Amazon UK: Wii-less in 10 minutes

European gamers had to be quick this morning, when the online retailer sold out of preorders of Nintendo's new console almost as soon as it offered them.


Online retailer Amazon UK opened preorders for the Wii this morning, November 21--and sold out in just 10 minutes. When GameSpot checked at 9:25 a.m., preorders were not open. At 9:30 a.m., the site was offering the Wii, with the Wii Sports games compilation, and the Wiimote and Nunchuk controllers for £179.99 (around $342), the recommended retail price.

By 9:40 a.m., Amazon UK proclaimed, "We are currently unable to offer this item." A short while later, the Web site confirmed, "We've sold out of our initial allocation of Nintendo Wii consoles." The company also posted a FAQ for those who were unlucky in preordering a console the first time round.

It advised those desperate for a Wii that it would be receiving more stock from Nintendo before the official European launch day of December 8, and once it had received the next batch, it would start taking preorders again. Gamers could sign up for e-mail notifications so they would be alerted when the new consoles come in.

Amazon had stated it would only be offering preorders for the same number of consoles it had been allocated for launch day--meaning if you snagged a preorder, you should be guaranteed a Wii. Only one console was allowed per customer.

On Sunday, the Wii launched in the US, where prior preorders for the console also quickly sold out. Nintendo has promised it will provide a "steady stream" of the next-gen console and that 4 million Wiis will be available worldwide before the end of the year, 2 million of which would be headed to North America.

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