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Where are Wii? 440

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the not-under-my-tree dept.
WirePosted writes "Santa is in trouble, it looks like supplying the Christmas need for a Nintendo Wii game console is in jeopardy as stocks wither under constant and heavy demand. Conspiracy believers suggest this is an orchestrated move on behalf of Nintendo." Since this happens to be what I want for Christmas, I hope they work it out, or my loving wife has already found one.
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Where are Wii?

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  • Couple Thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:26AM (#21630871) Homepage Journal
    Two things jump out at me in this article. The first is that this once again proves that Gartner is worse than useless. The second is that they left out one element. Take a look at Amazon [amazon.com] or over at ebay [ebay.com]. There are literaly thousands of Wiis that have been purchased by people for no other reason than turning around and selling them above retail. This has been going on for quite a while, though the prices have really spiked in recent weeks. I think they were averaging around $350 on Amazon for quite a while, as opposed to the over $500 now. And the number for sale there has greatly increased. I think some people may end up still holding them after the holidays though, because part of the appeal of the wii is the price. If I'm going to drop $600 on a console - I might as well get a 360 with some games or a PS3 that can play all those PS2 games out there.
    • Re:Couple Thoughts (Score:5, Informative)

      by antifoidulus (807088) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:42AM (#21630975) Homepage Journal
      I think some people may end up still holding them after the holidays though

      Yeah, but most of them won't be out any significant amounts of money though, because they will simply return them the day after Christmas. Last year I went to Best Buy the day after Christmas because my mom bought me the wrong Simpsons season on DVD, so I had to wait in the return line. I noticed that almost everyone in front of me was returning ps3s. I bet that most of them were people who bought the ps3 to try to sell for a few grand on ebay, and when they didn't sell they went straight to best buy to recoup their $600. So most of the resellers probably consider it a no-risk investment on their part.
      • Re:Couple Thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

        by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:45AM (#21631001) Homepage Journal
        I didn't even think of that. People can be such weasels. Though it's good by me I guess. I told my kids that if we could get our hands on a wii at regular retail after the holidays, we'd get one. I'm letting them save up and we are going in on it together. I figure it's a good chance for them to learn about money and what not.
      • Re:Couple Thoughts (Score:5, Interesting)

        by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Sunday December 09, 2007 @12:52PM (#21631837) Homepage
        I'd suggest these stores instate a "no returns" policy on gaming consoles, or tack on a fat restocking fee (like 30%), at least during the holiday season - anything to deter the bottom-feeders who are openly abusing the store's (supposed) goodwill return policy.

        I tried a little experiment last week, I posted a (fake) Wii for sale on a local board. Within minutes I had a dozen replies offering $400-450 (retail price is ~$300 Canadian tax-in). Using their email addys, I looked them up on the sale boards and realized they were all resellers tacking on another $100 and re-flipping Wiis.

        At that point I was EXTREMELY tempted to lure them to a remote area and beat them senseless with a Colecovision.

        Sure, Christmas is little more than a sales event (sorry, Jesus freaks!), but this is just outright hateful greed.
        • Re:Couple Thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

          by pyite (140350) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @01:02PM (#21631909)
          At that point I was EXTREMELY tempted to lure them to a remote area and beat them senseless with a Colecovision.

          Why, because at that point it became apparent to you that they understand economics better than you do?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by billcopc (196330)
            Economics != Greed

            That is an American fallacy. You can't have democracy if all you want to do is take from others.
        • Re:Couple Thoughts (Score:4, Interesting)

          by BakaHoushi (786009) <Goss DOT Sean AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday December 09, 2007 @01:23PM (#21632101) Homepage
          As someone who was "lucky" enough to be working at a Toys R Us during its launch last year (I say lucky because while I most certainly would not have been able to find one if I weren't there to make a reservation, it's hard to think of even the best game system being worth getting paid minimum wage to work in that festering shithole), and got one on day one, I hate these people with a passion. Are we really such greedy bastards? I don't even SELL my games. I don't sell books when I'm done with them, even if I'm not likely to read them again. I don't sell movies. These are experiences I've had, and I keep them as at the least a reminder of good times and fantasy worlds I can use for a little needed escapism.

