Report: US Wii Fit shortages intentional

The Mario Factory is deliberately redirecting its latest game to Europe to take advantage of the strong euro, claims analyst in the <em>LA Times</em>.

Nintendo has been plagued with hardware supply problems for its latest console, the Wii, since it launched in December 2006. The issues continued throughout 2007, with the company unable to meet demand for its latest console in other regions, including both the US and UK.

It would seem that a similar problem is now arising with Wii software. Last week, Wii Fit dropped out of the UK charts as gamers couldn't get hold of the title. Nintendo commented that there were "pockets of stock shortages" across the country, although it was continuing to supply stores with the game. Wii Fit, which landed to a critically lukewarm reception earlier this year, comes with the Balance Board peripheral and tasks gamers with a number of exercises, including balancing and aerobics to improve their body mass index.

Nintendo has not released figures as to how many copies of Wii Fit it have sold around the globe--the only official numbers available show that it has sold 2 million in Japan.

However, Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter told the LA Times that according to his estimates, 2 million copies of the game have been shipped to Europe, but only 500,000 have made it to North America. He believes this is because Nintendo is strategically directing its stock to Europe to benefit from the strong euro.

Pachter said, "The shortage demonstrates one consequence of the weak dollar. We're seeing companies ignore their largest market simply because they can make a greater profit elsewhere. They know that Americans will be just as fat a few months from now."

Another factor cited by analysts in the LA Times story is that they believe Nintendo is now wary of setting aside too many factory resources for its stock, after being burned by its experiences with the GameCube.

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224 comments
THE_WHITE_MAGE
THE_WHITE_MAGE

To combatSoldier, I get that you don't like the Wii, but it is time for you and the other naysayers to realize you are in the minority. I know, you are used to being the in the "dominant looking down your nose on everyone else" gaming majority, but the gaming landscape has changed forever, and you are just wrong. If you are saying the Wii is the most graphically inferior system, sure, I can't argue much there. But if you are talking about the most fun games and a wide breadth of genres, the Wii is winning. Racing? Sure, Burnout is there, but so is Mario Kart. If you like the same mindless shooter ten times in one year, the 360 is your system. That strategy got Microsoft a distant second place next generation, and I would guess they are heading that way this time too. The PS3 might one day copy the PS2's success, but the PS2 was so popular because it had so many genres covered, especially the RPG. Looking at future releases, the Wii seems to be following in the PS2's path more than the PS3. The PS3 seems to be copying Microsoft more than anything right now, which is just weird, because they beat them five times over last generation with a totally different strategy. I am not bashing the 360, I enjoy it. But I still think the Wii has the most potential, and I think you will be eating your words a few years from now when that potential is realized. In the meantime, you can miss out on playing Super Smash Brothers Brawl, Zelda Twilight Princess, Super Mario Galaxy, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Mario Kart Wii, Fire Emblem 2, Super Paper Mario, Zak and Wiki, etc. Enjoy your shooters. And the fact that all those games came out in less than 18 months, and still people are not impressed? I guess if it had 20 of the same shooters more "hardcore" gamers would be on board.

Kashmiro
Kashmiro

Yep, gotta have what you can't get alright... I wanted a Wii and couldn't find one, finally got one and I just wish Nintendo would give me my money back. I'm just too big of a fan of the good old controller!

justagrouch
justagrouch

That may be the smartest thing said in this whole debacle. I believe Zorn just ended the debate. We can all go home now and find something else to complain about. I hope all of you had a good time but this conversation is over. Did anyone hear that Avatar might be 3D?

zorn99
zorn99

People absolutely must have what they cannot get. They will not rest until they have whatever it is. It worked with the Cabbage Patch Kids and it's working with the Wii. It works every time. It is unfortunate that Nintendo is using this marketing tactic.

scouserfuller9
scouserfuller9

@combatsoldier "The nintendo corp. is very smart in there tactics and marketing ability. This is by far the most inferior system on the market but has managed to outsell more then the other consoles combined. How long can nintendo keep this up we shall see." I can see this lasting much longer. Many times when people have found out I have a Wii I have been told how they would love to get one. The reason they explain they haven't got one obviously depends on their gender and age. (ie. girls will say they are trying to talk their boyfriend/parents to buy them one for Christmas/Birthday etc...)

kingrich06
kingrich06

i dont see why they dont ramp out production, they dont make more money when people ebay them for higher prices.

scottyskater77
scottyskater77

I've always felt that Nintendo has a warehouse full of Wii's somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Area 51, most likely. They've got the hardware, they're just playing the supply and demand game.

puppiemaster
puppiemaster

Just think of how annoyed you would be if someone called the moon landings faked.

