For those who weren't able to guarantee a Wii pre-order at Toys R Us, GameStop, or EB Games retail locations, the console will be making its first large-scale online availability as GameStop.com and EBGames.com will offer Wii pre-orders tomorrow evening.
According to an e-mail sent out to EBGames/GameStop newsletter subscribers, pre-orders for the Wii will go live "Thursday evening (CST)" on the store Web sites, but unlike other pre-order offers that have already come and gone from retail outlets, EBGames and GameStop are requiring online pre-order customers to commit to buy a huge package of additional merchandise.
"You'll get the best games, accessories and more in one convenient package delivered right to your door - all for under $699 plus tax and handling," it says in the e-mail. Or, in other words, consumers who want to pre-order the Wii from the online store will also need to purchase $450 in games and accessories, nearly tripling the purchase price compared to if the store offered to just sell the Wii console by itself.
Last month, GameSpot and EBGames retail locations offered a limited amount of Wii pre-orders, without forcing bundle requirements, which sold out in less than 24 hours. The bundle package is reminiscent of last year's Xbox 360 release, when several stores either offered pre-orders only with a pre-set bundle of a handful of games and accessories, or demanded such a requirement from customers on the date of the launch.