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Nintendo: Wii U exceeds pre-order expectations, 250,000 U.S. customers on wait list

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Wii U will be sold below cost price

The Wii U exceeded Nintendo's pre-order expectations, with more than 250,000 GameStop customers putting their names on waiting lists for the console, according to a presentation Nintendo president Satoru Iwata gave during the company's second quarter financial results.

Of the two Wii U models, Nintendo officials reported that the Wii U Deluxe set (the higher-end model which retails for $349.99) is doing better in terms of pre-order numbers. The company said that GameStop in the U.S. exceeded its allocated pre-orders as of last week, and in that time more than a quarter million people have put their names on a waiting list.

"As production only started this summer, it is has now become more likely that it is our production capacity, rather than consumer demand, that will place limits on our Wii U prospects for this calendar year," Iwata said. "But we will make every effort to supply as many units as possible, and we will strive to continue to ship Wii U hardware without any interruptions in each regions even after its launch."

Iwata said in the earnings meeting that Nintendo will be losing money with every Wii U sold, at least initially.

"In addition to the yen's continuous appreciation, the Wii U hardware will have a negative impact on Nintendo's profits early after the launch because rather than determining a price based on its manufacturing cost, we selected one that consumers would consider to be reasonable," Iwata said. "In this first half of the term before the launch of the Wii U, we were not able to make a profit on software for the system we we had to book a loss on the hardware, which is currently in production and will be sold below cost price.

The Wii U will release in North America on Nov. 18 starting from $299.99. The Deluxe set will retail for $349.99.