Nintendo, GameStop address Wii shortage

Publisher and retailer team for rain-check program that guarantees prepurchasers access to scarce console in January.

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The Nintendo Wii launched more than a year ago, and the system is still incredibly hard to find. This long after the system started shipping, people are still camping in front of stores as soon as they hear about new shipments.

Friday morning, Nintendo of America's president and CEO Reggie Fils-Aime held a telephone press conference to address the continuing shortage of the Wii.

Fils-Aime said Nintendo hadn't expected as much demand for the Wii as it is getting. Since the launch, he claimed, Nintendo has almost doubled its global production from 1 million to 1.8 million Wiis per month and tripled its workforce at Nintendo of America's North Bend, Washington, distribution center. The Nintendo president wouldn't say whether Nintendo would further increase its Wii production, but he denied any claims that Nintendo is stockpiling Wiis.

"There was no ability for us to stockpile systems in the summer for the holiday rush," Fils-Aime said. "Enough systems would make everyone, including me, much happier."

According to Fils-Aime, Wiis will be available next week at all major retailers. If past patterns are any indication, however, that "availability" will be limited to shoppers willing to camp out before stores open on Sunday or Monday morning.

While that seems to be the biggest hope for Christmas Wiis, Reggie also announced a rain-check program in conjunction with GamesStop to get more Wiis out to shoppers in January. Even if Wiis are out of stock, on December 20 and 21, consumers will be able to purchase them for January.

On those two days, if you put down the full retail price of the Wii at a GameStop, you'll receive a rain check guaranteeing you a Wii in January. The rain checks will be available only as long as supplies last, but Fils-Aime said GameStop has "many tens of thousands" of rain checks available across its 3,000-plus stores in the US.

"We went into the launch with very high expectations," Fils-Aime said. "What we didn't expect was to throw out the whole playbook and essentially create a whole new level of sell-through for this industry. You can't plan for that."

Discussion

163 comments
quincy0191
quincy0191

The one thing that people seem to forget when they yell at Nintendo and claim they're stockpiling Wiis or deliberately slowing production to increase demand (which actually works) is the pure MONEY you need to start a production facility. Nintendo can't invest too much money in production because then they will overproduce, everyone will have a Wii, and all the money they just spent will be wasted when their old facilities are dealing with demand. They aren't going to start up a new factory because the new factory would deal with demand in a couple of months and then it would be useless. Besides, eventually demand will die down due to simple saturation and then everyone can have a Wii without waiting in line.

mishary85
mishary85

whay the wii dont have the same games as ps3 and xbox like gta4 or re5 and eabig games ?

cooliomcd
cooliomcd

i have had seven 360's and nothin but trouble from the launch on...its not all lies and exaggerations....

Ashkanhoss29
Ashkanhoss29

so now instead of standing in line for a wii I have to stand in line for a piece of paper saying I will get a wii in a month....genius

kejigoto
kejigoto

@ SBel Actually my 360 is running just fine and I haven't once had issues with it, I'm mainly pointing out how uneducated people are in what they say and how easily it can be turned around on anyone console. Learn to understand exaggerations then come back and try to talk to me. I've had nothing but great experiences with my 360 and my Wii and couldn't be happier with either or, but if you go and look around there are just as many unhappy people with their 360's as there are unhappy people with their Wii's and even more unhappy people with their PS3's. @ Esteban011487 Wii games are lame and boring? I'm sure Heavenly Sword was 6 hours of pure joy that you've already lived through on God of War and I'm sure seeing so many set backs on PS3 titles is awesome. If you wanna look ahead into the future then Sony is your company cause that's all they have right now, is what they will do in the future. At first it was wait till we get some games out. Then it was wait till the price drops. Then it was wait for GTA IV. Then it was wait for MGS IV. Now its wait till 2008. How many more set backs can Sony have? Keep looking ahead cause I'm enjoying my games right now. @ Bench_Scientist All this "hype" appears to be working rather well in Nintendo's favor and they are doing much better than Sony and Microsoft combined. Make whatever claims you will but in the end it boils down to numbers, numbers which Sony doesn't have and numbers which Microsoft would love to see as high as Nintendo. Enjoy your gameless overpriced PS3, I'm sure at some point Konami will cut its losses and finally put out MGS IV and GTA IV will do some business on the PS3.

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

response to: RtheGamer lol $400.00 on Ebay ^_^;

The_Game_517
The_Game_517

QUOTE - "Rect_Pola You can't ever plan to be burned by selling too well. If Gamestop locations had any soul, they would limit the rain checks to how many wii they're expecting to recieve through January. Of course they're not. They'll sell hundreds more than they ever expected to have and screw the (soon to be not-so) gentle masses come Febuary. " My store only has 6 presells available. I am a rather low volume store. The larger volume stores have up to 21 available. I assure you we will not be over reserving the consoles.

