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In the battle of giants, the outsider seems to be the Wiiner. Unlike Sony this year or Microsoft last year, Nintendo is delighting its fans from the beginning with plenty of enticing titles and a stockpile of Wiis.

Nintendo has recently been considered sort of an outsider after Sony and Microsoft entered its gaming turf and conquered it. From the leader’s position, Nintendo slowly slide to an unsatisfying third place and few analysts would give Nintendo a chance to win back its place a year ago, when MS launched the Xbox 360.

But one should never underestimate the power of… the Wii. Nor should one forget the proverbial imagination of Nintendo’s president, Mr. Satoru Iwata. He is responsible for all recent successes in the company’s the gaming and marketing field, including the calm, but not quiet, launch of the Wii console.

He first “directed” the worldwide hit of the Nintendo DS portable console. Compared to Sony’s PSP, the Nintendo DS now surpasses its more complex rival by a factor of five to one, at least in Japan (the third most important gaming market in the world). Now, it seems that the Wii console is again in front of its Sony counterpart, with a sufficient provision at launch, a serious and intelligent marketing campaign behind it and, as a consequence, a lot of interest from fans.

Shortages for PlayStation 3 in the US (only 400,000 consoles launched two days ago, but that is just official numbers…) have stirred up masses and violence eventually burst among customers waiting in line.

Unlike Sony, who invested a lot of money in a PR campaign that has eventually proven disastrous, Nintendo preferred to invest more in the production circuit, in order not to repeat Sony’s announced failure. So they are now boasting with more than 2 million consoles ready to find their owners at this week’s debut for Wii, with another 2 million standing by, just in time for the Christmas shopping season.

Pre-orders for Wii have been stellar, a reason for Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime to urge fans to stay in line, despite the impressive reserve of gaming gadgets.

"Wii is for both experienced and uninitiated gamers, and it will be available for the masses. Because of demand, we're urging shoppers not to get complacent. The level of demand we're seeing goes beyond the ordinary."

"Retailers are telling us a significant fraction of customers pre-ordering Wii are non-traditional gamers - people looking for a better way to play. And that's exactly what Wii is designed to provide," he added.

Reggie Fils-Aime’s advice was taken seriously by both hardcore fans and occasional gamers, some of which have camped several days and nights in front of retailers like Toys “R” Us.

At the Times Square Toys "R" Us store in New York, more than 1,000 people crowded in hope of getting a Wii signed by Nintendo’s boss, while more than 900 enthusiasts gathered for the West Coast release at the GameStop store at Hollywood's Universal City Walk.

Fans’ interest is justified by at least two factors: the price and the fun. Of course, there could be more but these two are dominating, since for Wii you’d only have to pay $279 and the games are also cheaper than for Xbox 360 or PS3. The fun is also “different” from what Wii’s rivals provide: Nintendo’s console has a new, revolutionary controller (btw, Wii’s previous name was Revolution), allowing you to play and even merge with the game’s action.

The Japanese gaming giant also added an impressive number of 65 new titles to the launch list, all built exclusively for Wii by some of the world’s best known gaming studios. Moreover, other 30 “oldies, but goodies” will soon be included in the software pack that will accompany the gadget at its launch.

Among the new titles will be "The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess," "Madden NFL '07," "Need for Speed: Carbon," "Call of Duty 3," "Marvel Ultimate Alliance," "Rampage: Total Destruction," "SpongeBob SquarePants: The Creature from Krusty Krab," "Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam," "Red Steel" and many others.

Wii is due to launch on November 19th in the US, December 2nd in Japan and across Europe on December 8th.