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Nintendo says that not everyone will be able to find a Wii

Even a year after launch, the Nintendo Wii still remains a hot item that rarely ever stays in retail stock –and comments from Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime indicate that demand will once again outstrip supply this holiday season.

“We have been sold out worldwide since we launched,” said Fils-Aime to the Mercury News. “Every time we put more into the marketplace, we sell more, which says that we are not even close to understanding where the threshold is between supply and demand.”

Fils-Aime adds that Nintendo is doing everything it can to meet the demand for Wii, and that “The issue is not a lack of production.”

“The issue is we went in with a curve that was aggressive, but the demand has been substantially more than that. And the ability to ramp up production and to sustain it is not a switch that you flick on. We're working very hard to make sure that consumers are satisfied this holiday, but I can't guarantee that we're going to meet demand. As a matter of fact, I can tell you on the record we won't,” said Fils-Aime.

In a previous story, the Nintendo president said that holiday supplies of the Wii will be “substantially more than the launch, substantially more than has been seen to date ... given the level of demand and given the fact that the more we put in, the more we sell, it is still going to be difficult to get your hands on the Wii.” 

Since launch, the Wii has topped the sales charts. NPD sales data from August showed the Wii selling 403,600 units, while the Xbox 360 sold 276,000 and the PS3 130,600. The Wii also became the fastest selling console in history in the UK, and according to several sources, Nintendo’s latest machine is now the worldwide leader for the generation.

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Industry's understanding of Wii is flawed
By T3raYon on 10/1/2007 3:08:32 PM , Rating: 3
Two points:
1. I hope everybody notices that the explanation of the production shortages is incorrect. To be more precise it is a statement that does not explain anything. The product has been launched almost a year ago and it is quite evident that there was more than enough time to firm up the production and supply process to the demand level. Can you believe that in the IT industry a company can not react to demand volumes in a year time? Obviously it's not a "switch" from yesterday to tomorrow but 11 months lead time????? C'mon...

2. The second and more important thing - I'm being a non-expert can not grasp why the industry is not getting the idea of the Wii right.
Everyone pits the Wii against Xbox 360 and PS3 however it is quite evident that the Wii is not a direct competitor. Households might choose between the XboX 360 and PS3 but most of them is going to invest additionally into a Wii.
It's an ADDITIONAL product not an "either / or".
Secondly the software sales: unlike for XboX 360 and PS3 for the Wii it is not as vital for Nintendo to top up the sales since their console hardware sales alone is profitable.
Wii games are not to compete directly against XboX 360 and PS3 titles but complement the palette with simpler and "fun" games for parties and gatherings to share the game play with friends.
Some industry "experts" are wondering why the top selling Wii title is still the "Wii Play"... ...and simply forgets that although the game itself is sub-standard there is a "free" controller in the box that makes up the bulk of the price of the title - and every Wii owner wants to max out the number of controllers.

Yes Wii does not have "Halo 3" type supergames but it does very strong in the segment it is aimed for, and after all brilliantly delivers Nintendo's plan to extend the console gaming audience. My 66 years old father bought one and a colleague of mine - company executive - who never touched a computer game before bought one to play golf and tennis.

Wii's results and "importance" can only be understood in the correct perspective... ...that many "experts" fails to take on in these days.

RE: Industry's understanding of Wii is flawed
By BladeVenom on 10/1/07, Rating: -1
By T3raYon on 10/1/2007 3:43:47 PM , Rating: 2
Let's not mix manufacturing issues (e.g. overheating problems with the XboX 360) with the problem of increasing production output.

By Locutus465 on 10/2/2007 12:28:16 AM , Rating: 1
Everyone pits the Wii against Xbox 360 and PS3 however it is quite evident that the Wii is not a direct competitor. Households might choose between the XboX 360 and PS3 but most of them is going to invest additionally into a Wii.

Perhaps becaus Wii does not (nor has ever) cost the rough equivilent of a limb... X-Box has gotten better in this regard, at least entry level is around Wii prices now (and it shows as you never see Core systems in stock). PS3 still needs serious help though, even with the expected major price reduction it's not going to help to the extent that people will be likely to get a PS3 & x-box... I think people in these forums forget how important price is...

RE: Industry's understanding of Wii is flawed
By Murst on 10/1/2007 3:37:36 PM , Rating: 4
1. I don't think you really understand how production takes place. Sure, nintendo could build another factory and crank out more Wiis. But what happens after that demand levels off? Now you're stuck with all these manufacturing costs.

You're kidding yourself if you think Nintendo does not want to meet demand. Every business wants to meet demand, because every sale that does not happen when the store is sold out is like a lost sale. Sure, they might come back later and buy one, but then again, they might not.

2. It seems you're not getting the Wii right. The Wii is a video game console. It competes with all other consoles - drectly. The same games (think Madden, NBA, etc) come out for the PS3, 360, and Wii.

Yes Wii does not have "Halo 3" type supergames

Let me rephrase: The 360 does not have the "Metriod", "Mario Galaxy", "Super Smash Brothers", "Mario Kart", "Zelda" type supergames....

RE: Industry's understanding of Wii is flawed
By T3raYon on 10/1/2007 4:01:38 PM , Rating: 3
I'm quite sure I understand the production technology enough to comment the issue. The demand cycle is a known phenomenon in any kind of production environment that is typically augmented by forecasting methodologies. Also production lines are typically not meant to produce only one type of product in these days so when the demand goes down it's just a matter of reconfiguring the lines or slow them down to produce less...
I'm sure that Nintendo does not need to build another production plant to increase Wii output.