RtheGamer
RtheGamer

There is no Wii shortage look on EBay or craigs list and there is plenty of them.

Pete5506
Pete5506

wow I am glad I have my wii

VengenceZero
VengenceZero

Wow I cant believe they still fly off the shelf like that. Then I find it very humorous because people doubted it ability to sell. I say go Nintendo. Im glad to see the company I grew up with back on top.

OtterX
OtterX

For those saying that this preorder program is designed to maximize 2007 fiscal earnings for items sold in 2008... this simply is not true, as Gamestop's fiscal year for 2007 does not end until February 2nd of 2008. I can guarantee you that Gamestop would have sold the same amount of Wiis regardless of this preorder program or not. They're just trying to give hope to customers who are willing to wait. Gamestop has taken a lot of bad rap in recent years, and as a result, the company is taking measures to increase customer satisfaction, such as scrapping pushy salesman tactics for reserves and Game Informer subscriptions.

Karjah
Karjah

"yah, I still cant belive nintendo cant make enough consoles to keep up with demand, isnt it hurting them? I mean, how hard is it to make one wii?" Um they didn't just make one wii. They made 1.8 million wiis and it wasn't enough. I bet you that's more then 360 or PS3 can produce in a month. They trippled the workforce at the factory as the article says as well. I'm betting January will see the opening of a second wii production line but I think they really are trying to get more wiis out. It's just hard to do.

jmartin1016
jmartin1016

Hahaha. Already spent my console money for the next year or two. sorry Nintendo. Better luck next time.

mark_unix
mark_unix

YEA FOR NEC/IBM SUPPLY PROBLEMS, they should have just licensed the chip production like Sony and Microsoft...

Rect_Pola
Rect_Pola

You can't ever plan to be burned by selling too well. If Gamestop locations had any soul, they would limit the rain checks to how many wii they're expecting to recieve through January. Of course they're not. They'll sell hundreds more than they ever expected to have and screw the (soon to be not-so) gentle masses come Febuary.

Bench_Scientist
Bench_Scientist

Keep hyping. But nice marketing scheme,. the sheep have no idea.

tomgowen
tomgowen

How, exactly, does this address anything? All they are doing is allowing you to purchase from January's production run in December. If they actually stop selling the rain checks once that production run is bough out, then it certainly isn't going to meet demand. It will just take an hour to sell out instead of 30 minutes. Unless, of course, Nintendo HAS been stockpiling.... Also, great deal for GameStop - they get to put your money on the books for 2007 without laying out the cost until 2008. Thats gonna make their margins look pretty fantastic for this year.

Slash_out
Slash_out

Too bad Nintendo can't produce enough, 1.8 millions wii a month is a monstruous number though... If they could produce enough Wii, we would have been at 20 millions wii sold now, at least...

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

[quote]many tens of thousands[/quote] 3,000 stores let's say 50,000 units = 16 units per store I'd say this deal isn't as good as it sounds. Especially with the "available only while supplies last." added on top of that. It sounds to me like a plot for Gamestop to get a bunch of people to come and commit to purchasing a Wii through them. They secure customer cash and then aren't able to deliver because of short supply just like all other retailers. I foresee a lot of angry people in the future once they realize what Gamestop has done. Of course we can all expect the Gamestop/EBGames employees to act like they are getting enough for everybody that pays for the "rain check" in order to make those sales.

gibson-les-rick
gibson-les-rick

i walked into my local toystore at 1 o'clock in the day and got one straight away i'm so lucky!

MasterChief725
MasterChief725

yah, I still cant belive nintendo cant make enough consoles to keep up with demand, isnt it hurting them? I mean, how hard is it to make one wii?

The_Weekend
The_Weekend

Wii ... when the price drops ... you're mine!

Esteban011487
Esteban011487

I don't see anything new on a Wiii, than just the motion control!. The games are so "Lameeeeeeee!!. and bored!!. That's why I focus mysell in next generation of gaming, I don't want to stay in the pass!!. Life go on, so we should!. I see much Future on a PS3 and Xbox 360 than a Wii!. Sure Companies have great amount of money and it does hurt them to spend on Production, but that's what makes a game memorable, enjoyable, joyfully, entertained!!. Sure that Graphics and game-play matters in all meaningfull aspects!!. SO everyone, who agree!!!!!!.

