On Toysrus.com, the Net unit operated by Toys "R" Us and Amazon.com, Nintendo's GameCube was available for just minutes before the supply ran out, according to messages posted on Amazon's discussion boards. Those lucky enough to place orders celebrated, while others complained about the short supply.
"I had one in my cart, and when I hit (the button to) complete my order, it said they were sold out," said one message posted on Amazon's discussion boards. "Insane."
Just like the holiday shopping season last year, when many game enthusiasts repeatedly logged on to retail sites for hours at a time for a chance to preorder Sony's popular PlayStation 2 console, demand for GameCube, as well as the other top consoles, appears to be building.
With its GameCube set to arrive in the United States on Nov. 18, Nintendo is locked in a slugfest for control of the lucrative computer gaming sector this holiday season with Sony and Microsoft. The Xbox, Microsoft's entry in the game console wars, sold out during a presale at Toysrus.com in 30 minutes last month.
As with the Xbox, Toysrus.com packaged GameCube with games and a magazine subscription, pricing the bundle at $399, about $200 more than the expected retail price of the GameCube console by itself.
Amazon has scheduled another presale on Oct. 18.
Reuters contributed to this report.