Confusion, shortages hobble US Wii Fit kickoff

Despite official launch date of May 19, retailers won't have game until May 21--if they get it at all this week.

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At the 2008 Game Developers Conference in February, Nintendo announced that Wii Fit would launch on May 19. The Japanese game giant's proclamation led many gamers, technophiles, and health enthusiasts to mark their calendars under the assumption they could get their hands on the $90 balance-board based, exercise-centric title on the third Monday of the month.

One of the few people who bought a Wii Fit in NYC today.

However, confusion began to erupt when Nintendo's nationwide advertising campaign for Wii Fit began touting the game as going on sale on Wednesday, May 21. When queried by GameSpot last week, a representative for Nintendo of America insisted the game would go on sale on May 19. "It may take a few days for shipments to reach every part of the country and the ads you saw may have considered that," said the rep.

Today, Nintendo is holding a Wii Fit launch event in New York City, where it sold the game to a select few. The rest of the country won't be as fortunate. Nintendo made a last-minute announcement today that the May 19 date only applies to only one location--the Nintendo World Store in New York City. According to a "Nintendo World ambassador" manning the phones at the store, the game sold out there in under an hour this morning. However, subsequent reports received by GameSpot say the game was in stock for several hours. A call made to the Nintendo World Store at 3pm EDT/12pm PDT confirmed there were no more units for sale.

Calls to more than a dozen other retailers throughout the country--including ones just blocks away from the Nintendo World Store--produced an uniform result. "The game doesn't come out until Wednesday," was the oft-repeated reply from more than 20 clerks and managers at GameStop, Best Buy, and Target locations on both coasts and in the Midwest. One GameStop employee in San Francisco seemed particularly glum, saying, "We won't even know if we are getting any quantity until Wednesday."

GameSpot queried Nintendo reps about the confusion surrounding the Wii Fit launch, as well as the prospect of shortages--shortages which apparently have led to online retailers such as Amazon ceasing to offer preorders. As of press time, no reply had been received.

For more on Wii Fit, which is already on sale in Europe, Australasia, and Japan--where it has sold 1 million units--check out GameSpot's full review. To learn more about the actual health effects of the game, check out GameSpot editors' collective Wii Fit blog, which will launch later this week.

Discussion

175 comments
mikeodb17
mikeodb17

Gamestop geeks, I mean clerks, get such a boner over shortages. They love feeling superior by telling a normal person that the game they want is not available. and they always roll their eyes at the other employees when somebody asks. Here's an idea: lose your virginity, then you can roll your eyes at me.

Ranteal
Ranteal

HAHAHAHAHA, let them, they need the wet fun dip man. No, not the dip dip dip dip maaaaan. Yeah ,ooooooooooooh yeah???

jknight5422
jknight5422

"wow...after a week, all the wii-fits will be 90.00 doorstops...........meanwhile next-gen gamers will be playing GTA4" ---enoslives7 I've always wanted to sweat in front of my television set! The strong belief that technology will improve your health through leisure is baffling. Usually when I'm in front of my TV, the last thing I want to do is workout...for one you can't really see the TV as well moving around & the quality of hearing is off....anyone that ever put exercise equipment in front of their TV to exercise while working out should know this. Instead of a doorstop, I think it'll be used as a bathroom mat for dogs.

enoslives7
enoslives7

wow...after a week, all the wii-fits will be 90.00 doorstops...........meanwhile next-gen gamers will be playing GTA4

bardkieran
bardkieran

Sure, lets go to the gym instead of getting Wii Fit. Lets also buy a football instead of playing the next Madden game and play with some friends in the park. Also put away COD4 and go join the Army. Dubya needs fresh blood... I mean troops. :D

MIKESCHRAGER
MIKESCHRAGER

I can completly believe this. I went into my gamestop yesterday and walked out feeling like an ass. At least now i know im not the only one.

Ranteal
Ranteal

from more than 20 clerks Yeah right!!!! There is no way. No way!!!

Ranteal
Ranteal

Dude is that Tiger Woods in that pic? I'll tell ya what. Nintendo wont be happy until every game they release has a $90 add-on bullpoo piece of plastic. Im thinking next theyll have Wii-sex, Man & Women edition.

WiiMan21
WiiMan21

Well, I might get this later, way later. I'm not even out of shap or anything I just wan't to get it, looks pretty fun.