On meeting the demand - you are right and wrong.
Economists typically says that meeting the demand is good but it's a fine line so typically what happens is that the commodities are fluctuating above or below that point.
There are certain advantages under delivering the demand, first and foremost: price (items offered in greater volume than needed tends to erode their value). Not to mention the "status" of the item being "rare" or "needed". Think about gold and diamonds (bit extreme example but clearly demonstrates the value of rarity)

You also should wonder if the Wii stock out is really a LOST sales (sales that never going to happen) or a DELAYED sales (sales going to happen later).

I might have been overly simplistic here.
My point was that the Wii is never going to be able to offer games with the perceived high quality the market is rewarding so much (stunning visuals in High Definition for example). I do not want to hurt the true Nintendo fans, but it's a fact of life that this box was designed to deliver something drastically different than PS3 and Xbox 360.
There will always be multi platform releases but in essence those are not the titles DEFINING a platform.

RE: Industry's understanding of Wii is flawed
By Martimus on 10/1/2007 4:23:09 PM , Rating: 2
Warehousing costs are also benificial when you don't meet demand. But I would say that he is right, once you increase production, it isn't easy to back it off later. Add an additional shift to the factory, and eventually you will need to stop that shift when demand dies off, and that is a bunch of severance pay for layed off workers. Not to mention the extra maintenance costs, and other operational costs from adding extra shifts. Nintendo probably didn't expect demand to be so high for so long to justify those additional costs.

By SigmaHyperion on 10/1/2007 4:28:49 PM , Rating: 3
FWIW, Nintendo was set to increase production back in June. It had the contractors lined up and the works. Then there was a big shortage of chips from Taiwan (that's affected a lot of companies) that delayed the plans.

RE: Industry's understanding of Wii is flawed
By T3raYon on 10/1/07, Rating: 0
By Phynaz on 10/1/2007 7:51:31 PM , Rating: 4
You are obviously not working in an industry where fab capacity must be booked 6 - 12 months ahead of time.

By StillPimpin on 10/2/2007 10:23:40 AM , Rating: 2
I think we are a little confused. While the Wii, 360 and PS3 are "computers", they do not play in the IT industry. They are "Consumer Electronics." CE's which have a much longer life cycle than others. 5+ years as opposed to 6-12 months.

Now I don't know much about manufacturing but I don't believe that Nintendo is artificially keeping supply low to keep demand high. That is a risky game that I don't believe Nintendo willing to play right now.

I do believe however that they have not been releasing as much quantity into the market place as they could have because they have forecasted demand to be much higher this holiday season, and so they have held a little back to meet demand for that time, while still trying to satisfy current demand. In other words, they are playing it safe, which I believe is the right thing to do. I for one am going to get one for my family this holiday season if I can get my hand on one. If not, it might not be until September that I even consider getting one again.

And I believe this is where I believe Nintendo is planning on making its hay. Try to meet demand this holiday and if they can't, ramp production a little and release as much product as you can until you reach demand. That way they can increase production to meet demand without committing too many resources that they one day will not need.

RE: Industry's understanding of Wii is flawed
By Locutus465 on 10/2/2007 12:33:33 AM , Rating: 2
Fortunetly these products are made in the Orient (if not Japan then China) where Unions aren't quite what they are here (if they exist)... I'm sure there is some sort of severance package, but I'm sure it doesn't compare to what a UAW work shift would get.

By Murst on 10/2/2007 10:15:08 AM , Rating: 1
Of course they have severance packages. For example, if you leave quietly, we'll give you your last paycheck, and we won't convince the other factory in town (who is ran by this factory owner's brother-in-law) to fire your wife as well.

RE: Industry's understanding of Wii is flawed
By Keeir on 10/1/2007 5:15:26 PM , Rating: 3
I'm quite sure I understand the production technology enough to comment the issue.

Obviously you don't know everything.

#1. Nintendo originally planned (best case) on producing 4 Million by Jan 1st, 2007 and 6 million Wii by March 31, 2007 . Thats an original production rate of ~.66 million a month planned. However, since Jan 1st 2007, Nintendo is producing (based on sales) around ~.95 million ((12 million-3.5 million)/9) a month on average. You can agree Nintendo would have had a hard time significantly boosting production before Jan 1st 2007 right? Hmm, thats a boost of ~44% on best case numbers... which have historically been inaccurate. (IE, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo failed to meet launch and original end or year targets for launch year)
#2. Nintendo likes to be profitable. As the number of units Nintendo produces based on short term demand increases, the Marginal cost of producing each unit increases. There is a cutoff point where the cost of producing the marginal unit of Wii console is no longer worth the income that will be generated from the sale of the console. Why? Because Nintendo does not control every aspect of Wii production. At some point there are suppliers who want to charge extra for decreased lead time or displaced work.
#3. Holiday Demand predicts are at this point probably quite High... The Wii sells around .2+ million per week right now. I imagine the predictions for Holiday time are in the .5+ million per week range. This would require Nintendo to double current production!

On meeting demand. Since Nintendo has not raised the price of the system there is no real benifit to increase demand in this fashion. Also, at this point every lost console sale is probably also a lost software sale of 1-2 units at least. (Paper Mario, Mario Party, Zelda, Metriod Prime, WarioWare IE Nintendo produced software). These software sales may never be recovered...

