Nintendo estimated to have sold more than 600,000 Wii consoles at launch

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Chicago (IL) - Nintendo had no problem getting rid of its first batch of its Wii gaming console. According to media reports, U.S. buyers snapped up about 600,000 devices within a few minutes after launch. Nintendo promised to follow up with 400,000 more consoles until the end of the year.

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The least expensive of the three third generation gaming machines had a smashing start: At least if we believe NexGen wars, a website that tracks game console sales, Nintendo had sold more than 667,000 Wii consoles by Monday noon, more than double of what Sony was able to sell of its Playstation 3, which was estimated to have sold about 259,000 units initially and will remain in very limited supply until the second quarter of next year.

Microsoft, which has a one-year lead over its two competitors, has sold about 7.1 million Xbox 360 units so far.

While Nintendo had a much more generous launch allocation for the Wii available than Sony of its PS3, the bright white device still sold out within minutes. More than 1000 people were waiting in line at the main launch store, the Times Square location of Toys R Us. The average electronics store reportedly had between 60 and 100 Wiis available, while the PS3 was limited to less than 40 at large Best Buy locations and five to ten units at other retailers.

Ebay sales for the Wii have been brisk after launch, but are lacking the pricing dynamics of the PS3, which reached prices of more than $10,000 in the hours after launch. By Monday noon, there were 30,000 Wii consoles and accessories for sale through the online auction site. Including one or two games, Wiis were changing hands for about $300 and $400. Playstation 3 sales have cooled down considerably, with 60 GB models currently selling in the $1100 price range and 20 GB versions ending up at about $700.

Wii launched with game 20 titles. Nintendo said that the portfolio will increase by 13 by the end of the year.

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