Eurogamer.net

Yarnton promises 'biggest ever launch' for Wii

And still predicts shortages.

Nintendo UK boss David Yarnton has thrown down the gauntlet to his gaming rivals, promising more stock for Wii this Christmas than any previous launch in the company's history - but warned that shortages were inevitable, boasting that "20 million wouldn't be enough" such is demand for the console.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Eurogamer TV, broadcast today, Nintendo's UK general manager made the bold pledge while stressing the increasingly key role Europe is now playing in realising the Japanese firm's ambitions to expand the reach of gaming.

"We've sold close to six million units of DS hardware since launch and four million Nintendogs, so Europe is a very important market for our company and growing," Yarnton insisted.

"[With Wii] we're looking at about four million units before the end of the year globally and Europe will get a reasonable proportion of that," he added. "The stock that we're looking to get we believe will probably be more than we've ever had for any console launch. But from the feedback we've had from our retailers, whatever we have won't be enough as the demand from people is really heating up for it."

Asked if this meant he expected shortages of Wii hardware this Christmas, Yarnton clarified: "Most definitely. I think if we could produce 20 million it wouldn't be enough on a global basis because it's really something that's going to appeal to people who are not gamers as well. We're expanding the market so there's going to be a lot of demand from people who wouldn't normally be buying videogames."

However, Yarnton was unable to elaborate on the "reasonable proportion" of units he expects for his own territory, stating: "At this stage we haven't broken it down into territories yet because of the timing and also production." Yarnton confirmed that Nintendo UK plans to hold meetings with retailers in "mid-October" by which time it expects to have more concrete territory-specific information.

Meanwhile, Yarnton also defended the UK price tag of Wii - which is set to launch for GBP 179 on December 8th - following cries that the relatively high SRP compared with other territories was another example of 'Rip-Off Britain'.

"GPB 179 is actually really good value because you also get Wii Sports with it as well," he argued. "We don't actually set a price, it's up to retailers what price - it's a recommendation."

Elsewhere in the interview, the ebullient Australian describes how the Wii Points system will work, explains why Nintendo believes people will want to use the console for browsing the Internet rather than a PC and reveals which games the company hopes will achieve its goal of attracting new audiences to gaming.

The full, exclusive video interview is now showing on Eurogamer TV.

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