RE: Industry's understanding of Wii is flawed
By T3raYon on 10/1/2007 6:21:53 PM , Rating: 2
I had to do some digging. I'm not complete but a few points to mention.

Your math is right saying that Nintendo would need to deal with a significant increase in production. Question is do they really do that?

I checked their annual reports and it looks like to me (subject to some verification) that in the past years their capacity was to manufacture around 11million units worldwide. (I totaled the Wii + Game Boy Advance and GameCube since the later two got scaled down in production as the Wii emerged)
This 11million does not seem to be enough now. Apr-June 2007 alone was 4 million alone that brings the figure up to the 16million by the end of the year not even calculating with the holiday season extra demand. So your 44% growth looks like checking out.
What I also see at the same time though is, that the Nintendo DS managed to DOUBLE it's output (11million in 2006, 23million in 2007) so in terms of production flexibilities for me the possibilities are a bit better than 40%.
It appears to be that Nintendo was shifting resources to the DS side as probably couldn't afford an expansion in both areas?
All in all scaling up production is no miracle and DS is the proof it's possible...

Furthermore Nintendo never commented that it has supply problems from the parts manufacturers.

About the demand: I do not think not meeting the demand is leading to INCREASING the price (although in Canada despite the favorable exchange rate developments the Wii went UP by $10 (from $279 to $289)), but more KEEPING the price and not reducing it!

I commented on the theoretical "lost" sales somewhere else. (LOST vs. DELAYED)

RE: Industry's understanding of Wii is flawed
By Keeir on 10/2/2007 1:05:46 PM , Rating: 2
#1. Nintendo DS has been in existence from 2004 and the Lite version from 2006. This would allow significnat greater production fluctions (and time for increases) than the Wii. There is probably also a larger margin (due to falling component prices) for Nintendo to eat into for short term manufacturing. Maybe in 6 months, the Wii will be produced at 22 million a year. Who knows?

#2. There may not be shortage of parts, there may be a shortage of parts at a price Nintendo wants to pay... or a basic part that is just exhausted in terms of supply. That the Boeing 787 which has had some testing delays caused by inavailiblity of fasteners. Yep, Boeing couldn't secure enough fasteners with a 6 month lead time to get major sub assemblies put together correctly. At the 787 roll-out there were many incorrect bolts on the aircraft which will need to be replaced before first flight.

#3. Your entire posting scheme seems to be upset that Nintendo won't increase production past 44% increase in less than 1 year. Nintendo is trying! no company wants to lose money. They really are dealing with extreme demand! Nintendo is dealing with more than 2x the demand for the Xbox360 and headed into a Holiday Season with major games on the way...

Really stop whining and see where Nintendo is Jan 1st of this year. There is no way they can produce at 44 million a year pace (likely what will be request in the November-December time frame), but it will be interesting to see the spike.

RE: Industry's understanding of Wii is flawed
By T3raYon on 10/2/2007 2:52:15 PM , Rating: 2
I do not like the way your argumentation is going and also the fact that you are putting words into my mouth. I try to respect you and your logic especially because it is factual and you have strong and good points.

First of all I'm not "whining" as you put. I may seem to be "upset" that Nintendo is not increasing the production as I believe they could but in fact this is NOT what upsets me. I couldn't care less what they do.

My problem is - and this is what we're discussing here - that what Nintendo SAYS and communicates about the situation is different than what can be deducted from the facts. You can call me whatever you want but this is not something I like.

We discussed the production and supply issue and explored pro and con arguments. On the top of that I tried to argue that increasing production output by 100% isn't unheard of and Nintendo is the example of making it happen.

I do not want to apologize for not believing the "marketing speech" of the Chief of Nintendo :) I believe I have a right to do that, just like you to be more patient with what you think about the firm.

As you said it will be interesting to have a look at the Holiday Season performance and their next annual report.

By Keeir on 10/5/2007 2:00:54 PM , Rating: 2
First of all I'm not "whining" as you put. I may seem to be "upset" that Nintendo is not increasing the production as I believe they could but in fact this is NOT what upsets me. I couldn't care less what they do.

You made 12 or so posts with the same basic arguement. Most without providing any evidence or numbers.

The "facts" as you present them are flawed in this sitation revolve around the "belief" that a company can push a magic button and double or triple a complex supply chain overnight. Some companies can, for some products.

If you have some information/evidence that points to Nintendo willfully not increasing production as much as possible and remain profitably, please share. Until then, it makes little sense that a company that is printing money in both hardware and software would reverse its marketing stradgey (IE last year Nintendo kept stressing they believed they were going to "meet" a substainal portion of market demand) and IS increasing production over demand by a signifcant margin.

By theapparition on 10/2/2007 9:07:16 AM , Rating: 2
You do know that they can contract out manufacturing, in fact, they do so now. So increasing production is a non-issue if they wanted to. Nintendo would not be responsible for severence packages, and no plant closings needed when supply starts to exceed demand.

By ET on 10/2/2007 3:47:09 AM , Rating: 2
My point was that the Wii is never going to be able to offer games with the perceived high quality the market is rewarding so much (stunning visuals in High Definition for example).

I don't think that's mainly what the market is rewarding. Halo 3 isn't a success because it's a hi-def game. Sure, that's part (if it didn't have good graphics buyers would likely have been disappointed), but the main reason it's selling well is the strong brand.