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

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puppiemaster
puppiemaster

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

MoonMarvel
MoonMarvel

Morgon this is not Nintendo, this is something Patcher came to, Nintendo has never confirmed this. Please don't diss Nintendo on a theory.

morgonstjarnan
morgonstjarnan

Nintendo at it again. Same company that censored the old Final Fantasy games, same company that forced every store to sell at a certain price. The Big N is the Big Bad. They even have Nintendrone servitors patrolling the interwebs for them.

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

Not surprising; using a console as exercise equipment seems like a dorky idea but, video gamers aren't known for great bodies and, looking healthy is never unpopular.

MoonMarvel
MoonMarvel

Ok, people. This is Michael Pachter saying this NOT Nintendo! He is WRONG! He claims only 500k have been shipped to America but in FACT more than that have been sold! Please people don't misunderstand HIS views with Nintendo's!

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

nate you my friend are a man of wisdom. Finally someone with a brain that has something decent to say. you rock brother. your money baby pure money.

nate1222
nate1222

@combatsoldier I agree. As pissed as I am at the Bush administration and corporations buying out our government, we could be ALOT WORSE off. My exgirlfriend was from Somalia. She says it's a real craphole over there. The people are starving and the government (cough*warlords*cough) CONTROL the media. So the people think it's other countries' faults. Oil tycoons and arms manufacturers keep us in political turmoil. But our CONSTITUTION keeps them from going too far. Most other nations don't have such safeguards. God bless America...

nate1222
nate1222

To a small extent, I see why Nintendo is starting to focus on Europe. They have a stronger currency. I don't think this will hurt Nintendo too bad. But Nintendos own fanboys refusal to support 3rd party games is probably their biggest threat right now. I'd like to buy a Wii. I'm not interested in Wii-Fit. But I'd like Resident Evil: the Umbrella Chronicles, Mario Galaxy, MK: Armageddan (though I have the PS2 version), SSBB and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. As well as a crap load of Virtual Console Games from the 4th gen/16bit era (SNES/Genisis).

Nomad0404
Nomad0404

Autolycus - When in the history of the England as a democracy have the people ever revolted against a corrupt government? The closest we get is a small band of people that would now be called terrorists trying to blow up parliament. - Anyway that's way off topic. Here in the UK they are still heavily pushing the Wii Fit - had loads of them being demonstrated at Bluewater (google it if you want to know what it is) this weekend. Phil

LinkErdrich
LinkErdrich

With dollar being as weak as it is right now, it makes sense to redirect to Europe for the sake of higher profit.

puppiemaster
puppiemaster

Katana2570 puppie master, the weak dollar had nothing to do with what you were talking about. A strong dollar would have made everything even cheaper. With a cheaper dollar, foreign goods cost more. For example, before the dollar was equal to over 600 pesos in chile. Now it is around 440. So to buy something at 10,000 pesos before I needed around $16. Now I would need over $24 to buy the same thing. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The weak $ is great for me, because I'm NOT american. last year £1 = $1,65, now £1 = $1.93, everything is cheaper in america for me. Everything was cheaper in Jamaica as well, paid in $US and the exchange rate was even better. Great holiday by the way, got a good tan as well.

Proust
Proust

Wii Fit is just taking advantage of a fad. Let them send it to Europe and give the US a chance to take a good look at what they are about to buy.

flazzle
flazzle

"somberfox : People should be going to arcades instead." I haven't had an arcade near me in almost a decade. Maybe Chuck E. Cheese...and thats 20 miles away. With gas the way it is, I could pay for Wii Fit in a week.

