_Rum

I received a phone call from Game yesterday asking what games and accessories I wanted putting to one side! I thought that was some good service! Hope the weather doesn't cancel any of the events, as I'm sure they'll all be awesome! :) You can't trust the weater in the UK. Not one bit. ;)

acu02151
acu02151

me and my shotgun are going hunting... nah only kidding I hope anyone who is out there braving the cold (and it is damn cold) gets their mucky paws on a wii.

WPack911
WPack911

Well Europe Nintendo did not give yuou the shaft like Sony did, so get out there and show them you appreciate that.

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

oo heavy rain and winds= only fanatics will come. at least nobldy will get shot though

daniscool
daniscool

Mine arrived today (a day early, thanks to gamestation), And ive been playing Wii Sports for the past few hours. My arm feels like its about to fall off.

Chris_Barton
Chris_Barton

I know the dude who is first in line in that.

SpareJesus
SpareJesus

edubuccaneer Good luck to all the guys at U.K in getting their system! Thanks, Edubuccaneer! =D I have parental units going in for the system, but I won't be getting it 'till Christmas. GAME phoned my house yesterday night to assure us that my unit's been put aside with a selection of games to choose from.

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

Good to know everything is on schedule.

coolgamer6
coolgamer6

I will be getting mine for christmas

edubuccaneer
edubuccaneer moderator

Good luck to all the guys at U.K in getting their system!

Lord_Regnier
Lord_Regnier

Ian Wright!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ian Wright!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D:D:D:D:D:D:D

Guildbean
Guildbean

Im getting one tomorrow so im all good. Going down between my school lessons to get it as I CBA to wait till midnight freezing my gonads off for a Wii. It rocks and all but im sure they wont be missing me too much. Besides, I need an education and my mates wont know im gone till its too late *laughs half heartedly* GAME messed me about a bit but im getting one non-the-less. I hope you all enjoy yours.

Lord_Regnier
Lord_Regnier

Ian Wright!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ian Wright!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D:D:D:D:D:D:D

TeraTricker
TeraTricker

Hmm... I'll probably get one somewhere next week, it's all sold out for tomorrow in The Netherlands...

hunty91
hunty91

I preordered mine on November 16th, can't see myself getting one tomorrow, but I'll head on down and give it a go :D

agent_029
agent_029

I live in the 4th biggest city in Sweden, Uppsala. At the biggest electronicstore there were only 7 people camping outside..9 hours before release!! but maybe they will come later...people here in sweden are so lame..:)

XlpranksterlX
XlpranksterlX

its going to be a while before they can get PS3s so the Wii will probably fare very well

Benshki
Benshki

Picking mine up tomoz morning =D BRING ON ZELDA!

Zor4fins
Zor4fins

Yeah the weather in England at the moment is horrible. Rain, freezing gale force winds and more rain. Been like this for ages. Even if I was getting a Wii this Xmas I would never have time to play it, I have a LOT of homework to do over Christmas, its rediculous :( I think I deserve a homework free holiday at least. 'At the "stroke" of midnight. LOL. GOLD.' Exactly how is that funny? That's how we talk, get over it. 'Y'all howdy partner' indeed. 'Like, totally awesome rad dude!'. Ok I'm done :P

j_vega07
j_vega07

erlier I said Good luck now i am saying good bye cuz the future Wii owners probably wont post for a while jejejejeje

grayoldwolf
grayoldwolf

Ah, good old British weather. The reason I moved to California.

Smartiepants
Smartiepants

I was watching BBC News 24 channel earlier when they were talking about the Wii launch tomorrow - they had a so-called "expert" on who said "Nintendo have a golden opportunity this Christmas because IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO FIND A PLAYSTATION 3 IN THE SHOPS RIGHT NOW." Mmm, that could be because it doesn't launch here until MARCH NEXT YEAR you IDIOT!!! Where do they find these people?

rick_2k
rick_2k

T minus 3 hours!!! Cant wait to pick up my console and play at midnight.

Zor4fins
Zor4fins

Bloody typical - Woolworth's isn't opening at midnight. Not that I mind :P I'm willing to wait for my Wii until some half-decent games come out. What's the point of going to all the hassle of buying a Wii just for Zelda and some other half-arsed effort? Better to wait for some classics to arrive.

grafkhun
grafkhun

man the weather could ruin everything but i hope mother nature waits a bit longer for those in Europe. people were waiting since december 5!!!!! wow thats insane.

blacktorn
blacktorn

I hope another tornado doesn't come and take off with all those wii's lol :P

shadystxxx
shadystxxx

My wii is on it's way by courier, i got my pre-order from amazon and paid for express delivery so i knew it would be coming over night, 3 hours ago it just passed through milton keynes according to the tracking, i have red steel,zelda,wii play,rayman and super monkey bbb all sitting here next to my pile of 360 games they games arrived today. This is my first nintendo console ever, well my sis used to have the nes,snes while i got the master system,mega drive and amiga so i still played nintendo consoles but i have never played a zelda game and i have read through the instruction book 5 times im that excited. I have a wii party planned for friday night, my girlfriend has a virgin v party on friday so i decided to have a wii-party for the lads. I cannot wait for the yellow & green van to pull up and bring me my wii, it's like being a kid at christmas. it's going to be a marathon wii-weekend. Happy gaming to all other lucky soon to be wii owners.

CMakaCreative
CMakaCreative

I'm still hunting for one here in the states (read my adventures in my blog). It's pretty hard to find, even find extra controllers has become a pain to find. So far I got everything I need except the damn system, which, if I don't find it before Christmas, everything is going back. I got a controller, nunchuck, memory card, & Zelda. Now Nintendo just gotta give my local gamestop enough so I can get my system & my Christmas list is done.