It’s expected to be one of the hottest gifts for gamers this Christmas and the only new console on the market–that is if you were able to get your hands on one in the massive rush to pre-order the Wii U. Pre-orders began weeks ago for the first new console from one of the big three (Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft) since the Wii‘s 2006 release, and those looking to buy one on the launch date of Nov. 18 in North America may be out of luck. Fear not, though, as Nintendo announced this week that there will be plenty available by Christmas.
With nothing new on the horizon from Sony or Microsoft anytime soon, the Wii U is expected to have the entire North American console market to itself for at least the next year or so. Judging by pre-orders, gamers are extremely enthusiastic about Nintendo’s latest offering.
“I think what was the most annoying was that the pre-orders were just for two days, at least that’s what people at the GameStop I go to told me,” said Jason Garcia of Gardena, CA. “I was hoping that they would be taking pre-orders for at least a few more days. I was able to get the Deluxe Set, but coming up with the money on such short notice wasn’t easy. I just hope that it’s worth it. But from what I’ve seen so far, I’m pretty impressed.”
While some gamers ran out to pre-order this new next generation console, others decided it was not worth it and have no problem waiting. Nintendo could ship up to 5.5 million units worldwide between the Nov. 18 launch date and the end of the fiscal year on Mar. 31 with the United States expecting to have the most orders and sales.
“I have no problem waiting,” said Leddy Burman of Long Beach, CA. “We have the Wii and a PlayStation 3 at home and that’s enough. But I’m sure our kids will see the Wii U at their friends houses and will want one. If we find one in time for Christmas that’ll be great, but since one of our sons has a birthday in the spring we may wait until then to get one and concentrate on getting some other things for Christmas.”
There will be several Wii U launch parties in many major cities, including one at the Nintendo World Store in New York City that will start at 6 p.m. on Nov. 17 leading up to midnight and the first official sales. This will be a unique event as Nintendo plans to sell special New York Mario-themed T-shirts with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross and those affected by Superstorm Sandy.