DrKill09
DrKill09

...why don't Nintendo just start making more Wii's? You can make all the accesories you want, but it does no good when I can't find the console! :roll:

felshs
felshs

The question is......HOW FAT ARE YOU??? Seriously , dont you own a home gym or something?

bioghost
bioghost

Think about buying wii fit, no more will exercise outside, all are playing every morning so i hate this game, it makes people lazy of exercise outside

Faeton
Faeton

I've pre-ordered the Wii Fit, and what I'm going to use it for is for keeping track of my progress of "Real Life Fitness" and for improving my balance, at least in a quantifiable way. As for Ranteal's quote "I play video games so I dont have to move", I would counter that I play video games for fun, and if they happen to incorporate movement, and it's fun, so be it.

Pie_FOREVER
Pie_FOREVER

If you'll actually use this "game" as your primary form of exercising you're not fooling anyone but yourself. Seriously, is it really that hard to go to a gym or buy at home, small weights? Hell, you don't even need equipment to work out if you go look up the various exercises and crunches

Ranteal
Ranteal

I play video games so I dont have to move. Thats the point. Thats like me going outside to sleep. Theres a better place for it.

Myzz617
Myzz617

Honestly like your going to use this device for years. Get off your lazy self concious behind and go to the GYM and socialize with real PEOPLE not a damn console to loose your couch potatoe fat lolz

Dualmask
Dualmask

This is exactly why I rarely pre-order anything.

1357900
1357900

This is, of course, N doing the same thing they done w/ the Wii. There's no shortage. It's just N putting hype into the game to sell more. Like the Wii, stores will only get shipments of, & in handfuls, more, or less every few days, while most of the Wii Fits are avalible in a N-centric store, in the hopes/designs that when you come to get one from N World store, that you'll end up buying other things too. & the "shortage" is to heighten it's success. This is wrong though. N's found their profit sweet-spot w/ the Wii, & DS, but their business practices don't need to be shady to turn a more than decent profit. There may actually be a shortage, & I understand that, but as of right now, I'm not fully convinced, yet. & no, I'm not a fanboy. This is my opinion right now, & I'm sticking to it, until I see legitimate reasons to change my tune. I'm not stating this as fact, I'm stating it as opinion. However, that type of business practice does go on. I don't know if there is an actual shortage, or not, but I don't think there is.

grigjd3
grigjd3

Of course this is a scheme to get your money. All products are schemes to get your money.

Mj-Healy
Mj-Healy

Wii Fit is only coming out now in the US? Came out in europe a month ago.

corn999
corn999

Let me think about this for a moment...$90 for this "crapfit" OR....bare with me for a second, this is a very difficult concept... you just go outside your house, and run a mile or two!....*gasp*

derek3257
derek3257

Doesn't the Wii itself promote some type of physical activity IntegraBella? Launching a Fitness type of software that seems like it will be just as scarce as the console you play it on seems unreal and unfair to all those people who are looking forward to buying it.

IntegraBella
IntegraBella

I think the whole point of it is to get kids active, and parents to play along with them so they can learn it at an early age. however... this seems to be a repeat of what happened with the Wii when it was first launched: extreme shortage of the product. I wonder what the end result will be for this....

derek3257
derek3257

I think this whole fitness craze is a masked marketing scheme to get your $$$. I've read from other comments that it's free to just go outside and exercise, which is true but not all that much fun if you're not in the comfort of your own home. The whole idea that people who would otherwise be lazy sitting around playing video games can now all of a sudden get up and flex their muscles in a game seems to have a wider appeal than I thought. The Wii will give you a work out if you play the right games enough times, it doesn't have to be Wii Fit. I still see people sitting on the couch playing when they should be up and interacting with the system like it was designed for. Anything that a company can exploit and make $$ from they will, so they pray on older casual gamers with insecuirties and body issues about themselves, kids who are lazy and bored and the I got to have it all consuming consumer. It's really a genius play on the emotional connection that people have with themselves and the games that they play. Apparently riding a bike isn't as exciting as letting everyone know what your BMI is. The video game world has truly evolved into a gigantic force with unlimited possibilities. I can't wait to see what's next on the horizon.

theragu40
theragu40

2 days? Come on everyone, let's be honest with ourselves. In the grand scheme of things, this is meaningless.

phase4illini
phase4illini

I think the best part of all of this is that, by comparison with a 30 minute workout at a gym or yoga class, the WiiFit provides only a shadow of an effective workout.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

Wow! What a crappy thing for them to do. How can you say "It's coming out May 19!" and get everyone excited - then turn around and say (on the day it comes out) that it is only coming out that day at one store. That's just wrong.

guertt
guertt

It's not a suprise since every owners of a wii are craving for something to play with.I mean, something to play, not a crap mini game or another bad sensitive wiimote control game.

badguyslayer
badguyslayer

"According to a "Nintendo World ambassador" manning the phones at the store, the game sold out there in under an hour this morning. " This is a complete lie. I have a reciept from about 2:30PM when I walked in and bought the game with no reservation whatsoever. The store opens at 9AM. They seemed to have plenty to go around, although I will say that there was a constant line of about 40 people to pick it up.

otanikun
otanikun

I think Nintendo is taking this whole supply and demand thing too seriously >.>

Psyfon
Psyfon

OF course there's a shortage. Create a high demand for a game. Have a"shortage" thus people will be will to either pay more or you have the product sell out as soon as you send the next shipment.