SBel
SBel

@Kejigoto For the record, ive had my xbox since release and its never once broken down on me. Learn to look after your consoles =]

kejigoto
kejigoto

@ GTA5Addict I'd much rather have a console sell millions of units and have little game sales at first than sell no games and no consoles (PS3 anyone?). Having a large user base means better potential for better games and the developing company can easily make a profit on putting out a game. That is another draw back to Sony is its so costly to make a game that games with alot of potential fall short since developers have to cut corners instead of squandering all their money in production time. Nintendo is looking like a much better option to third party companies right now simply because they can turn a profit with Nintendo and they easily develop a game for it instead of struggling along to get it out the door on time (UTIII? GTAIV? Stranglehold?). Companies are already used to working with the Dev Kit for Nintendo, and when working with the Wii they focus on gameplay, and not how many characters can be on screen at once or how well this area looks. Its about what games have been about from the get go, gameplay. Sure graphics matter to a certain extent but you get to a point where there's no reason to keep pushing it and trying to push it to the next level. With production costs so high and production time taking so long, its not wonder companies like Square Enix are calling the PS3 over engineered. Yes we all know the Wii won't be able to contend with the PS3 and Xbox 360 a few years from now, but when the technology becomes and Nintendo comes out with a bigger, better version of the Wii where will that leave Sony and Microsoft? They already have shown they can't contend with a "white Gamecube with a new waggle stick for a controller" so what on Earth makes you think they can compete with a Wii that can produce graphics along the lines of a 360 or PS3? In a sense Nintendo can effectively cut Microsoft's and Sony's console life short by forcing them to come out with something new when Nintendo does. PS3 and 360 can't beat the Wii, how will they beat the Wii 2 or Nintendo's next big idea without improving or attempting to bring something new to the table?

Mezzomorto
Mezzomorto

Here in Madrid, Spain, the console itself was freely available (well up until today, Reyes rush and all), you just ran into a retail brickwall when you tried to buy additional Wiimotes (and let's face it, a single Wiimote does not a happy Wii gamer make!).

02sfraser
02sfraser

Its a shame Nintendo are having so much trouble, however it justs shows that they were right in the first place about whole new gaming. No-one though could have expected the huge number of sales

GTA5Addict
GTA5Addict

Just because Nintendo is selling more consoles doesn't mean it has better games.

Oni-roku
Oni-roku

Kejigoto: Well said. This should be a wake up call to all the videogame developer's at there. Graphics are not the only to immerse the player in the game's world. In fact graphics has a very finite limit to its capabilities. The picture can never look as good or real as real life, but by giving you, the player, realistic control over the character, you feel like you are the character. This greatly blurs the line between reality and virtual reality. In fact the next generation of video game systems will probably all have controllers just like the wii-mote, but probably to the next level. Nintendo as usual revolutionizes and leads the video game industry down new and amazing paths. For this they should be commended.

THizzle7XU
THizzle7XU

Hey, more pre-orders for Gamestop to sell under the noses of those who paid the money up front. Nice!

el_pablo65
el_pablo65

tdp86 said: What do you want to bet that there is a price lowering somewhere in that area of tim? How about, I'll bet anything you'd like to wager. Why would they lower the price on a system they have been able to sell every unit they make immediately? Price drops are made to encourage sales or compete with competitors. They Wiii is outselling every other system on the planet and it's the lowest cost next gen system available.

kejigoto
kejigoto

@ shiro_me Didn't realize all third party games on the Wii sucked, guess I must have been dreaming when I was having a blast playing the Godfather and things like that on my Wii. Weird... Moving on, you say that all the money is made in software which I find highly amusing considering how many companies are complaining about production costs of games. Take for instance Konami with Metal Gear Solid IV, they are going to have to sell to just about everyone and their mother to make back what they are spending to make this game. Companies are having similar issues with Microsoft as well and its pointless to spend millions to make a game and risk not making anything back when you can tone it down and easily make back what you spent and then some. Everyone says Nintendo are a bunch of morons for what they are doing with the Wii and DS yet take a look at their success, they are making more money than anyone out there and it isn't stopping, how can this be viewed as stupid? Personally I think this is complete genius on their part and this just gives them more funding to work with to come up with an even better console for the next generation. Face it, Nintendo has outdone your over powered, over hyped, and over done PS3 and they managed to best the slimmed down Xbox. Sony and Microsoft brought nothing new to the table this generation and yet Nintendo did. Nintendo is doing amazingly well and Microsoft is doing great in its own right since it had a year jump on the market over Sony. Sony however is in a distant third and is suffering because it lacks so much and instead of listening to what the consumer wanted, it decided to tell us what we wanted and its now suffering for that. At least if you intend to talk smack about Nintendo don't bash on the only other thing that can even come close to comparing to them, because comparing the PS3 to the Wii at this point is laughable, especially when you are comparing sales figures.

tdp86
tdp86

el_pablo65 said: Price drops are made to encourage sales or compete with competitors. Apparently I need to think a bit longer before posting. That hadn't even occurred to me.

shiro_me
shiro_me

Software is where the money is made. The console are just the vehicle. And nobody is buying wii software. Oh and masterchief sucks.

