Online retailer Amazon.co.uk opened its long-awaited pre-orders for the Nintendo Wii this morning at 09.37 - and had closed them by the time the clocks rolled around to twenty to ten, with the firm's entire launch day allocation already sold out.
The firm, which was lambasted last year for leaving many people who pre-ordered Xbox 360 consoles without a system until January, chose to wait until it had confirmation of how many Wii units it would be receiving before allowing anyone to preorder one - leaving gamers anxious to pick up Nintendo's new system on launch day refreshing the Amazon page from 9am until orders opened.
Many of those with Amazon pre-orders appear to have a delivery date of December 14th on their order, but a little investigation suggests that this is a glitch in the system - fiddle with the delivery options to confirm that you want first class delivery, not Super Saver, and it should revert to the December 8th date.
The majority of specialist retailers have already sold their entire launch allocation of the console, while there's some confusion over whether non-specialist firms are actually taking pre-orders for more units than they'll get on day one - Argos, in particular, has been very vague over whether a pre-order with them guarantees a unit on December 8th.
In other words, if you're looking for a Wii straight away, we don't really have much helpful advice to offer (the Amazon scheme was my own last ditch effort, and I'm currently filled with all kinds of childish glee since I got my order confirmation just minutes ago) - but if you've already got your console preordered and know of a shop which still has a few left, it might be an idea to let other readers know via the comments thread below. Consider it your good deed for the day, and feel free to push as many old ladies into motorways as you want to make up the karmic balance.