          Let's face it. Video games are GAMES. Their only real purpose, in my opinion, is to be fun. Yes, they can improve hand-eye coordination, make us better/worse readers (depending on what games you play. I have a hard time believing RPGs that are 3/4 text make us worse readers than people who guzzle down trashy romance novels), provide an outlet for stress, etc. but they're still just GAMES. Where's the love of playing the game? Where's the FUN? Have we, as a society, lost the ability to just DO something for the sake of doing it, without thinking of ways to make a buck off of it? (The correct answer is: Yes. Yes we have.) I mean, obviously Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft want to make a profit. But that's business. But getting a Wii. That's gaming.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by bdjacobson (1094909)
            Guys its really not a big deal. It's a video game system. I hate it when people say things like this, but if a 15-20% extra cost is enough to keep you from buying a console that only costs perhaps 1% of the average US household income, that you supposedly want so badly, badly enough to fuss on the internet about, then you probably don't need to be buying it in the first place, and don't need to be trolling the internet about it either. The time you saved not standing outside the store when the console launc
        • Re:Couple Thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Wooky_linuxer (685371) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @05:32PM (#21634269)
          I don't get it. You want to beat them because they are using capitalism to... make money?

          They aren't forcing you to sell your Wii to them. Or other people to buy theirs. So what's the big deal? I understand people who buy Wii/PS3 in a retail store and simply return them if they can't be sold with hefty margins, are probably being unethical. But after all, it is their Wii. They can sell it if they wan't. It is up to a) consumers don't be stupid and don't pay the prices they ask for and b) Nintendo ramp up production. If some big company kept you from selling some good, or say some software or media, you purchased from them, how would you feel?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mosch (204)
      It's not like Wiis are that cheap to begin with, at least not the way most people set them up.

      Wii - $250
      Wii Play w/Wiimote - $50
      Two more Wiimotes - $80
      An extra Nunchuk - $20
      Component Video Cable - $20

      And you're at $420 without buying any meaningful games, at regular retail price. Toss in sales tax and a handful of games, you've already broke $600.

      Beyond that, I just don't buy the argument that a 360 or a PS3 is a true competitor to the Wii. People who buy the Wii want it for the innovative game play, and
      • Re:Couple Thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

        by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Sunday December 09, 2007 @11:01AM (#21631091) Homepage Journal
        Wont you be doing the same on the other platforms though? and from what I've seen wii games are a bit cheaper than the other two. I agree with you about the innovative game play - but if the console alone started at $600 or more, it wouldn't be selling like it is. Nintendo really found a sweet spot teaming up that new style of play with a great price point.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by EggyToast (858951)
          Not exactly; the other platforms have a push towards online play and single player play, meaning you pay the Gold account fee on a 360 and no extra fee on a PS3. You already own the single controller, which is all you need to play the online game.
          It's a long term, non-permanent charge on the 360, for sure, but it is less than buying the extra Wii controllers.
          • by Pollardito (781263) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @01:04PM (#21631935)
            my 360 didn't come with built-in wireless, that was a quick $100 tack-on right there
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by teh kurisu (701097)

            That's not really a fair comparison, because online play requires that each player has his or her own console. If you assume the same for the Wii, that all the people you will play with have their own Wii, then they all have their own Wiimote and Nunchuk, so there's no reason to buy any extra controllers.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Jason Earl (1894)

            Not to be rude or anything, but people that are getting a Wii for Christmas have friends and loved ones. These friends probably want to play too. I know that if I was going to drop several hundred dollars on a video game system for someone there had better be enough controllers so that I can play something too.

            I know that PS3 and XBox 360 owners get all excited about Internet play, but that's actually one of the signs that both Microsoft and Sony misunderstand the console market. There is a certain sma

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              The whole generation of NES gamers are graduating college now, and they aren't all living in the same room, let alone same city. Few who play on live do so because it will allow them to play with random losers on the internet.
      • Re:Couple Thoughts (Score:5, Interesting)

        by vux984 (928602) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @11:13AM (#21631137)
        It's not like Wiis are that cheap to begin with, at least not the way most people set them up.

