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About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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Europe Braces for Nintendo Wii Launch Tomorrow

by Rainier on Dec. 7, 2006 @ 11:05 a.m. PST

Excited shoppers are already forming queues outside shops across the continent to ensure they are among the first to own Nintendo’s much-anticipated new console, Wii, when it launches tomorrow.

To meet the exceptional customer demand, many stores across the UK will be opening their doors at midnight tonight. Nintendo UK has announced it will officially partner with HMV. The action kicks off from 11pm at HMV, 150 Oxford Street, London with the chance for everyone to come down and play launch game Wii Sports against top celebrities including Ian Wright, Nell McAndrew, Pat Cash and Ricky Hatton.

Wii is already shaping up to be the most hotly anticipated console launch ever seen in the UK with Amazon.co.uk recently revealing that pre-orders for Wii on its site ‘sold out’ within seven minutes of them being made available, making it the fastest-selling pre-order it has ever listed. In addition, retailers including Comet, Dixons and GAME have already announced that Wii is expected to be one of their top selling items this Christmas and demand is already expected to exceed supply.

Those getting there early enough in the queue will be lucky enough to get their hands on their very own Wii consoles, games and goodie bags just in time for Christmas. Stocks are limited so get there early to avoid disappointment.

With demand expected to exceed supply, Nintendo is doing everything possible to replenish stocks and ensure as many people as possible can purchase Wii for Christmas. To cope with the high demand Nintendo is shipping a staggering four million consoles by the end of 2006 and six million by March 2007 globally, with regular shipments arriving in stores through Christmas and into the New Year.

When released in America on 19th November Wii was an instant hit, selling-out almost everywhere within a matter of hours. In the first week since its launch over 600,000 consoles sold across the USA, roughly one per second. Wii launched in Japan on December 2nd and saw similar success with huge queues forming outside shops selling Wii all over the country. Around 400,000 Wii’s were shipped to retail in Japan for launch day and they were virtually all sold out on the morning of launch.

Gamers lucky enough to get a Wii for Christmas this year will be spoilt for choice with around 24 Wii games available before the end of the year, plus a further 36 Virtual Console games, which can be downloaded and stored on the console’s internal memory. When Wii launches across Europe it will come bundled with Wii Sports, a compilation of five games on one disc. Using Nintendo’s revolutionary motion sensitive controller, players can have the life-like experience of playing tennis, golf, baseball, bowling and boxing, all in the comfort of their own living room.

Among the huge selection of great games available at launch are The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Wii Play from Nintendo, as well as eagerly anticipated third-party offerings including Red Steel and Rayman Raving Rabbids from Ubisoft, Call of Duty 3 from Activision, Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz from SEGA and Need for Speed Carbon from EA.

The Wii console is available at the estimated retail price of around €249 (£179 in the UK). Included with every Wii console is one wireless Wii Remote, a Nunchuk, Wii Sports game, Stereo AV Cable and the sensor bar for Wii’s unique control system. Software is available at the estimated retail price of between 49 Euros and 59 Euros (£34 to £39 in the UK).

Additional controllers will retail at the estimated prices of: Wii Remote 39 Euros (£29 in UK), Nunchuk 19 Euros (£14 in UK) and the Classic Controller 19 Euros (£14 in UK).

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