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

i agree but our government as corrupt as it is still remains the best in the world. and people dont know how bad it is around the rest of the world when although our economy is down here in the u.s. the rest of the globe is struggling with poverty and disease and higher crime rates.

Autolycus
Autolycus

They are guessing. They don't work for the manufacturing/shipping department of Nintendo, so they simple dont know. plain and simple. sure they have experience looking into the history of companies, but history doesnt always prove future. Look @ the U.S. There has never been a democracy in which the people havent revolted against its corrupt government. And there has also never been a government with best interests of the people.

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

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kavadias1981
kavadias1981

@AGG1 - Gamespot just doing their thing my friend. I sometimes wonder if these college flunkies should be replaced by real journalists.

AGG1
AGG1

What a misleading, sensationalist headline. Saying the shortages are "intentional" implies that Nintendo is purposefully not producing Wii Fit at capacity. Aside from some vague, dubious, third-hand reference by unnamed "analysts," who claim that Nintendo's is still basing its production rates on GameCube numbers instead of Wii numbers (the Wii has been selling out for two years now, FFS!), the story has absolutely nothing to do with production or intentional shortages. Next time you rewrite a LA Times story and call it your own, try to give it a more accurate headline.

XXMadManVII
XXMadManVII

The dollar is weak cause the government made it that way. Flooding the economy with a "economic stimulus package" and forcing interest rates lower, converting food farms into gas farms, fueling the flames of the so called "energy crisis" (American oil companies reported earning in the billions in 2k7, the US has 701 million barrels of oil in just one reserve). In an effort to boost the economy they have ruined it. Its our fault as Americans, we depend on our politicians to do our thinking for us. When you let big business influence governmental thinking, you get a government that thinks of only big business. I'm not sure what this has to do with the Wii Fit though....

LosDaddie
LosDaddie

Makes perfect business sense. Great job, NIntendo!:D

PixyMisao
PixyMisao

To be fair, Miyamoto himself wasn't sure that the Wii Fit would catch on in the US. But I've heard that there were a lot of reserves for the title at Gamestop, (so many that they had to cut them off). There's sweat to be made with the game, some fun to be had... but as some have mentioned, the lack of a specific health regimen kind of hurts the overall experience. After a while I kept unlocking things and after 45+ minutes of excersizes, I was drenched & exhausted. Still it's worth owning if you really want to commit yourself... to looking after your body I mean lol.

otanikun
otanikun

One of these days this constant news about shortages is going to backfire

mark_unix
mark_unix

as everyone knows the Euro rocks your world :D

NecroCharm
NecroCharm

Combatsolider games here cost 59.99 not 64.99. The only ones to cost more are games with more than the disc, like rock band and guitar hero. Other than that only special limited editions cost that much. If you pay 64.99 for any game here that doesn't come with drums or a guitar you are getting ripped off.

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

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combatsoldier
combatsoldier

I have read a lot of your comments and here is an answer. 1. we do not have the lowest value of the dollar. I have been all over the world and can garuntee this. 2. We are the ones with the most obese people. nothing wrong with a little cushion for the pushin. 3. This is a great idea for wii. however if you feel the same way i do. I dont play video games to get in shape. Yet this will sell very well especially touching the adult fan base of new gamers. 4. Trust me when i tell you that you dont have to buy this to get into shape. all you need is a diet and do pushups, situps and jogging. That will work nomatter what you want to do. 5. The wii has sold 26 million units xbox360 has sold 18 million and ps3 has sold 13 million as of this juncture in time. The nintendo corp. is very smart in there tactics and marketing ability. This is by far the most inferior system on the market but has managed to outsell more then the other consoles combined. How long can nintendo keep this up we shall see. however it is amazing that how they are bringing in so much new clientel. Personally dont shoot me but i do not like the wii. i have the 360 and ps3. another reason that the wii has sold so much is because its the cheapest so parents feel like they are getting a deal by buying this for the kids and still able to say that they have a new console. Look bottom line is wii is market for kids and inexperienced gamers in general. this does not represent everyone so relax. Microsoft is tageting teens and young adults and sony right now is marketing older teens and hardcore gaming adults. now all three companies are trying to change the marketing strategy for different age groups but over all they are all doing surprisingly well not leaving anyone in the dust. I am not for wii fit and think it is a waste of money when all you need is a little dedication and you dont need a fancy gym memebership ( although i have one) but if you are just trying to get in shape and not worried about body building then you can do it yourself and ill be happy to even tell you how nomatter what your size and weight. there are a lot of diets out there. diets dont generally work. you need exercise. but you dont need wii fit to get it. thankyou for your time.