        Wii - $250
        Wii Play w/Wiimote - $50
        Two more Wiimotes - $80
        An extra Nunchuk - $20
        Component Video Cable - $20

        And you're at $420 without buying any meaningful games, at regular retail price.


        Sort of.

        I am nearly your exact config (just add 2 classic controllers). But it probably took me 6 months before I had 4 Wii Remotes. (Although I actually had my "1st" Wii Remote, component cable, and spare nunchuk a full 4 months before I actually managed to get the Wii.

        [At launch even the accessories were impossible to get, so I grabbed what I could, when I could.]

        But while that might be how MANY Wii's end up, you can put a $300 box under the tree, if that's your budget, and still have something entertaining. If your buying it for someone over 15 they can accessorize it themselves.

        That budget factor important to a lot of people. You can always add the other stuff later. And you definitely don't -need- 4 wii remotes on day one.

        I'd say most people spring for a 2nd wii remote via Wii Play pretty quick, but it can take a while before they add more / finish it up. My parents, for example, got a Wii in the summer; and have added a second wii remote (wii play) and nunchuk, but that's it. They haven't bothered with the component cable either (their 32" TV can take component, but its SD, and for them its just not a priority. I doubt they are even really aware that they could upgrade the cable.)

        Beyond that, I just don't buy the argument that a 360 or a PS3 is a true competitor to the Wii. People who buy the Wii want it for the innovative game play, and nothing else satisfies that demand.

        Yeah, a BIG part of the market for the Wii only is interested in the Wii. For people who ultimately want both a Wii and either an xbox or ps3 (or all three) are going to get one of the other two, but yeah, a big part of the market just has no interest in the other two consoles.

        My parents again, haven't got the slightest interest in either the xbox or ps3, at any price.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by hedwards (940851)

          But while that might be how MANY Wii's end up, you can put a $300 box under the tree, if that's your budget, and still have something entertaining. If your buying it for someone over 15 they can accessorize it themselves.

          I don't think that people should underestimate this. I've done that with other things, and the quality of the stuff you can get in that manner is often times far better than when you're stuck buying it all at once.

          My camera and home gym setups would both have been far out of my reach had I been required for one reason or another to plunk down the cash for either of those at once. It also allowed me to make better decisions about what extras to get.

          Granted those aren't directly analogous, but there is a str

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by rizzo420 (136707)
        i don't think most people are buying all of that. there's just not a need. not to mention, the wii comes with a game and the other consoles just come with 1 controller and no games. the price is already better than buying an xbox or ps3. the other thing is that those who are making those purchases aren't doing it all up front. they might go and get wiiplay to get the second remote and pick up a second nunchuck, making the price $320, but they're not going to buy 2 extra remotes right up front.

        the compo
      • by Cylix (55374)
        In fairness you don't need two more wiimotes. Two is just fine.

        So,
        Wii - $250
        Wii Play w/Remote - $50
        Nunchuck - $20
        Component Cable - $20 (optional 20 really_

        In reality, it's 320 with an optional component cable. 90% likely to find knock off component cables for $10 somewhere.

        As a side note I do happen to like some of the games on wii play.

        However, I really do like the Zapper (+30) and Classic Controller (+20).

        On the plus side Link's Crossbow is actually fun, but I've never really used the classic controller.

        I
      • Re:Couple Thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jarjarthejedi (996957) <christianpinch.gmail@com> on Sunday December 09, 2007 @11:42AM (#21631297) Journal
        It's not like the 360 is cheap to begign with, at least not the way most people set them up.

        360 - $350
        Extra Controller - $60
        HD Cable - $20

        And you're at $430 without buying ANY games, at regulare retail price. Toss in sales tax and a handful of games and you've broke $700.

        The Wii is the cheapest current gen (the PS2 and them are now last gen) console. That is a fact, no matter how the other console fanbois may boost the price by including accessories.

        Oblig Penny Arcade http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2006/09/14
        • Re:Couple Thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

          by mosch (204) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @02:45PM (#21632707) Homepage
          Well, you've almost proved my point for me.

