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Nintendo Wii starting to ship to UK buyers?

Console sells out in Japan

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Nintendo's Wii console may already be en route to some European pre-order customers ahead of this coming Friday's launch day, even as - surprise, surprise - the new games machine sold out in Japan following its launch there this weekend.

One Reg Hardware reader told us today he'd received an email from Woolworths confirming the dispatch of a pre-ordered Wii, though at the same time warning that he should allow seven days for delivery - timed, presumably, to ensure delivery on or after 8 December, the day Wii officially launches in the UK.

Has anyone else over here received a similar message from this or other suppliers?

We've heard from sources close to Nintendo that the consoles might be arriving in the UK on 1 December, but with no indication until today that they might be heading out almost immediately to buyers.

Japan, meanwhile, was host to the usual queues as pre-order customers and on-the-day hopefuls lined up for the chance to collect one of the 400,000 Wiis Nintendo had previously said it intended to ship into its native land for the launch.

Reports suggest some stores split their allocations, with some going to pre-order customers and others going to new buyers on a ticketed basis. Lining up very early - the previous night, in other words - appears to have been the most successful tactic employed to secure a Wii on day one. Other stores sold on a first come, first served basis.

Nintendo has indicated it will ship a further 600,000 Wiis into Japan by the end of the year, bringing the total to 1m units - a quarter of the 4m it expects to ship worldwide before the start of 2007. ®

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