shiro_me
shiro_me

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

kejigoto
kejigoto

@ choas_era Ok you wanna talk specifics for buying a console and comparing it to buying a Wii, let's compare then shall we? Why buy an Xbox 360 when you are more than likely to have one break on you and then spend about a month or so waiting on a new one to arrive or your old one to get fixed? On top of that you lose all your saved data alot of wasted time. Not to mention places like GameStop are now no longer selling in store warranties for the 360 and won't exchange your broken one for a working one. The three rings of death has crippled Microsoft since they decided to cut corners manufacturing their console and had to have that year head start on Nintendo and Sony. Guess paying about $400 to get involved with Microsoft is worth it if you want to worry that you've been playing your console too long and that it might overheat resulting in total system failure. Moving on to Sony, why buy a PS3? Seriously why buy one? With next to no interesting games on it and a rather high price tag, unless you feel like forking out $400 for the weakest model with no backwards capabilities, and anything that good on it is better on the 360 (See The Orange Box review). Oh yea, let's not forget here soon everyone will need to invest in controllers that rumble for their PS3's, compatibilities issues among games (Rock Band and Guitar Hero III anyone?), and the simple fact that things move along faster on the 360 than the PS3 (Grand Theft Auto IV). Everything for the PS3 is riding on one thing and that's Metal Gear Solid IV being the most amazing game ever however with development costs its gonna be hard for Konami to recoup its loses on this title being an exclusive. This console is riddled with issues and can't make up its mind on whether it wants to be the Xbox 360 or the Wii, not to mention its games suffer from the same thing of being indecisive (check out the new Ratchet and Clank game) or just being unbelievably short (Heavenly Sword). The Wii is having production issues but at least the console works, has some great exclusives, and has even more things on the way that look rather promising along with the whole console's future not clinging to one game that has been pushed back more times than...well anything ever has. Call the Wii what you want, but that doesn't change that it is putting Microsoft and Sony too shame. Personally I'm baffled on how companies plan on making any money when its costing them so much to make games for either console. Saying the Wii sucks when its outperforming everything out there just means the other consoles on the market are doing so much more worse than it. I'm sure it boils your fanboy blood knowing that little white kiddy game console is gonna end up doing better than your manly Master Chief playing system that supports 1080p and such. All this just goes to show that it doesn't take much to compete with big titles like Halo 3, Kane and Lynch, Mass Effect, Ratchet and Clank, Assassin's Creed, and any other title out there that isn't on the Wii.

Karjah
Karjah

I think some of us can live without mario galaxy and zelda, I mean we all did it when we were younger, and not much has changed. just your arm aches now. I do so love such comments. It just goes to show you havn't played a single one of those games. Just a heads up from an accual gamer with multiple consoles and 20 years. Your arms do not ache after playing 99% of wii games. That's just a fanboy myth. Good grief. I just don't understand how any real gamer would want to miss out on the wii. I totally get just having a 360 or ps3 and a pc but bashing the wii is just a stupid stupid idea. It's called gaming. A gamer plays all systems. Get off the fanboy highchair.

Olly464
Olly464

I think some of us can live without mario galaxy and zelda, I mean we all did it when we were younger, and not much has changed. just your arm aches now.

Karjah
Karjah

Hey Chaos_era hint hint. Your a fanboy. Congrats! You have now offically missed out on some great games. Mario Galaxy being one sadly not to mention all the trauma centre games, zelda, metroid and fire emblem.

choas_era
choas_era

All you people who believe in the WII are stupid. For one, how can a console with so little power be so hard to manufacture. For 2, its been out for a year. This is so stupid that people are buying into it for what. A console that doesn't even believe in itself to produce enough for the world to have if they want one. Nintendo has just BS'd everyone and every child. So there for if your a fan of Nintendo, you suck too. P.S. The WII's games all suck!!

yourbeliefs
yourbeliefs

Man.. spending that $600+ on that GS bundle last Xmas seems to be the greatest investment I've made in a LONG time..

ryanthegreat232
ryanthegreat232

all this makes the 22 hours sitting in the cold on launch day so much sweeter.

nate1222
nate1222

Wii is running things right now for the reasons that wiifan001 stated. Wii also addresses the issues that core (not 'hard'core) gamers care about: price, backward compatibility, ease of use, the fact that internet is optional but not imposed (Microsoft I'm looking at y'all)..... Most of the games that were popular last gen were on all three platforms PS2/XBox/GC. Many people I know (core gamers and casual alike) bought a Wii. They ditched their PS2s and XBoxes and bought Game Cube versions of titles they liked: Madden, Need For Speed, Prince Of Persia, etc... The PS3 wants you to pony up an extra $100 for a half assedly backward compatible 80GB model. XBox 360 wants you to pay $100 extra for a 20GB hard drive (note: a 120GB EXTERNAL hard drive for your PC costs the same) that probably WON'T work with their next console 5 years from now. The 360 is also internet intensive. In some parts of the world broadband isn't up and running yet.