          By the time you add everything up, you're looking at $600+ versus $700+. I just have a hard time believing that there is a significant contingent of people who are happy to pay $600 to play games, but think that $700 is too much.

          I know the Wii is a little cheaper, but I still don't buy the idea that it's popular because of price. I think it's popular because it's really fucking fun; especially for people who want to play casually against friends.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Doctor Crumb (737936)
        Let's compare apples to apples:

        xbox360 bundle with forza 2 and marvel ultimate alliance: $350
        3 additional wireless controllers: $50 x 3 = $150
        wireless network adaptor: $100
        xbox LIVE subscription: $50/y

        And you're at $570 without buying any meaningful games, at regular retail price. Toss in sales tax and a handful of games, you've already broken $700. So it's not like 360s or ps3s are cheap to start with, at least not the way most people set them up.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by whereiswaldo (459052)
        I bought the Wii for innovative game play but unfortunately I found that (a) there weren't many games targetted at adults and (b) not all games really took advantage of the Wii controller in a way that couldn't be easily accomplished on any other console. Now that I've sold my Wii, I may be looking to buy a 360 or a PS3. With that said, I'm really disappointed by the quality of games out there and the price you have to pay for these often mediocre games. Very, very games are worth $70. Even Halo 3 doesn
    • Re:Couple Thoughts (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Fozzyuw (950608) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:54AM (#21631047)

      Take a look at Amazon or over at ebay.

      Excellent point. There are few consumer goods, toys if you will, that this applies to. This "ticket scalping" like attitude is pretty new to a lot of consumers and of course they're going to blame the company directly. However, it's not the case. Besides the unprecedented demand (it's been practically sold out for over a year in a lot of places) and the fact that hot toys, even when not in demand in the off season, can see sold-out status during the holidays, Nintendo has actually increased factory [latimes.com] output for the holidays. Of course, I think 1.8 million consoles [kotaku.com] a month is nothing to shake a stick at.

      I do feel sorry for a little sorry for those who cannot get one, but I also write it off as them not trying hard enough. With a little effort, it wasn't hard to get a Wii back in Oct. They would sit on the shelf for about 2 days before going sold out (according to GameStop and WalMart employees in my local area, YMMV). If you called every day, you'd have gotten one in a week. Of course, your best bet now is to wait until after Xmas, when the Wii bubble pops, and all those hording Wii's for premium re-sales during Xmas will flood the market at standard costs. Otherwise, good luck and keep trying!

      Cheers,
      Fozzy

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by faloi (738831)
      The big problem with the PS3, and Xbox 360, is that backward compatibility isn't a given. You might do ok, depending on the game, but it's not like you can scrap your PS2 for a PS3 and come up roses. Same on the Xbox.

      You're right about the price, though. If you end up spending as much as you would on a Xbox 360 or PS3, it sort of negates the whole "I can get a Wii and Xbox 360 for the price of a PS3" argument. I got lucky and snagged a Wii early on. It's a fun console, but I'm hoping that game develop
      • by badasscat (563442)
        The big problem with the PS3, and Xbox 360, is that backward compatibility isn't a given. You might do ok, depending on the game, but it's not like you can scrap your PS2 for a PS3 and come up roses.

        You can if you buy the right one. 60GB models are still out there in some places. 80GB models also have near-100% compatibility - yeah, some games have problems, but it's not like the Xbox 360 with its ~70% compatibility. And the 80GB models aren't going away.
    • Re:Couple Thoughts (Score:5, Interesting)

      by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @11:31AM (#21631225)
      Craig's list!

      Set up their RSS feeds and watch it. I got 2 Wiis for UNDER cost. One was from a kid bored with it selling it for a new BMX bike. No box, but everything was there plus 3-4 extra games $250 cash. Cheaper than if taxed in Illinois.

      The second one... was an amazing find.
      Wii
      2 Full controllers (Not 4 controllers!!!! 2 nunchucks + 2 controllers as advertised everywhere else)
      5 games
      Rechargeable battery packs AND charger.
      Component video.

