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>.

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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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