The latest bid by Nintendo to attract a wider audience to its games, Wii Fit, went on sale in the UK on April 26. The game, which comes with the Wii Balance Board peripheral, was bought by 10 percent of Wii owners in the first four days it was on sale.
The game has remained in the official All Formats Top Ten since its release, but this week the game vanished from the Top 40 without a trace. However, according to UK game sales body Chart-Track, this isn't because Brits have abandoned the idea of getting fit in droves and gone back to sitting in front of the telly and eating cake--it's because no one can find the game.
"Stock problems" mean that the title is almost impossible to buy in the UK currently, with retailers Game, Gamestation, Play.com, and Amazon UK all sold out with no indication of when they will be expecting new stock. Copies are selling on eBay UK starting at around £100 or so ($198), plus £20 ($40) postage and packaging. The recommended retail price for the game and the balance board is £69.99 ($139).
Nintendo assured gamers that it was doing all it could to get Wii Fit back on store shelves. A spokesperson told GameSpot, "There are pockets of stock shortages in areas of the UK, but we are doing everything we can to replenish shortages as soon as possible; to this effect, we are continuing to bring Wii Fit stock into retailers across the UK on a weekly basis."
Nintendo also suffered severe problems in its supply of Wii consoles for many months after its December 2006 launch in both the US and the UK, although it promised wannabe buyers a "steady supply" of the consoles would be forthcoming from the end of the year.
However, as of the end of March 2007, it was still difficult to get hold of the console in retail and online stores, although Nintendo said, "It's simply a fact that demand remains incredibly high for Wii, with some retailers reporting higher interest now than at launch." The supply problems continued throughout 2007, when Nintendo of America CEO Reggie Fils-Aime admitted that the company would be once again unable to meet demand.