Last week, UK gamers queued up on Oxford Street and outside shops around the country to get hold of Nintendo's latest console at its midnight launch. The Wii started selling at a rate of more than one console per second as Brits bought 50,000 of the units in the first 12 hours that it was available. Predictably, many of the Wiis have ended up on eBay, where they were selling at around £300 (around $590) at the time of writing, compared to the retail price of £179 (around $350).
Nintendo today announced that sales of the Wii hit the 325,000 mark in Europe after two days on sale, which the Mario factory claims makes it the "fastest selling home console in history." The Xbox 360, which was hampered by hardware shortages, launched with 300,000 units in Europe, and Sony's PlayStation Portable sold 185,000 units in its first week in the UK.
In the Americas, the Nintendo Wii sold 600,000 units within the first eight days of launch, and Japanese gamers snapped up around 400,000 consoles on its December 2 release in that territory.
Laurent Fischer, marketing director for Nintendo Europe, commented, "Wii has become an overnight success in Europe with people of all ages rushing out to get their hands on the console."
Fischer also sought to assure Europeans still looking for a console that their time would come, saying "more stock is already on its way and we are doing everything possible to ensure that a steady supply of Wii units is shipped to stores across Europe throughout December and into 2007."
The console's launch titles have also helped boost Nintendo's revenue. More than 240,000 copies of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess were sold in Europe on the launch weekend, which suggests almost 74 percent of gamers who bought the hardware also took a copy of Zelda home. Wii Play (which is bundled with a Wii Remote) was purchased by 50 percent of people who bought a Wii.
Nintendo's cheer wasn't just contained to its sales of the Wii. It has also released sales figures for the Nintendo DS today--515,000 units of the portable were sold across Europe last week, which the company claims is the "most any console across all formats has ever sold in a week."