Wal-Mart kicks off online Wii extravaganza

The Nintendo console has emerged as one of the hottest products of the holiday season despite having been available for two years running.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy
Nintendo Wii
The Wii - catch it if you can. Walmart.com

Discount retailer Wal-Mart on Monday announced that it has started to sell "tens of thousands" of Nintendo's Wii gaming console online. The 2-year-old gadget, consistently sold out and difficult to obtain, emerged as one of Black Friday's big hits amid a bleak economy.

On Friday night, the Wii was sold out on Wal-Mart's Web site as well as the Web sites of electronics retailers Best Buy and Circuit City, Reuters reported. On Monday morning, they were in stock.

Wal-Mart plans to sell the Wii consoles online for a price of $249.24 (Best Buy's listing price is about 50 cents more expensive, so it's not a deep discount) along with a $329 "value bundle" that contains extra controllers and some other add-ons.

The retailer is also offering discounts on Wii accessories and games.