Wii U hits UK early

Nintendo's Wii U has begun showing up for pre-order customers in the UK, a day ahead of the console's official release on November 30. Retailer Amazon UK notified some buyers of the new motion-gaming system on Wednesday this week that their Wii U had been dispatched for a November 29 delivery, and sure enough the first boxes hit doorsteps from this morning.

The Wii U has already been on sale in the US for some weeks now, with Nintendo struggling to keep either the Basic or Premium bundles in stock. In fact, over 400,000 units have apparently been sold according to first week US figures, with company execs forced to scramble to deliver new stock in order to meet Black Friday demand.

In Europe, the Wii U has been up for preorder since mid-September, but early availability quickly dwindled as customers got in early. That's despite the console missing some functionality, at least initially, that US and Japanese users will enjoy: the delayed TVii smart TV system won't hit Europe until sometime in 2013, whereas it's expected in early December the the US and Japan.

That hasn't been the only hiccup along the way. A sizable day-one update to deliver features like backward compatibility with Wii titles left early-adopters waiting an hour or more before they could actually play with their new console, and some unlucky owners found the update actually bricked their Wii U altogether.