BY PETER SVENSSON
The Associated Press
NEW YORK - Nintendo Co.'s entry into the game console wars, the Wii, went on sale Sunday, and quickly sold out in many stores despite stocks that far surpassed those of the rival PlayStation 3, which went on sale two days earlier.
"There were enough people in line to snap up almost all the units of the Nintendo Wii that we had in stock, so it was an instant sellout," said Circuit City spokesman Jim Babb. There were a few overnight campers, but most had lined up in the early morning.
Spot checks at New York stores turned up only one, the Toys R Us in Times Square, with Wiis in stock. The store hosted a midnight launch event that drew a crowd of more than a thousand people for the sale of the very first Wii.
The first buyer, Isaiah Triforce Johnson, had been waiting outside the store for more than a week. He wore a Nintendo Power Glove, a wearable controller that came out in 1989, while shaking hands with Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime. Johnson said he had legally changed his name to include a reference to Nintendo's "Zelda" series of games.
On the eBay auction site, Wiis were selling Sunday for twice the store price, indicating that supplies are still tight. "The people we saw today were much more likely to take these games home and play them and love them rather than flip them on eBay," Babb said. Circuit City expects more Wiis in stock soon, but Babb could not say exactly when.