Wii makes international debut with weekend launch in Japan

Posted by Mark Raby

Kyoto (Japan) - The Wii made its retail appearance in Nintendo's home town of Japan on Saturday, nearly selling out the allocated 400,000 units, nearly pushing the Wii over the one million mark worldwide.

Unlike in the US, where the Wii launched just two days after the PS3, Japanese gamers had a chance to settle down in between the two launches. The PS3 made its debut there on November 13. Both systems virtually sold out in both countries within hours of their respective launches, although Nintendo supplied many more Wiis than Sony did with the PS3, due to production problems with the Blu-ray component of Sony's next-gen system.

Nintendo is also expected to have additional shipments of Wiis ready in time for Christmas. It's questionable whether or not Sony will be able to do the same with the PS3.

The Japanese launch marks the second major market for the Wii. Australia and Europe, the remaining two, will get the console on December 7 and December 8, respectively. Sony had to push back the PS3 debut to those countries to next year.