      All for $300. Foreign student moving back to his homeland. I e-mailed him with in 10 minutes of it being listed. I haven't added everything up but it looks like $450 worth of stuff no tax for $300.
      One's going to my brother one I'm keeping.

      This in the same are that I can't find one at any walmart anywhere. Where I've seen people selling them on Craig's list for
      $600 with
      4 controllers [sic] (2 controllers 2 nunchucks]
      10 games [Wii sports + Wii Play added together]
      etc.

      For kicks I setup an auction exactly like the one I bought, in downtown chicago, same price.

      5 e-mails in 6 hours.

      The thing driving up prices is everyone seeing the prices being driven up which when they get their, they list it for $10 more...
    • Re:Couple Thoughts (Score:5, Informative)

      by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @12:04PM (#21631435) Homepage

      I might as well get a 360 with some games or a PS3 that can play all those PS2 games out there

      Be careful with the latter option. Sony has made quite a few changes to PS3 backward compatibility with PS2, ranging from supporting it in hardware on some models, to supporting it by software emulation in others, to dropping it completely in still others.

  • They're in Taiwan (Score:4, Informative)

    by ragnarok (6947) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:28AM (#21630877)
    I saw plenty of them yesterday at Guanghua Market in Taipei. The going rate here seems to be 10500 NTD.
  • Plenty of Wiis here (Score:5, Informative)

    by Troed (102527) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:29AM (#21630879) Homepage Journal
    There are lots of Wiis in stock in shops in Sweden. Where do you want them sent?

    (Seriously, I have no idea what Nintendo is up to, but claiming there's a severe shortage of PAL Wiis in the UK with lots of PAL Wiis available in other countries - only the plug on the AC adapter differs - doesn't sound right. Add a firmware flash and then the same hardware would become NTSC ... )

    • I've wondered how hard it would be to switch one over as I'll be in Hungary soon, and if I knew I could get it working in the US with ease, I'd definitely look to pick one up.
    • by killbill! (154539) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @11:38AM (#21631269) Homepage
      Price in the US: USD 249
      Price in Europe: EUR 249

      The profit margin is much higher in Europe (even after accounting for VAT). It makes sense to give priority to the countries where the profit margin is highest.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by mrsmiggs (1013037)
        This is simply not the case, UK stock is also low with retailers now taking advantage by selling the console in large expensive high margin bundles. If Nintendo have already sold the stock to retailers for the Christmas it's going to be pretty hard for them to buy the stock back and then ship it around the world. Consumers are just going to have to be persistant and clever in trying to get hold of the console, many UK gamers have been purchasing from amazon.fr and amazon.de but they've now sold out. I imagi
  • Buzzlight year (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:33AM (#21630907) Journal
    Any one remember Buzz Lightyear and the Furbies?

    Same shit every Christmas just with a different name. Kids want the same 'cool' toy, so mothers (and some times fathers, but usually mothers) turn up at Toys 'r' US at 3am every day waiting for the next shipment then end up in near fist fights over it. It's been going on for as many years as I can remember, the only difference is the cost of the wii is much greater than the cost of a Furby or Buzz Lightyear was.

    But hey, I already have a Wii and want a 360 this year, so I'm quite happy to watch the same story over again, except this time it's on slashdot instead of the local news.
    • Re:Buzzlight year (Score:5, Insightful)

      by microbrewer (774971) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:48AM (#21631019) Homepage

      Any one remember Buzz Lightyear and the Furbies?

      Same shit every Christmas just with a different name. Kids want the same 'cool' toy, so mothers (and some times fathers, but usually mothers) turn up at Toys 'r' US at 3am every day waiting for the next shipment then end up in near fist fights over it. It's been going on for as many years as I can remember, the only difference is the cost of the wii is much greater than the cost of a Furby or Buzz Lightyear was.

      But hey, I already have a Wii and want a 360 this year, so I'm quite happy to watch the same story over again, except this time it's on slashdot instead of the local news.
      The thing about the Wii is that its the Must Have Item 2 years in a Row
      • by springbox (853816)
        Yeah, which is why I don't understand why people are using the same "conspiracy theory" after a year of continuous Wii shortages. I'm pretty sure Nintendo isn't restricting the supply intentionally.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          And most people that are complaining about production being low have obviously never worked in anything manufacturing related.

