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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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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.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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