Nintendo has refuted claims that it failed to deliver the number of Wii units promised to Virgin Megastores for the console's launch on December 8.
The claims emerged after Virgin began taking pre-orders for PlayStation 3 last week. As GamesIndustry.biz discovered after contacting stores across the country, customers enquiring about the pre-order system are told that they can secure a console for GBP 50 - but are warned that they won't neccessarily receive their machine on March 23.
They're told that they may have to wait days or even weeks for their machine to arrive, with one customer service representative stating, "We can't make a commitment to the 23rd because Sony hasn't made a commitment to us."
All the representatives GI.biz spoke to said that Virgin was keen to avoid a repeat of the situation which occurred with the launch of the Wii, claiming that Nintendo failed to deliver the number of consoles promised for day one.
"It's because there was an issue with the Wii. Some stores didn't get the allocation they were promised until the next day after launch," one representative said.
Another claimed, "The full amount of stock we were promised never turned up," while other representatives said that the total launch allocation wasn't received until several weeks after launch.
Nintendo has disputed the claims with a spokesperson telling GI.biz, "All UK retailers were notified of their initial day one Wii allocations in October 2006, some six to eight weeks before launch.
"Nintendo delivered exactly what we said we would to retailers for day one and in many instances over delivered against the initial numbers retailers were expecting."
In addition, the spokesperson said, "Nintendo made multiple and regular deliveries to retailers across the UK in the days following launch to try and meet the huge demand for Wii as much as possible."
Virgin Megastores has yet to respond to requests for comment.