Nintendo is making Wii consoles at a record pace, some 1.8 million a month
. Last week they sold 350,000 units
. Yes, just last week. And yet, still, it's going to be almost impossible to find a Wii
in a store this Christmas. Wired reports that the problem actually began back in August. Summer being the traditional 'dry' season in gaming usually leads to hardware surpluses, but not with Nintendo's console. The result is a holiday season that Nintendo essentially couldn't prepare for. "Demand for Wii is so high, says analyst Michael Pachter, because of all the different types of consumers competing for the units ... it's not just kids who crave Wii. [It's] an especially big hit at retirement homes ... Hard-core gamers, who initially spurned the Wii's lower graphic power compared to the Xbox and PlayStation 3, have changed their tune on the console, thanks to brilliant software like the first-person shooter Metroid Prime 3. And eBay scalpers? They really want Wii."
In fact, the only reliable way to get your hands on a Wii is to go that most dubious of routes. Ebay Wii sales
are very brisk indeed this week.