Wii made its highly anticipated debut across Europe on Friday 8th December, with thousands of people desperate to get their hands on Nintendo’s new console. As the must-have product for the festive season Wii was an instant hit. Attracting vast crowds and selling out in stores all over Europe in just a matter of hours, a breathtaking 325,000 units were sold in the first two days making it the fastest selling home console in history.
Demand for Wii has been so great that shops all over Europe had large queues forming outside for up to three days before the launch and hundreds of shops opened their doors at midnight on launch day to allow gamers to get their hands on Wii. After just one weekend on sale, shops across Europe sold out of Wii consoles and daily shipments are now arriving across Europe to replenish stock.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, proved to be a favourite for avid gamers, with 240,000 copies snapped up over launch weekend in Europe, representing 74% of all hardware purchasers. Wii Play was also a big hit with over 50% of people buying the game (which includes a Wii Remote) along with their Wii console.
Laurent Fischer, Marketing Director for Nintendo Europe commented:
“Wii has become an overnight success in Europe with people of all ages rushing out to get their hands on the console. Even at this early stage it is clear that Wii is delivering on its promise to expand the gaming market, with a uniquely diverse audience all keen to experience the sensation for themselves.
For those who were unable to buy Wii during the launch weekend, rest assured more stock is already on its way and we are doing everything possible to ensure that a steady supply of Wii units is shipped to stores across Europe throughout December and into 2007.”
Commenting on the launch Tim Ellis, Head of Games, HMV UK said: “"The demand for Wii has been truly amazing, and the official launch at our Oxford Street store was one of the biggest events we've ever staged there. HMV has received a huge amount of customer pre-orders - beyond anything we've ever seen before, including from family shoppers as well as dedicated Nintendo gamers. This suggests that while Wii is obviously one of the must-have items this Christmas, it also has the potential to appeal to a huge mainstream audience over the longer-term."
Wii mania in Europe follows the phenomenal success of Nintendo’s console in the Americas and Japan, where over a million units have been sold in just three weeks. In the Americas, where the console launched on the 19th of November, 600,000 consoles were sold in the first 8 days from launch. The Japanese launch saw similar success with around 400,000 units being shipped to stores for launch day and selling out during the first morning on sale. After just a few days of sales in Europe the Wii seems to be achieving similar success.
While Wii enjoyed a hugely successful launch Nintendo DS also had a record-breaking week, with 515,000 units sold across Europe last week, which is not only the highest weeks sales since the console’s launch but also the most any console across all formats has ever sold in a week! Nintendo’s handheld phenomenon has taken Europe by storm since its release in March 2005, with over 8.5 million consoles now sold across Europe.