Nintendo Wii's quiet Aussie launch

Matt Wendon of Forestville, Sydney, was the first customer to buy a Wii at EB Games Chatswood.

The Nintendo Wii landed in Australia last night with more of a restrained cheer than a bang, with thousands of Australians lining up at midnight launches held in retail stores across the country.

The largest group of Nintendo fans was 200 people who gathered at EB Games at Chadstone, Melbourne, Victoria. In Sydney, New South Wales, the largest turnout was at EB Games in Chatswood, where more than 60 gamers attended the store's midnight launch.

The Wii's sedate launch was in stark contrast to the Xbox 360's Australian launch in March this year. Microsoft organised a massive street party for its next-generation console, with Sydney's main shopping mall closed to all but the thousands of customers who came to get their hands on the 360.

Nintendo Australia has yet to release sales estimates for the Wii launch. GameSpot AU spoke to several retailers, however, who said that while pre-orders were strong, plenty of units were still available for walk-in customers over the next few days. The Wii retails for AU$399.95 down under.

The Nintendo Wii and the Xbox 360 will have the next-generation console field to themselves for the next few months in Australia. Sony's PlayStation 3 is not slated for release down under until March 2007.

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James Pearce posted a comment   

I sold out all over town here in Perth. Even people who pre-ordered and didnt pick theirs up within a day got theirs sold.

I have never seen so much demand for a unit.

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