Nintendo: No guarantee on holiday Wii supplies

Nintendo president tells Forbes that US may face stock shortages once again, apologizes to hardcore gamers disappointed by E3 showing.

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There's no guarantee that the "must-have" toy from one holiday season will even be remembered the next, much less still selling out with regularity. Then there's the Nintendo Wii, which launched in November of 2006 and remained a tough find on store shelves throughout 2007.

Those waiting for the system to fall out of favor and be deemed a fad might have a while longer to wait. In an interview published by Forbes this week, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told the financial magazine that he couldn't promise US holiday shoppers would be able to find a Wii for under the tree this year.

"We are really intending to increase the shipments to the US, especially compared to last year," Iwata said. "However, I can't give you a 100 percent commitment [that you'll be able to find a Wii this holiday season]. What I can commit myself to is that Nintendo is going to do its best to supply as many Wii hardware units as possible in order to meet demand there."

Iwata added that more units will be allocated to the US, where demand for the system is disproportionately high compared to Europe and Asia.

The executive also addressed criticisms levied against Nintendo for its showing at this year's E3, which heavily emphasized games aimed at more casual markets, like Wii Music and Wii Sports Resort.

"If there is any perception that Nintendo is ignoring the core gamers, it's a misunderstanding and we really want to get rid of that misunderstanding by any means," Iwata said. "We are sorry about [the E3] media briefings, specifically for those who were expecting to see Nintendo show something about Super Mario or Legend of Zelda. However, the fact of the matter is the so-called 'big titles' need a long, long development period. ... We really didn't think this year's E3 media briefing was the time to do so."

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