Pre-orders of Nintendo's Wii U console have gotten off to a "phenomenal" start in the UK, retailers have claimed, with one retailer revealing that it took 500 pre-orders for the console within the first hour of the Wii U's release date being announced last Thursday.

Talking to earlier today, spokespeople from GAME, HMV and ShopTo seemed to agree that demand for the console had been "in line with" or "exceeded" expectations, and that the black Wii U Premium SKU had been the most popular amongst customers.

"As expected with such a highly anticipated announcement of Wii U, we've had lots and lots of interest since Thursday," said a spokesperson for GAME. "Pre-orders are exceeding expectations with the black console proving the most popular so far.

"We have three launch packages for the Wii U and customers interested in pre-ordering can do so in-store or online at for a deposit of £20. Pre-ordering is a great way of guaranteeing a Wii U for the release date and our exceptional trade-in offer gives customers a massive 50% extra value on any console or handheld console traded in against the Wii U."

ShopTo CEO Igor Cipolletta agreed:

"The reaction has been phenomenal with 500 pre-orders in the first hour after the Wii U announcement on Thursday, and the following 48 hours saw similar levels of pre-orders as gamers rushed to secure their hardware for Christmas."

HMV's head of press & PR Gennaro Castaldo said that the firm had been "encouraged" by initial pre-order numbers.

"I'd say things have got off to a good start," he said. "We're encouraged by the initial pre-orders that we've been seeing since last week's announcement, which are in line with expectations and we believe are also being helped by some pretty competitive pricing from HMV.

"So far the black premium Nintendo Land bundle is proving most popular, with the basic white version and the black Zombi U not far behind, enjoying similar demand to each other.

"We're hopeful interest will continue building, and we're currently in discussions with Nintendo in terms of how we can best support the launch, including through the likes of midnight openings, instore samplings and demos and other activity."

Nintendo announced global launch plans for Wii U last week. The console, whose controller features a touch-screen, is due to launch in the UK on November 30.

It was revealed this morning that US retailer GameStop had sold out of its initial allocation of Black Wii U consoles.

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