The market does reward good looking games, but it doesn't reward "stunning visuals in High Definition", because most people don't care about that or understand it. People who buy the Xbox 360 or PS3 might care, but non-hardcore gamers don't. This is proved again and again with games like The Sims and World of Warcraft. Cartoonish graphics and good graphical design and polish do more than hi-def and shaders.

Also, "high quality" is mostly in the gameplay.

By phattyboombatty on 10/1/2007 4:22:10 PM , Rating: 3
It seems you're not getting the Wii right. The Wii is a video game console. It competes with all other consoles - drectly. The same games (think Madden, NBA, etc) come out for the PS3, 360, and Wii.

The Wii partially competes with the 360 and PS3. I would say that a large percentage of Wii purchasers did not pass on the sale of a 360 or PS3 in order to buy the Wii. If a consumer cannot afford a 360 or PS3, but can afford a Wii, there is no lost sale to Microsoft or Sony, because the consumer wouldn't have purchased their systems even if the Wii didn't exist. I'm sure there are a small percentage of consumers that have enough disposable income to buy any of the three consoles and choose to buy just the Wii. That's why I'll concede that the Wii partially competes.

Your argument is similar to somebody saying that a Nissan Altima competes directly with a Dodge Viper because they are both cars.

RE: Industry's understanding of Wii is flawed
By Murst on 10/1/2007 4:34:12 PM , Rating: 2
I guess I hold my view from personal experience (which may be completely off). When I was in the market for a Wii last xmas, I noticed that a large number of people who did not find a Wii ended up buying a 360 (by large, I mean something in the neighborhood of 10... keep in mind, this is my own personal experience). These people wouldn't have bought a 360 if they were able to buy a Wii, so that is why I view them as direct competitors.

The dodge viper and altima comparison would be better suited for comparing the 360 and PS2. Even though they're both cars, they're different classes of cars, just like different generations of consoles.

RE: Industry's understanding of Wii is flawed
By T3raYon on 10/1/2007 4:53:58 PM , Rating: 2
Well I can not argue with your personal experience seeing people switching from the sold out Wii to XboX 360, all I can do is to wonder if they ever going to buy the Wii or ignore it completely.

On the Wii vs PS3 & XboX 360:
With all due respect Murst you don't seem to understand that the Wii as a product has significantly different capabilities than the PS3 or XboX 360.
You keep grouping the 3 together as "same generation consoles" but I'm not sure it is the right thing to do.
There is a year 2007 edition for practically every car brand sold in North America but this does not create grounds to compare mid sized cars to SUVs... just because they are both "2007" generations.

Wii has 1MB of memory altogether a simple processor and a simple graphical chip. This is not the same as the XboX 360 and PS3 - the hardware is VERY DIFFERENT.

Wii has a different mission, it should have! It can't beat the other two on their playfield.

This is why I really think Nintendo is brilliant since they recognized that there is no way to compete with the other two giants on their field pushing out a 3rd console with similar capacities than the XboX 360 and PS3.
Nintendo created it's OWN playfield and dominating it!
Too bad many people fails to recognize this.
Thanks God Nintendo itself is very conscious about it.

RE: Industry's understanding of Wii is flawed
By Murst on 10/1/2007 5:05:17 PM , Rating: 2
you don't seem to understand that the Wii as a product has significantly different capabilities than the PS3 or XboX 360

You may be right. However, I use my Wii to play games and I use my PS3 to play games (when Mass Effect comes out, I'll have a 360 to play games too). I got each console to play the latest games that come out. Whatever other capabilities each system has do not really apply to me. :)

BTW, you should check out Metroid 3 Prime. To me, that game proved that graphics have much more to do with the developers than they do with system specs. Just be ready to be addicted.

By T3raYon on 10/1/2007 5:19:52 PM , Rating: 2
First: I'll certainly check out Metroid 3 Prime.
I agree - developers can really do miracles sometimes with visuals.
My point about graphic quality was the difference between 480p (Wii's max output) vs. 1080p (XboX 360 and PS3 theoretical max). Above 40" TV the difference truly noticable... ...and more and more people can "afford" those displays.

Based on your comments I now see where you're coming from.
You appear to me a true gaming enthusiast who has the financial source to afford all 3 consoles and you value more "good games" than brand loyalty.
It is perfectly fine and good - no problem with it and I guess all manufacturers are keeping guys like you close to their heart :)
Unfortunately not everybody is like you and many people is facing the choice: if they have let's say roughly US$1000/year to spend on a console gaming hobby how can they take the most out of it for their own taste? They need to make choices...
Here is where competition comes - in my mind.

By Locutus465 on 10/2/2007 12:43:57 AM , Rating: 2
Perhaps in terms of graphics, but I have to wonder whether we're getting to the point where graphics aren't everything.... Wii provides an in game experience unlike anything you will get on 360 and PS3. Like both of those consoles it also adds in extended functionality, though not as a media center like MS and Sony do (probably because they were never in that market to begin with unlike the other two). It does however give the user some very practical applications such as Forcast Channel, News Channel, a web browser etc. For some, the capabilities of the Wii might will match their needs much more than either of the other two offerings.

By phattyboombatty on 10/1/2007 6:24:57 PM , Rating: 2
The dodge viper and altima comparison would be better suited for comparing the 360 and PS2. Even though they're both cars, they're different classes of cars, just like different generations of consoles.