          You can't just magically increase production. Nintendo increased their production to what they thought was 'safe' for their business. If they wanted to I'm sure they could have built 5 new plants, cranked out 5 million a month and had everyone a Wii within a year.

          Then they woudl have had 5 idle manufacturing plans for the next X years until the Wii2 came out.
      • Last year's was the TMX. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tickle_Me_Elmo#TMX [wikipedia.org]

        At that point, most non-gamers didn't care about the Wii yet. It really didn't become the "everyone has to have one" machine until 2007.

        Hell, the line I waited in on release day was shorter than the ones I'm hearing about now.
    • It doesn't make sense that Nintendo would deliberately constrain supply like that. Deliberately letting demand go unsatisfied like that for over a year can cause serious problems to the brand.

      As it is, I think it's the fastest selling console ever. They may have bought or built a certain amount of plant capacity for the launch and demand exceeded expectations. Expanding on that might take a while, I don't know.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192)
      Me, I'm getting a Gamecube this christmas. I like to stay a generation behind, you avoid the hype, prices are down, and games don't get less fun because they're old. Maybe in 2010 I'll check out this wii thing. :D
    • ...except this time half the people wanting it ARE the parents.
  • UK Status (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BarneyL (578636) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:38AM (#21630931)
    Over in the UK supply isn't bad (although so tight that Nintendo are considering dropping all adverts [bbc.co.uk] to keep demand down), don't expect to get one from the first shop you go to (unbundled anyway) but a bit of work to find out which day stock is arriving to which retailers and you can pick one up. E-bay prices are only about £20 over RRP. Supply seems even better over in Europe, many are ordering through Amazon's German wing.
    The real shortage over here are certain games, Wii Play and High School Musical currently go for silly money on E-bay and Amazon.
  • by Bushido Hacks (788211) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:40AM (#21630953) Homepage Journal
    Ii'm iin Saiint Louiis. Slashdot iis iin Dexter, Miichiigan. And the capiital of the Uniited States iis iin Washiington, DC.
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:46AM (#21631003) Journal
    I don't see a shortage here, really... Watching the other replies in this thread, I wonder how common problem this really is.

    The retail price hasn't shot up for the holidays either. http://www.prisjakt.nu/produkt.php?pu=48126 [prisjakt.nu]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rizzo420 (136707)
      the shortages are real in certain parts of the US. i live in the northeast and while i managed to get one back in january (though i had to get up at the crack of dawn and stand outside target in line), they're rare to see in stores. many people here say it's easy to get one, but unless you get to the store at the right time, you won't. and people who have to work during the week have it the toughest (that was my issue, i couldn't just spend time calling stores or visiting stores when i got a chance). th
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Builder (103701)
      The problem is very real in the UK. Every single shop in London has signs up explaining that they're out of stock. My local Game retailer is taking over 100 calls per day asking about stock. They get in about 25 a week in multiple shipments and these are almost always gone later the same day.

      On one memorable occasion, they got a batch of 50 on a Friday morning and still had 2 left on Saturday.

      This isn't a shop in the middle of London - it's out on the east of town in the arse end of nowhere.
  • If you already have a Wii, you can easily get a second one by simply calling Nintendo, thanks to their advance replacement program. Of course, that's only the console itself--no power cable, no sensor bar, no wiimote, no nunchuk, no cables, and no Wii Sports. Oh yeah, and you have to tell them that the one you have is having problems. I have two sitting on my floor right now thanks to this (first was having some graphical glitches, so it's going back tomorrow). If you don't return the first one within three
  • by UserChrisCanter4 (464072) * on Sunday December 09, 2007 @11:09AM (#21631121)
    Urban legends tell us that console manufacturers make no profit on the console but recoup the losses on games. Of course, various articles over the years have debunked that belief, and the general message seems to be that Nintendo was making a healthy profit on the Wii LAST year when they started selling it. With the reduction in cost on the various components, it can only be better this time around.