Gribb85
Gribb85

Could always get the more expensive British version :D

Gen-Gawl
Gen-Gawl

@shadystyxxx: Investing in a new factory is all well and good but it takes a while to get the factory set up to produce anything. I'd say 6 months at the very least and that's not going to help shortages right now. Even switching over to a new product line in an existing factory can be a chore. It's not like they can just push a button and more units just pop out.

flazzle
flazzle

Nintendo: GET IT RIGHT ALEADY! It's not like you got into the video game business yesterday! You've have what? 20+ years experience in the video game industry?

bardkieran
bardkieran

Good thing I didn't drive down to the local Toys R Us to go try to get the game. I was instead infatuated with my Nyko Perfect Shot gun for Wii games. I think I put like 5 hours of game time into RE: Umbrella Chronicles yesterday. Awesome awesome gun controller.

shadystxxx
shadystxxx

Phazevariance Sales strategy? Yeah, its called large demand, and supplying their entire load all at once is not as easy a task as putting it on a truck and off it goes. If they sell 1 million copies in a few weeks, but they can only manufacturer 400,000 per week, and trucks need to make multiple trips to deliver batches of them, it can be delayed, that's just the way the world works on everythign, and its increased by the alrger demand. It's only 2 day delay, no big deal, in the eman time, do some pushups on the ground. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- They could hire more trucks/boats/planes to get the product there, they could invest in another factory to up there weekly amounts, but i suppose that would eat into there massive profits.

shadystxxx
shadystxxx

All the money Nintendo have made with DS/wii you would think they would invest some of that into some more factories to meet demand. Unless there just milking this supply shortage for all its worth,so consumers are constantly buying up wii's the moment they see them, it would be better for them to sort there supply issues out(they have had ample time) so there consumers dont have to continue paying over the odds on ebay.

zgreenwell
zgreenwell

I know a lot of people are excited about this but they'll be fine waiting a couple days. It isn't like they're going to decide on one of the competitors fitness training/video game device in the meantime.

Phazevariance
Phazevariance

Sales strategy? Yeah, its called large demand, and supplying their entire load all at once is not as easy a task as putting it on a truck and off it goes. If they sell 1 million copies in a few weeks, but they can only manufacturer 400,000 per week, and trucks need to make multiple trips to deliver batches of them, it can be delayed, that's just the way the world works on everythign, and its increased by the alrger demand. It's only 2 day delay, no big deal, in the eman time, do some pushups on the ground.

joelgau
joelgau

I have to agree with swamptick's comment. I mean wth!? When I went to buy a Wii, I could not find one anywhere. When I looked at the major outlets online, they all showed sold out or back-ordered. I have a feeling that this is some kind of sales strategy to appeal to those of us who always want what we can't have (which would mean most of us). It has been out over a year and they still aren't making enough consoles and now they won't have enough of these boards either. What a bunch of crap! In the end, I found out from a friend at Gamestop when they would be having a big shipment and I showed up and purchased a Wii, but man what a pain in the neck!!!

swamptick
swamptick

I love my Wii but damn guys, why can't Nintendo get their act together when it comes to distribution!! Also, when are there going to be some better NON Nintendo games for the Wii. The only good games for it are made by Nintendo.

LosDaddie
LosDaddie

Another huge hit for Nintendo! Go, Wii60!!:D

deadkingdg
deadkingdg

On the picture, the Wii Fit box looks like a X360 box. :P

Gen-Gawl
Gen-Gawl

Hmm, that explains why I couldn't find it this weekend. I just thought they were sold out.

domino_m
domino_m

Australasia is a region of Oceania: New Zealand, Australia, PNG, and neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean Thank Wiki!

puppiemaster
puppiemaster

Wife and daughter love Wii Fit , but that pisses me off cause its in my games room and I'm trying to play GTA4.

BelatedNoob
BelatedNoob

I have to agree with Peetowser, that is really all Nintendo does, and if there lucky then they'll make millions on it, and if there not, then they'll just come out with a new product.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

Instead of reading GS's Wii Fit blog, when it comes out, I can tell you the benefits right now. I have been doing it for over 3 weeks now and I'm slightly slimmer, more toned, have better posture and have improved balance. So it works basically. If you want to get healthier then buy it. You dont need GS's chubby editors to tell you that.