Just because a console is in the same generation, does not put it in the same class. I consider the 360 and PS3 to be the Corvette and Viper, competing in the upper range market for serious consumers. The Wii is the Camry of the bunch, less technically advanced, but capturing a larger market at a lower price.

By reredrum on 10/1/2007 8:32:14 PM , Rating: 1
thank you!

360 has one "super game" and ps3 has none! wii has many!!

i'm not an expert, but if wii wasn't meant to compete with them then why'd i choose wii over them?

RE: Industry's understanding of Wii is flawed
By SigmaHyperion on 10/1/2007 3:56:37 PM , Rating: 5
Yes Wii does not have "Halo 3" type supergames

Umm... Maybe not right now but give it about 3 more months and that'll be a different story.

Any guess on how many of the Top 10 Best-Selling Games ever are from Nintendo?

8. Out of 10. (All 10 spots if you include Mario on NES and SNES but they came with the console)

Halo 2, the best-selling of all Xbox/X360 games, barely breaks into the Top 20.

For all the hype that Halo gets Super Mario Sunshine (a crappy, poor-selling Mario by all accounts) outsold it, and that wasn't even the GCs best-selling title. Mario on the DS outsold even Halo 2. Halo as a franchise is barely a blip on the radar compared to the likes of Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda, Metroid, and lately Super Smash Brothers. Not to bash Halo, I stood in line at midnight to get my copy, it's just a matter of fact.

As you pointed out, unlike it's competition, Nintendo doesn't need to sell lots of software since its hardware is profitable, but it does . Nintendo owns game sales. Its' attach rate is huge. That's why, even when the GameCube "was doing poorly" it was STILL printing money. Despite selling less hardware than the original Xbox, almost 30 'Cube games broke 1 million units sold, compared to only a half-dozen Xbox games.

RE: Industry's understanding of Wii is flawed
By T3raYon on 10/1/2007 4:06:05 PM , Rating: 2
You have very good points.
As I tried to clarify earlier I was painfully vague what I mean "supergames".
Nintendo of course needs game sales and doing good in this area.

My "supergame" comment is a bit pointing towards the direction of pitting Wii against PS3 and XboX360 in a (good or false) sense of game quality - mostly defined by the visuals in these days (right or wrong).

RE: Industry's understanding of Wii is flawed
By kinnoch on 10/1/2007 4:38:02 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe I visit different sites than you, but I rarely see games measured solely by their graphics. Some times mediocre graphics can count against them, but its rarely a defining aspect. Look at WoW, Diablo 2, and Starcraft. They were all behind the times graphics wise, but should be labeled "Supergames".

By SigmaHyperion on 10/1/2007 5:04:33 PM , Rating: 2
I understand what he was getting at. A game might be one of the best-selling games ever but it might not be particularly noticeable to consumers.

How many people would guess that Nintendogs was one of the best-selling games of the past decade? Or that any one of the countless Pokemon games will sell as many or more copies than a Halo (add them all together, and Pokemon is the biggest game franchise today)?

You don't see a lot of gamers sitting around talking about the latest Animal Crossing game, despite the fact that it would probably outsell GTA4. Nor are you going to see major mainstream media cover the launch or even have a "launch".

"Supergames", as the OP was using it, are the games that generate hype and buzz. Nintendo might not have that down quite as pat as Microsoft does, but Nintendo has the games that generate sales and profit. ;)

By crimson117 on 10/1/2007 2:51:59 PM , Rating: 2
"it is still going to be difficult to get your hands on the Wii."

Buy now while supplies last!

I agree they're selling well because it's a good product, and will probably sell out this holiday season, but these statements here are just pure marketing - they're trying to get people to rush out and buy a Wii in a panic that they'll sell out.

RE: Hype
By jak3676 on 10/1/2007 3:04:28 PM , Rating: 3
Here in D.C. there are still sold out - and have been virtually all year. There was one exception a few months ago where all the target stores got a minimum of 300 units each - but even a few weeks after that they were still impossible to find without calling retails on a daily basis to see if they got a shippment in. I can't speak for the rest of the US - but they still sell for higher than MSRP here. I don't think this is gimmic at all - if they could get more units on the shelf, they would only sell more. Trying to hype up demand by talking about a non-existant shortage only works in the extreme short term (think PS3).

RE: Hype
By Shoal07 on 10/1/2007 3:15:10 PM , Rating: 2
Look around, FYE in Union Station had several for almost a month. I know of some other places that had a few for a few weeks as well. Granted, they are selling well (and still selling out) but I have to agree with OP - Big Hype Machine with this statement.

RE: Hype
By SigmaHyperion on 10/1/2007 3:31:20 PM , Rating: 2
Nobody is going to deny that some locations have some, not even Nintendo.

"Sold Out" doesn't mean literally "Sold-Out" everywhere, "Sold Out" means that Nintendo's distribution warehouse sends them out the door just as fast as they come in the door. There could be thousands of them on shelves and, to Nintendo, they'd still be "Sold Out" because someone, somewhere was buying them from Nintendo as fast as it could make them.

Considering that every retailer in the nation (and probably most of the Western World) is surely trying to hoard these things for their own stocks so that they have some at Christmas, it's no surprise that Nintendo sees their warehouse empty.

