On the eve of the launch of the Wii in the UK, a report from British trade paper MCV
has corroborated earlier reports of limited quantities of the console within the region, with several outlets opting to sell the Wii from day one rather than offer any pre-order options or incentives.
Among those retail chains foregoing any pre-order activities for the upcoming launch are Wal-Mart affiliate ASDA, as well as major toy outlet Toys R Us, both of which plan to open their doors tomorrow morning with all on hand Wii units up for sale.
ASDA games buyer Asda Sanjay Kapoor told MCV, “As we’ve decided to sell from day one rather than using a pre-order system, we’re going to see just how manic customers are for Wii on launch day,” adding, “From what they’ve told us, we could easily sell ten times more than our allocation.”
Another unnamed independent retailer in North London echoed the reasoning behind the choice to go without a pre-order system, noting, “We’re getting them in by hook or by crook, that’s all I can say. If we ran a pre-order system, we’d not only run the risk of letting our best customers down, but we’d miss out on the local publicity that comes from the massive queues we’ll see at midnight.”
Consumer anticipation for the Wii within the region has also been felt online as well. Pre-orders for the Wii were earlier offered
by the UK arm of major online shopping site Amazon, though the site's available allocations of the Wii were sold out just minutes after pre-orders opened.
With the UK branch of Nintendo staging its official launch at the Oxford Street, London HMV, the BBC is reporting
that gamers began lining up at the location as early as Tuesday to procure the console. The official launch party will begin at 11pm GMT, with sports celebrities Ian Wright, Jodie Kidd, Pat Cash and Ricky Hatton reportedly on hand to play Wii Sports with attending gamers.