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

flazzle Getting fat is happening all around the world as countries gain more success and modernization: Europe Faces Obesity Issues China Obesity Epidemic Japanese Gain Weight The dimensions and consequences of the obesity epidemic in Canada are staggering And there has been much effort to re-educate the American people and change the bad habits. Child Obesity Rate Hits Plateau in Amercia You are fooling yourself if you think it's an American thing. It's becoming a world wide epidemic, and every little bit helps. Why do you think Wii-Fit sells so great in Japan and Europe? I don't think they are hopping on the Wii-fit scale for an ego boost. i am combat soldier and i totally endorse this comment. also pachter is a complete idiot that needs to be punched in the face. he is not a true american. there is fat people all around the world. who cares if they are fat let them be fat its a personal choice. anyways this is not an article to debate us vs uk. and trust me when i tell you america is the nicest place in the world. believe me........... also who cares.

NecroCharm
NecroCharm

Ranteal no, just no. The reason they say games are cheaper here is because they are priced that way. Games are 59.99 here, in Euroland it's 64.99. Euro or not they are still paying 5 more. Can go higher in places like Sweden where games can cost 699 of theirs. So before you post something in ALL CAPITALS make sure it is RIGHT first.

Ranteal
Ranteal

Arcades? Show me where some are.

somberfox
somberfox

People should be going to arcades instead. Between DDR, air hockey, and various other physical games that exist at arcades, you can get a workout there, and it's better for you than Wii Fit because you're in a social setting and not hermiting it up at home.

Ranteal
Ranteal

Oh and the reason Europeans say stuff is cheaper here is because THEY HAVE EUROS!!!

theRepublic1
theRepublic1

2.12 million sold in Japan 0.82 million sold in North America 1.48 million sold in all other regions According to VG Chartz Pachter is off again, big suprise. However, he does have a point about the weak dollar.

TintedChimes
TintedChimes

Great, they should of just freaking pushed the release date back for the US and supplied Europe first. Sheesh, sick of calling and trying to get one. No one everyone wants one, THEY WANT TO SELL IT ON EBAY! Judging by the news above, so do I! I want to be like Nintendo and make a profit too!

Katana2570
Katana2570

"Wow you anti-american freaks. America is the greatest country in the world. When you hear rumors of how bad it is, its from people who have talked to people who are jealous of Americas prosperity. So don't insult it till you've been there pals. See Ya!" LOL! In your dreams!

Katana2570
Katana2570

puppie master, the weak dollar had nothing to do with what you were talking about. A strong dollar would have made everything even cheaper. With a cheaper dollar, foreign goods cost more. For example, before the dollar was equal to over 600 pesos in chile. Now it is around 440. So to buy something at 10,000 pesos before I needed around $16. Now I would need over $24 to buy the same thing.

puppiemaster
puppiemaster

Got my Wii Fit for £65 thats nearly $130, and that was lower than the RRP. Mind you I love the $ being so weak, just got back from Jamaica and everything was so cheap!!!

Axe_336
Axe_336

Oh snap, and thus does the economy problems strike gamers at last.

justagrouch
justagrouch

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blackace
blackace

I got my Wii Fit on day one. There were plenty of them in Fry's Electronics. My only beef with the Wii Fit board is it's way to small. I have a size 10 foot and it barely fits on the board. This board was obviously made for people with a size 7" or 8" foot. Wii Fit is sold out everywhere now, so Nintendo needs to get more stock in all the regions, not just the U.K.

puppiemaster
puppiemaster

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