It is absolutely pointless for Nintendo to "hype" anything right now because, the vast majority of places, are STILL selling out on their own. Why incent something that's already happening on its' own? Not to mention if your goal was to hype something, I'd think you'd pick a better venue than some pissant local newspaper where the only people outside the senior citizens of San Jose that will even see it are geeks like us.

RE: Hype
By SigmaHyperion on 10/1/2007 3:13:53 PM , Rating: 3
Considering that they're ALREADY sold-out, it'd be kind of stupid to try to incite people to go out and buy them now so that they'll sell out.

Wii EBay frenzy to come this holiday season?
By Adonlude on 10/1/2007 2:52:22 PM , Rating: 1
Well if this is true then maybe it will be like the release where everyone is buying them to sell them on EBay at rediculous prices.

RE: Wii EBay frenzy to come this holiday season?
By acer905 on 10/1/2007 3:02:19 PM , Rating: 2
AS i recall, it was the PS3 that most people were buying just to put on ebay. There were some Wii's on ebay, but at the time nobody thought it would go anywhere so few people went to get one that didn't just want to have one.

RE: Wii EBay frenzy to come this holiday season?
By Murst on 10/1/2007 3:25:37 PM , Rating: 3
There were many more Wii systems on ebay than PS3 around the holidays. Now, I don't remember the numbers right after launch, but once december hit, it was all about the Wii.

By acer905 on 10/1/2007 3:31:26 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't paying attention around the holiday because of the trends i was seeing after launch. Within a week after launch almost none were left being sold. And not many were up to begin with.

I still recall the PS3 with a 1.2 million dollar bid 1 day after launch

By T3raYon on 10/1/2007 3:16:49 PM , Rating: 2
I just run and e-Bay search.
The "Buy it Now" price (you pay this and it's yours, no need to wait out the bidding) of a Wii package is around US$370 plus S&H and this typically includes some games or extra controllers going with it.
I would not call this price outrageous.
There are ~700 hits on e-Bay. not a lot.

no Wii in sight here
By The0ne on 10/1/2007 3:00:39 PM , Rating: 2
I will assume that unless the person knows where Wii's are in stock I haven't been able to find any at your regular retail stores. This is in San Diego. Can't find them at,

Toy's R US, Best Buy, Frys, Circuit City, etc.

That said, however, you can always find piles of PS3 and Xbox everywhere. When I mean piles I literally mean they pile then in the walkways to sell.

This is good news and bad news for some people I guess :(

RE: no Wii in sight here
By mdogs444 on 10/1/2007 3:47:49 PM , Rating: 2
Ive seen them all over the place, including last year.

But then again, this is in Columbus, Ohio - a little bit different of a market and less populated.

RE: no Wii in sight here
By Murst on 10/1/2007 4:38:02 PM , Rating: 2
I'm in Cinci and I've just began seeing a few boxes at the stores within the last month.

So I guess now I know what happened with all our shipments.

Ah well, at least Bearcats > Buckeyes. :)

RE: no Wii in sight here
By mdogs444 on 10/1/2007 5:03:43 PM , Rating: 2
Theres a reason Cinci has a college football team....sucky quarterbacks from Notre Dame need somewhere to transfer.


A different Business Model
By ChipDude on 10/1/2007 4:24:46 PM , Rating: 2
The WII is simply a different business model then say a phone, a new computer or a new CE device like the new Nano. THose product lifecyles are short. To capture profits before they become obsolete or drop in price requires a quick ramp when prices are high.

The wii is a different beast. It'll be the main home platform for another 3 years +. I also don't expect much price drop between now and middle of 2008. They make money on every unit. Why would the go ramp up manufacturing at some huge cost only to be saddled with overcapacity in 2008. Better to keep demand tight, prices flat and leverage the buzz. In the end every WII buyer will wait and buy a wii even if it means waiting till 2008. THey simply won't cross over and buy a 360 or PS3 instead.

On the other side you got sony sitting on inventory, struggling with next price drop and wait for the slow trickle of new games. On xb0360 you are already in steady state, huge losses related to initial startup, warrenty replacement and product transition to 65nm. After the halo of halo3 they is not more upside.

Every xbo360 and PS3 customer is a potential WII buyer as it is such a different platform. I think on the other hand there are far fewer people out there that will consider the getting both the 360 and PS3 as they are more direct competitors.

Expect WII to sell 2:1 and 3:1 to 360 and PS3 for the duration of this generation. It'll be interesting to see if MS and / or Sony will choose to exit. They both won't have made the required money in this market to justify continue investment at billion dollar level. The only reason there could be another generation for either is if it they can migrate the platform to some larger digital home centerpiece which has failed to materialize.

RE: A different Business Model
By T3raYon on 10/1/2007 5:09:10 PM , Rating: 2
Lots of great points.
Business model is different indeed.

Also what I would like to see is the performance of the Sony Playstation 2 at the time of its release - how did it do in its first year?

The industry struggles to compare 3 products that are very difficult to compare:
1. XboX 360 has a 1 year advantage in product lifecycle
2. PS3 has lost a year but I see a huge potential in it to REMAIN a decent product throughout its lifecycle
3. Wii is a different "grade" of hardware with a different target customer base

Sony seems to be the big "looser" now but I'm pretty sure Microsoft would need more to outsmart the Japanese giant than a copycat concept and big money...

As for the Wii - as long as the patents are there for the Wii controllers it's a home run, isn't it? :)

RE: A different Business Model
By Xavian on 10/2/2007 1:04:27 AM , Rating: 2
So far worldwide, the Wii has outpaced the PS2 in sales, which was the fastest selling console of all time.

