It's no secret that Nintendo could sell more Wii systems than it is managing to put on store shelves. More than a year after the Wii launched, the system is still a hard-to-find item, and the New York Times today is reporting on the motion-sensing game system's second straight holiday season as the must-have gift.
While the story remains the same--long lines of eager customers going to extremes in often futile attempts to secure a system--the paper puts a new price tag on how much the lasting shortage is costing Nintendo this holiday season. The Times says analysts and retailers have pegged the cost to the console maker at over $1 billion in hardware sales alone. MDB Capital Group senior analyst James Lin estimated that Nintendo was shortchanging itself $1.3 billion because of its inability to deliver more Wiis to retailers.
"It's staggering," Lin said. "They could easily sell double what they're selling."
During the month of November, Nintendo sold more than 981,000 Wiis. Nintendo of America president and CEO Reggie Fils-Aime this morning pledged that Wiis would be available next week at all major retailers. However, anticipating sellouts, the console maker also announced it would be instituting a rain-check program at GameStop to address supply shortages that are expected to continue into 2008.