The Nintendo Wii was massive at launch. Here in the States, I can remember months where folks were rabid for Nintendo's exceptionally unique motion control device. The shortages led to consumers flocking towards eBay to land the latest and greatest console for their kids during Christmas. The world hadn't seen pandamonium like that since the Tickle Me Elmo Scare of '96. Dark times.

Amidst all of the launch day madness were the lucky, smart shoppers that pre-ordered their consoles. Folks that strutted into their local retailer to pick up their reserve unit found the only frightening span of their shopping trip to be between the register and the safe bastion of their cars in the parking lot. There were a ton of pre-orders for the Wii.

Now, Nintendo has confirmed that the 3DS has earned more than twice the amount of pre-orders that the Wii saw before its launch. For a system that's releasing in a period of the year that publishers used to consider an abysmal dead zone, this pre-order buzz is massive. There's no large holiday surrounding the weeks following the launch of the handheld, so all of these people lining up to pick up Nintendo's latest are doing so despite the time of year and the spotty economy.

That says a lot about two things: the popularity of both gaming and Nintendo has grown, and the demand for gaming as a pure form of entertainment has increased. More consumers buying more gaming products at launch means that companies will be willing to spend the money to earn a chunk of this ever-expanding market.

If you're part of the crowd buying a 3DS on launch day, you may want to check out our freshly published guide to the games available immediately.

Whether or not you want a 3DS, there's no denying the machine is going to move like gangbusters. Will we see the same shortages we saw with the Wii? Check in next week and we'll let you know.

[via IndustryGamers]