    The simple fact is that Nintendo has underestimated demand YET ANOTHER time. It's not as though they were the only ones who made this mistake - tons of third party companies jumped in around July and August this year to announce that they'd be releasing titles for the Wii now (presumably they hadn't been onboard earlier because they expected it to be a failure). Analysts have been continuously stating that the Wii would "lose steam" when people got over the novelty. It never happened. Now demand is through the roof again, and it's a tough problem. Getting the output just right for the holiday season is tricky - too few and you're left with the current situation, but too many and you'll have factories sitting idle after the fact. Couple all of that with the problem other posters have mentioned, ebay and Amazon "scalping" of Wiis, and you've got more difficult problem than you might first think.

    Bottom line: Nintendo makes good money on every Wii sold. Every Wii sold at holiday season also likely represents at least one more wiimote+nunchuk combo sale, which nets them even more cash, not to mention the additional games. But obviously Nintendo would rather turn down millions in profit so that they can keep the system "elite" or some such business. This is starting to sound like the old underwear gnomes business model meme.

    Think of this way, if it helps: RockBand is also selling out like crazy. EA and Harmonix have publicly stated that they can't make enough to satisfy demand. They make a profit on the package. Do you think they're not selling more as part of some brilliant plan to make it even cooler?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by typobox43 (677545)
      I'm not sure that it's even fair to say that Nintendo underestimated demand. They're already producing 1.8 million systems a month. That's a ton of capacity, and they just may not be able to add much more within a reasonable timeframe. Besides, all that extra manufacturing capacity is going to be wasted money once the demand does dip.
      • by TeamSPAM (166583) <flynnmj@@@email...com> on Sunday December 09, 2007 @02:01PM (#21632383) Homepage

        From what I've read, the current production lines are going full tilt to get the 1.8 million/month. They will need major capital expense to expand production. How fast would Nintendo be able to recoup that expense? If demand drops before this, then as the parent mentioned the money is wasted and either ruin their profits or ruin the return on the capital expense. Nintendo is between a rock and a hard place.

        The rock: Their competitors are able to throw a lot more money at the development of next gen consoles. Thus from a technology standpoint, better consoles.
        The hard place: If they overextend themselves they may end up like Sega. No longer making hardware and creating games for other consoles.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Kjella (173770)
          I think they can do both but there are more practical issues. The short version, 1.8mio = 450k/week is a lot going forward, normally the game market is ok in Q1, Q2, drops in summer Q3, explodes in christmas Q4. We've already heard that it takes them about 6 months to expand production all the way down the pipeline, so a change now won't go into effect until just before summer, when they're looking at the smallest demand. Nintendo will make their fall production orders around end of Q1, christmas volume at
    • by macrom (537566)
      I think it's a legitimate business strategy to let demand for a popular product continue into a fiscal period that normally experiences slow sales. The fourth quarter of the year (calendar year, that is) always experiences a boost due to the extra gift purchasing, with the quarter after seeing a downturn due to spenders paying off their holiday debts. If you have a product that is in such high demand that people will continue to pay for it well after your normally profitable period, why not let that natural
  • idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

    by joe 155 (937621) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @11:59AM (#21631399) Journal
    "Conspiracy believers suggest this is an orchestrated move on behalf of Nintendo"

    Then they would be idiots, do people think that when someone sells one on ebay for £320 (as I have seen happen, that's more than the PS3) they send off a nice cheque to nintendo just to say "thanks"? no. Nintendo loses money on each of these (since they only get the original sale and after the inflated price people are less likely to buy a lot of games). Nintendo really wants to meet demand, it's stupid to suggest otherwise.
    • Actually wasn't Nintendo one of the only companies making money on each console?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by joe 155 (937621)
        as I understand it, they are. But they lose money in the sense that if they would almost certainly make more money if people weren't buying them to sell on ebay, this is because the inflated price means people have less money to spend on games - so whilst it might seem like they make money either way (which they do), they make less than they would have done
    • by randomErr (172078)
      Have you thought that maybe Nintendo is keeping production at its current level just so that they don't have to drop prices and come out with new models like Microsoft and Sony has had to?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jma05 (897351)
        1. They already doubled production.
        2. The whole business model of the consoles is based on creating a large user base for their closed product rather than profit from sales. Reaching that target slower is counter profitable. Wii still has to take over PS2's base.
        3. They are pulling their TV ads because they are unable to meet demand.
        http://www.efluxmedia.com/news_Wii_TV_Ads_Canceled_In_UK_11531.html [efluxmedia.com]

