Nintendo is expecting unprecedented demand for its next-generation console, the Wii, saying that its mobilising for the largest worldwide launch for a console in at least a decade.

The company plans to roll out about 4 million Wiis in the time between its American launch on 19 November and the end of the year. Unlike Sony’s PS3, which is only going to be available in the US and Japan before Christmas, Nintendo will deliver the Wii to Japan on 2 December and to Europe on the 8 December.

According to Nintendo USA President Reggie Fils-Aime, retailers have been accepting pre-orders from many non-traditional gamers, from their teens into their 50s.

The Wii Remote is one of the most hotly-anticipated new devices from any of the three next-generation consoles, and functions as many action implements from a steering wheel to a tennis racquet or a sword. The Wii will be on sale for $249.99, and comes with five sports games; 62 new and classic games are expected to be available in the 5 weeks after launch.