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Nintendo Wii consoles in the UK are changing hands for $1,200 as shortage of one of this year’s must-have gifts gets worse.

The Nintendo Wii – a computer games console designed to appeal to adults as well as youngsters – has sold out in shops across the UK.

Chains such as Game, HMV, Woolworths and Tesco say they are receiving more stock only sporadically and the consoles are changing hands for up to $1,200 on internet auction sites – a huge mark-up on their list price of $425.00

A spokesman for HMV said: “The fact people can’t find them seems to drive the demand forward. They are selling out as soon as they are going into the stores.”

The supply problem stems from the fact that Nintendo is simply unable to keep up with global demand for the family-friendly Wii.

 

Its more expensive rivals, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, are aimed more at dedicated gamers. But the Wii – pronounced ‘wee’ – is designed to be easy and fun to use, even for those who have never played a computer game before.

Instead of a traditional control pad, it comes with a motion-sensitive remote controller. This can be waved to simulate playing tennis and other sports.

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