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Where are Wii? 440

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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  • 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 ... )

  • Re:They're in Taiwan (Score:2, Informative)

    by Isaac-Lew ( 623 ) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:40AM (#21630951)
    10,500.00 TWD = 323.944 USD, according to www.xe.com .
  • 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:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 09, 2007 @10:44AM (#21630989)
    Target! Just go to Target. They usually get a dozen in every week or so - at least they did as of the middle of November. I have a relative that works as a pharmacist there. She sees them all the time. Just go there when they first open and you'll get one. I know I did...
  • 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]
  • by rizzo420 ( 136707 ) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @11:42AM (#21631303) Homepage Journal
    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). the wiiseeker helped me, but they changed the site so it's not as useful as it once was (it used to post rumors of when stores would be getting them in stock and how many they would have). but regardless of all that, i have not seen a wii in a store since i bought mine at 7 am one cold january morning.
  • by Builder ( 103701 ) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @11:58AM (#21631391)
    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.
  • by gokalp ( 686689 ) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @12:04PM (#21631427)
    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]
  • 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.

  • Re:Couple Thoughts (Score:2, Informative)

    by Doctor Crumb ( 737936 ) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @12:28PM (#21631613) Homepage
    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:Buzzlight year (Score:3, Informative)

    by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @12:37PM (#21631693)
    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.
  • by mrsmiggs ( 1013037 ) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @12:39PM (#21631713)
    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 imagine a few hardy souls will be making the trip to scandinavia to get hold of the console, I know of at least one person who came back from Germany with a boot load of Wiis.
  • 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.

  • by typobox43 ( 677545 ) <typobox43@gmail.com> on Sunday December 09, 2007 @12:51PM (#21631811) Homepage
    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.
  • Re:Couple Thoughts (Score:5, Informative)

    by orasio ( 188021 ) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @01:13PM (#21632019) Homepage

    How many kids broke the original NES pads ? Not many, those things were tough! Today's controller can't survive being thrown/dropped too often, and they wear down quickly during normal use.

    The hell with this cheap consumer idiocracy!
    Just for the record, my GF tossed my second wiimote 5 meters high while bowling, and dropped it on the floor. It works great right now. The other one was used to break a big glass lamp fixture, and remains scratchless (the same can't be said about the HP laptop sitting underneath, wich now quilifies as "scratchs and dents").

    Greenpeace complains about Nintendo using too tough plastics on the WII. Maybe that happens because they are intended to last.

  • Re:Couple Thoughts (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 09, 2007 @03:17PM (#21632929)
    In the UK it appears that the shortage is driven by nintendo, the pattern of release of consoles seems to be, little and often, just enough for a store to sell for maybe 5 minutes or so. I don't believe for a moment that some of the big retailers are shipped a few every other day, so what is happening.

    To add insult to shortage, you can get a wii if you are prepared to buy a load of lame games in a bundle.

    Amazon in Germany has a stock of wii's but even though they were shipping to the UK a couple of weeks ago, have been stopped by Nintendo Germany shipping them to the UK, these are the same machines with a different power plug, I can only guess at the reason for this illegal action.

  • Re:Couple Thoughts (Score:4, Informative)

    by VGPowerlord ( 621254 ) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @04:19PM (#21633467)
    Here's a quick list of the PS3 models available in North America and their PS2 compatibility:
    20GB, 60GB - PS2 hardware
    80GB - PS2 software emulated
    40GB - No support for PS2 games
  • Not new, not rare. (Score:3, Informative)

    by porcupine8 ( 816071 ) on Sunday December 09, 2007 @04:39PM (#21633689) Journal
    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.

    It's neither new nor rare. It happens almost every Christmas to one "big toy," it's just that it's rarely something the Slashdot crowd cares about. All the way back to Tickle Me Elmo over a decade ago - and the year after that, it was the Barbie Fashion Designer CD-ROM, and then something new nearly every year since. Actually, Tickle Me Elmo was only the start of the most recent wave - ask anyone who had a kid in the early 80's how much they paid for a Cabbage Patch Kid doll, and that was pre-eBay.

    Outside of Christmas, there have been plenty of "collectible" toys that have been scalped - look at Beanie Babies and Pokemon cards. I'm a Barbie collector, and in the late 90's the hobby became trendy for a bit. Employees of Target, Wal-Mart, etc would buy up dolls as soon as the boxes were open and put them on eBay before actual shoppers even got a chance at them. My dad has actually done the same for Hot Wheels.

    Trust me, for most of the parents looking for a Wii, this isn't a new experience. It's just that this time, maybe it's something they'd like to play with, too.

  • Oh really (Score:2, Informative)

    by Sevenzig ( 950989 ) on Monday December 10, 2007 @12:17AM (#21637631)
    I highly doubt that it's a ploy orchestrated by Nintendo. I work at a Best Buy and last week we got a shipment of 63 Wii's that were supposed to last us 2/3 weeks. They lasted 15 minutes. The thing of it is retail stores get shipments randomly from Nintendo. We never have any idea when or how many Wii's we'll be getting for the coming weeks. It's not that they're shorting you, it's just that the demand is still that high.
  • Re:Couple Thoughts (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jason Earl ( 1894 ) on Monday December 10, 2007 @12:40AM (#21637833) Homepage Journal

    What the heck is wrong with you? Some people like to play online games...just because you don't, you call them random losers? Having online games make a lot of sense. I can play with friends I knew from college no matter where they are now. Having friends close by is nice and I enjoy having them over as well.

    You might have said "not to be rude" but quite frankly, your post was rude and small minded. Everyone has friends and loved ones. Just because someone is different, doesn't make them losers. Quite frankly I find your attitude discouraging and hope your kids grow up with more tolerance than you have.

    It is hard to argue with these criticisms of my post. It is one thing to be clever, and another to be clever at someone else's expense. I disagreed with the original poster's premise, but I should have been less personal in my criticism.

    Sometimes a joke is so easy to make that it is hard to resist, but I still appreciate you calling me out on it.

    My point is that online play against random strangers (or even against people that you know) is not the same thing as filling your living room up with people and playing together. The fact that you can get a Wii and enough controllers for a serious party for the same price as an XBox 360 with a single controller is a huge advantage for Nintendo. The original poster might believe that online play is a replacement for more traditional, put everyone in the same room and play matchups, but I don't think it is. He presented his opinion that an XBox 360 with a single controller and XBox Live is a better deal than a Nintendo Wii, three controllers, and a pile of other stuff. Quite frankly, I think he's crazy. What's more, the market appears to agree with me.

    Mocking him went too far, and I sincerely apologize.

  • Re:Couple Thoughts (Score:2, Informative)

    by Gandalf_Greyhame ( 44144 ) on Monday December 10, 2007 @01:33AM (#21638279) Journal

    Ever notice how Borders/Barnes and Noble has a massive stack of coverless magazines in the trash? Instead of wasting money shipping them back to publishers for (god forbid) a credit.

    All that has to be returned to the publishers for a credit is the cover.
  • 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.

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.