So they are not exactly being slow on production. Its just the demand for the Wii is massive.

Consoles - still waiting for the games
By rushfan2006 on 10/1/2007 4:32:53 PM , Rating: 2
The Wii, the PS3 and the xbox 360. I have seen (in store demos and in some cases friends/family that have one or the other), read (numerous adds, articles online, etc.) and heard (plenty of folks talking about the consoles these days) about each of these consoles.

Prending that money means nothing --- I don't see the draw to either of them being so great. Where are the games? Get something straight from where I'm coming from -- a couple good games does not equal good value in buying a console that costs from $250 - darn near $600.

Don't slam me as I'm jumping on your precious system (which ever flag you wave -- Wii, Xbox or PS3) I'm being honest here I don't see a slew of great games.

I'm supposed to shell out hundreds of my hard earned dollars, wait in line for hours upon hours, drive all over creation to find a store that has these systems in stock --- for what? The "honor" to play a measely 4-6 good games?

I just don't get it.

By xti on 10/1/2007 6:11:43 PM , Rating: 2
I'm with you, where are the games??

buttttt.....1 game was enough for me (wii sports) because my anti-video-game-girlfriend thought the idea of pretending to bowl over a margarita is her idea of fun, then heck $250 is the lesser of all the evils from a price point of view.

I think its examples like that that has proved over and over in these discussions why people do dump their money on this system despite the questions of 'why it looks crappy' or 'no games' or even 'mario again!?!'.

new meaning to think outside the box from nin.

This is FUD
By aos007 on 10/1/2007 6:38:43 PM , Rating: 2
I just came back from Japan. Every store I went to that could've been reasonably expected to sell Wiis had them in stock. PLENTY of them. PILES of them. And they cost only 25,000 yen, considerably cheaper than here in Canada.

Sorry, but no one is going to make me believe that they are unable to meet the demand. I chose to believe those analysts that suspect that Nintendo is purposefully not shipping enough to markets that want them in order to keep the demand and buzz high. They are especially keeping Canadian market ill-supplied, providing less per capita than to the US market last time I've looked at the numbers (which was quite a while ago, though). They were also extremely slow providing accessories such as component cables - it took 3 or 4 months for first party cables to show up in stores here. I do not feel comfortable patronizing companies that discriminate against customers in my country, so I'll stay away from Wii.

RE: This is FUD
By ChipDude on 10/1/2007 8:18:49 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, check some of the other posts about what is happening in the US. Lots of kids still want one and don't have one.

Go to your local Target, Bestbuy, etc. and check it out.

You don't want to patronizing companies that descriminate? Dude what kind of car do you drive? Where are your clothes made, shoes. etc. etc...

By koenshaku on 10/1/2007 3:58:59 PM , Rating: 2
It should be interesting to see who tops holiday sales. Wii is really in a different category from traditional consoles and they have a different audience as well I would never personally buy one. I thought of it as a joke when it was introduced, now I see it as a cool party toy that I'd never pay for because I don't have many parties.. Anyway as a result of a different audience buying the Wii that aren't traditional gamers their software sales suffer.

Each month software sales are dominated by the 360 and PS2 I look forward to seeing the NPD data for last month I reckon the 360 would have out sold the wii hardware wise, bcause of the launch of halo the question is will MS continue to throughout the holiday season.

By ChipDude on 10/1/2007 5:30:02 PM , Rating: 2
Here is a link:

Looks like Sony has to do something! But it is funny as my local bestbuy still has a stack of 60GB sitting on their floor after the 100 buck price drop. If sony want to have any chance goosing sales then need to forget thinking that the difference between a 40, 60, 80GB drive is worth a hundred or two hundred bucks. The cost of the drive isn't the issue Stringer. Its the damm box! Frankly the average consumer nor gamer care that it comes with a Blue-ray player. Damm I expect I can get a blue ray player this holiday for cheaper then any of your PS3 models.

TO make the PS3 look attractive you need to drop the entry level PS3 to a hundred bucks of the WII.

Are you reading SONY? That is you need a PS3 model at 349 tops. Stop shooting yourself in the foot. Better lose a little more money now and get your volumes up vs. lose less now and lose the whole damm future. Wake up SONY/MS your high end graphics simply isn't compelling enough to justify much more then a hundred bucks!

What a product!!!
By tjr508 on 10/2/2007 1:30:08 AM , Rating: 2
I don't own a wii, have never played a wii, and never will play a wii probably, but wow. What a great product to be at a price point slightly below the expected supply/demand curve and still bring so much profit. Also, what a company to not raise the price even after all of this news. This is truely a piece of tech history.

Reminds me of AMD
By clovell on 10/1/07, Rating: -1
RE: Reminds me of AMD
By mdogs444 on 10/1/2007 2:48:51 PM , Rating: 2
a good, competitive product stifled by overwhelming demand and an inability to keep up with it.

A little bit different.

Nintendo cannot keep up with the consumer demand for their product.

AMD cannot keep up wiht the product demand from its consumers.

RE: Reminds me of AMD
By clovell on 10/1/2007 3:00:06 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I guess that didn't make much sense, but I was speaking from more of a historical perspective (AMD's past manufacturing woes) rather than a 'at this moment' perspective.