        Pulling ads is not something a company that wants to create artificial demand does.
  • by gokalp (686689)
    I just came from the mall and each and every tech store has Wii on the shelf. Even with our enormous VAT (%18), it's very cheap and you can find plenty of them with Sports pack included for 699 TL (approx. USD590) On the open market you can have it for USD450 without the Sports pack. -- http://www.internet.gen.tr/ [internet.gen.tr]
  • You have to laugh at these analysts... Now they are saying in a year the Wii will just be a toy. I believe they were saying similar things last year and yet it is still the must have item of the xmas season. I think the Wii proves that graphics aren't everything and fun gameplay trumps impressive graphics.
    • A toy? Heck, no. Why, I plan to plow the north 40 acres with one in the spring. Now *that's* powerful graphics for ya. ;-)
    • The problem is that yes, the gameplay is great... under certain conditions:

      1) You're in a group. This is where it really, really shines.
      2) You feel like playing "shallow" games.

      If you're looking for a deep single-player experience, the Wii's not the way to go. When I have people over, the breakdown is about 75% Wii, 25% 360/PS3. When I'm by myself, it's about 90% 360/PS3, 10% Wii.
  • RedHat has put an interesting incentive on the table. Sign up for one of their mentioned classes and they'll ship you a Nintendo Wii about 6 weeks later. Note to the observant reader: this period ends after the holiday rush. As best as I've been able to work out, they've put in an order and Nintendo would have to promise they could deliver, as RedHat becomes contractually obligated to provide the student with a Wii.

    Details of the offer are here. [redhat.com] Be sure to read the fine print about when and how you sig

  • by Taulin (569009) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @12:34PM (#21631657) Homepage Journal
    Why would Nintendo want to sell more units than it takes to meet their projected sales for the quarter?
  • by binaryspiral (784263) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @12:43PM (#21631743)
    I wrote up a good explanation on how to score a wii:

    http://binaryspiral.com/2007/12/01/how-to-get-a-wii-before-christmas [binaryspiral.com]

    It's already worked for me and three other co-workers... YMMV.
  • Business school (Score:5, Informative)

    by Seanasy (21730) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @12:47PM (#21631773)

    I took a business class in which Nintendo was used as real world example for how they controlled prices for a release of Zelda. If I remember correctly it went something like this:

    Nintendo tells retailers "we're going to produce X amount by Christmas, give us your orders." Wal-Mart tells them, "we're big and will sell a lot of games, give us a huge number of them at a ridiculously low price. Otherwise, we won't carry it and you won't sell enough of them to make any money."

    Nintendo hates this, of course. So, they cut back sharply on production of the game. Closer to Christmas they tell the retailers, "oops, we only have Y amount. It's not enough for what we already know everybody wants. Give us your desired quantities with your _best_ price in Z days."

    Walmart just lost their leverage. Nintendo sells fewer cartridges but at a significantly better price than Walmart was offering. Not as good as they originally wanted but better than Walmart's offer.

    Something similar is probably happening here. The Wii could easily move in huge volume but the retailers would want a lower price. As long as:

    FewWii x HighPrice > LotsAWii x LowPrice

    you'll have a hard time finding a Wii.

  • Doubtful (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tom (822) on Monday December 10, 2007 @02:22AM (#21638635) Homepage Journal
    I should've snapped a picture the on friday, when I was in my local electronics store, and a good pile of Wii boxes were sitting right there, waiting for buyers.

    In other words: Just because the media write about it doesn't mean it's true.

    Or maybe it's because I'm in Europe and for some reason logistics and the supply chain work better here. I doubt that, though, given how much we've all become alike in those regards. Same companies running the same business using the same software to decide how much to ship where.
     

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