The launch of the Wii console on Saturday in Japan has been greeted with the expected crowds of eager customers, and reports of a rapid sell out of stock.
According to an Associated Press report, more than 3,000 people braved inclement weather to line up at a Tokyo branch of national electronics retailer Bic Camera, with reports of similar queues elsewhere in the capital and across the country.
An estimated 400,000 units of the console were made available on day one, with a further 1 million units planned before the end of the year in Japan. No reliable details of software sales have yet been made available, with Wii titles not due to appear in the weekly Media-Create charts until December 8th. Although The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
is expected to be one of the highest performers, as it has been in North America, Wii Sports
is not bundled with the console in Japan and may supplant it as the top selling game.
Nintendo of America recently announced
that it sold more than 600,000 Wii consoles in its first week on sale, now giving the console a worldwide installed userbase of over 1 million. In Japan alone the Wii surpassed the lifetime-to-date total of the PlayStation 3, whose limited stock has seen only around 160,000 unit sold so far. The Wii also exceeded the lifetime-to-date total of the Xbox 360, put at around 180,000 units after almost a year on sale.
Despite these initially positive results, Nintendo’s share price on the Japanese Nikkei stock exchange was down by 1.1 percent to ¥26,890 following the launch.