Ahead of the European launch tomorrow, several UK retailers have reported to CVG that gamers without Wii pre-orders are unlikely to get a console before 2007.
The demand for Nintendo's console is so high that even the huge Oxford Street branch of HMV doesn't expect to fulfil it's pre-orders: "95% of pre-orders we'll probably fill before Christmas," a HMV spokesperson told CVG. "We haven't got any dates as yet but it'll probably be the New Year [before we fill all pre-orders]"
Around the corner Virgin Megastore reports similar demand for the Wii: "We might get some in on Saturday but we're not going to get many," said one staffer. "We're very, very limited - we've already reached our pre-order limit."
But anyone would expect a hot new console to sell out on Britain's busiest high street - especially when Jodie Kidd's in the queue - what about the small retailers?
Unfortunately - for readers in Essex at least - it looks like the unprecedented demand for Wii isn't limited to just our fair capital; GAME in Romford told CVG that it will "probably be January" before they have any Wii consoles up for sale on their shelves. "We've pre-sold all of our batches and it will probably be a few weeks before we fill all our pre-orders," a spokesperson said.
The Wii launches in the UK and Europe tomorrow, with launch events being held at several retail chains this evening including GAME and Gamestation stores.