RE: Reminds me of AMD
By augiem on 10/1/2007 2:49:10 PM , Rating: 2
Well, so far microsoft has yet to make a profit on it's Xbox division which has been around since Nov 2001 (original Xbox release date). Nintendo's business model has always been to make profit on the hardware and the software. MS is still betting their strategy will pay off in the future, whereas N has been making $$$ every year a couple of decades.

RE: Reminds me of AMD
By brownzilla786 on 10/1/2007 2:49:55 PM , Rating: 3
Nintendo surpassed Sony in company value, so yes they can take the loss but choose not to. It seems their strategy has worked.

RE: Reminds me of AMD
By clovell on 10/1/2007 2:57:25 PM , Rating: 2
Oh I wasn't passing any kind of judgement on their strategy - it obviously works very well. Still the fact remains they can't take the billions in losses like Microsoft or Sony and that has impacted their business strategy. But, they've handled it remarkably well.

How supplies till be constrained?
By bespoke on 10/1/07, Rating: -1
By bespoke on 10/1/2007 3:32:51 PM , Rating: 2
Ugh, meant the title to be "How can supplies still be constrained?"

By SilthDraeth on 10/1/2007 3:42:08 PM , Rating: 2
Nintendo is making money on both hardware and software. I almost never see Wiis at Target, Wal-Mart, K-mart, etc etc, but I own one, I only had to stand in line 18 hours for mine.

I do not know why people accuse Nintendo of artificially constraining.

Just because it has slightly better hardware than a Game Cube does not mean it is running on the same hardware. So no, you can not just up and start producing a ton more systems.

By clovell on 10/1/2007 4:29:38 PM , Rating: 3
It's not 6 year old technology. It shares a platform with the Gamecube - in the sense that the dev kits aren't very different. The actual components used to make, though, are very different from the Gamecube. There's Wi-Fi and bluetooth, and power-saving features as well as a long list of other features.

Claiming that the shortage is artificial because 'Wii = GC' is incorrect.

RE: How supplies till be constrained?
By encryptkeeper on 10/1/07, Rating: 0
RE: How supplies till be constrained?
By robinthakur on 10/2/2007 6:40:28 AM , Rating: 2
I actually bought all three consoles. I bought the 360 and PS3 to resell, I didn't buy any games for them or additional accessories because I know that its where they could claw back some of the loss they made on the hardware, so I've ended up hurting Microsoft and Sony financially, and giving the profits to Nintendo. How funny is that? The Wii is the real deal, the PS3 and Xbox 360 are not Dodge Vipers or whatever you want to call them. They are like huge lumbering beasts trying to catch the far more highly evolved and nimble Nintendo. What Nintendo did is so smart, it will go down in history for being textbook 'how to regain control of an industry through being positively different.' and not following the dinosaurs into extinction.

Halo 3 is not especially impressive or great as a game, if it was a no name shooter without the gajillion dollar marketing, it would be all but ignored. Just because its a brand that Microsoft clings to in the vain hope of trying to turn a profit, and 360 fans cling to in the hope of having an 'exclusive franchise' for bragging rights, its forgotten that this is just a FPS, with unremarkable graphics, derivative characterisation and gameplay that is eclipsed not just by GOW but also by most PC shooters which have ever been released in the last 5 years. Its funny because its why the hype?

RE: How supplies till be constrained?
By encryptkeeper on 10/2/2007 8:54:09 AM , Rating: 2
Its funny because its why the hype?

Because you can hump fragged soldiers.

Quite frankly, I think the the entire video game industry is slowly beginning to wake up to the fact that graphics won't carry the industry forever. When I told someone about the Playstation 3 coming out in a couple of years (this was 2004) he was like, "Geez man how much more realistic can the graphics get?". And it's true, how much better can graphics get over things like GOW and Crysis. Screenshots of people from Crysis look damn close to photographs thanks to DX 10. Prime 3 proves it: new and innovative gameplay is the way to keep the industry alive.

By Hieyeck on 10/3/2007 6:11:41 PM , Rating: 2
Quoted for truth.

Companies need to return to the roots of gaming and make games that are FUN. Sid Meier in his 20+ years of developing games, is NEVER on the cutting edge of graphics. Yet he still manages to succeed 90% of the time (some might argue 100%, but there are bad Sid games). Because he spends his budget on creating the GAME, not the GRAPHICS. Far Cry is the biggest example of the graphics flop. By god it was beautiful for its time, but the game SUCKED, and it failed to sell as well as expected. I think Nintendo is picking up on this and I dare say that they aren't even BOTHERING to compete for the 'gamer' market anymore. They're targeting the bigger, 'family', market. And because of this, I would say that Wii is in a league of its own.

By clovell on 10/2/2007 11:37:52 AM , Rating: 2
Have you played through Halo 3? I have. I'm impressed with it. There really arent' many other games with the variety of vehicles, weapons, enemies, and friendlies - you don't have it in GOW or HL2 - that may not impress you, but Halo isn't just some cookie-cutter FPS like some folks would like to believe.

Microsoft's hopes to turn a profit on Halo 3 are hardly in vain - check out the latest sales numbers. And, the hype is there for a couple reasons: Halo put the xbox on the map. Plus, Halo can afford it. GOW will have sequels, so we'll get to see how it stacks up in the end.

I'm sorry - I'm just getting sick of the comments on Halo 3. I find it laughable that anyone can try to actually make an arguement that it is not a good game as if they were objective. Some people will like it, some people won't. Enjoy it or move on.

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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