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The Wii U will launch in the U.S. on Nov. 18, 2012 but lots of online retailers are already taking preoders for the console. Or, at least they were.
As first reported by IGN, most major retailers have already sold out of the Wii U. Nintendo is offering the console in two packages, a Basic bundle for $299.99 and a Deluxe bundle for $349.99. The Deluxe bundle includes a game, more storage and additional accessories -- so it's clearly the better bargain.
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Best Buy, Toys R Us, Sears, Walmart and GameStop have already sold out of the Deluxe bundles. At the time of this writing, only Best Buy and GameStop have the Basic bundle available. Amazon.com isn't offering the console for preorder at this time, however a number of its sellers are offering the device on preorder at a hefty $200 premium.
Without knowing how many consoles Nintendo is offering retailers for preorder, it's impossible to know what this means for the early success of the console. After all, Nintendo has been known to keep inventory artificially scarce to increase demand.
Still, the fact that the console is already broadly sold out online is a good sign for the console -- even if it's only in perception.
We got to spend some hands-on time with the Wii U at the launch event in New York last week and couldn't help but be impressed by what Nintendo has put together.
The concept of the Wii U game pad, which includes a tablet-like touch screen, offers up some really interesting game possibilities. Moreover, the new Nintendo TVii could be the big differentiator that sets Nintendo apart from the other players in the media player and connected device space.
Nintendo hit a real sweet spot with the original Wii. It managed to create a device that was used -- and loved -- by causal gamers. With the Wii U, Nintendo is betting that family's will be willing to upgrade to the new hardware, while also hoping to bring some of the more hardcore gamers back into the fray.
Nintendo needs the Wii U to be a success. The company has company reported its first ever annual loss back in April and its 3DS console hasn't met earlier expectations.
The fact that the device is already selling out -- two months ahead of its release -- at least shows that there are lots and lots of customers that still love Nintendo. That's a good thing.
What do you think of the Wii U? Are you interested in pre-ordering one before its release? Let us know in the comments.
This story originally published on Mashable here.