Wii hardware shortages continue down under

Nintendo Australia rep confirms units are selling faster than the factory can ship them; some customers forced to wait until March for retailer rainchecks to be honoured.

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It's not exactly a stretch to say that the world has embraced Nintendo and its products this generation. Both the Wii and DS dominated hardware sales charts in 2007. Due to the Wii's runaway success, the console seems to be an elusive beast to catch in the wild, with numerous Australian specialty gaming and electronic retailers still struggling to satisfy consumer demand. Nintendo Australia says that Australian demand is "still outstripping supply," despite recently shipping 20,000 Wiis into the country.

Nintendo Australia public-relations coordinator Heather Murphy told GameSpot AU that the company was continually attempting to bring new Wii supplies into the country. "We put 10,000 units of Wii hardware into the market in the first week of January, and that sold through almost immediately, as retailers were still filling Christmas demand," Murphy said. "We are also shipping out 10,000 units of Wii hardware from today and then again later this week. We also have more stock arriving in late February and then more shipments in March and April. We are continually putting stock into the market, but the demand from consumers is still outstripping supply."

GameSpot AU contacted retailers such as EB Games, JB Hi-Fi, Myer, and Target, and they all had a consistent message about the Wii, with most stores claiming they had no idea when to expect the next shipment of the elusive console. Some stores had reportedly received as few as six units per store (half the expected hardware shipment) in their last delivery, leaving gamers with empty hands and money burning holes in their pockets. Some Target stores are also now displaying signs reading: "Due to supplier non-delivery, rainchecks taken from the 3rd of January will not be honoured until late March". Asked when they expected more stock, staff told GameSpot AU they were "waiting on a shipment from overseas, but it could be late March before we get more."

It's no real surprise that the hardware is in such high demand, given that both the Wii and DS dominated hardware sales charts last year. Down under, the DS sold over half a million units, while its big brother the Wii smashed records to become the fastest console to pass 100,000, 200,000, and recently 300,000 units sold nationally in the year since it launched here. However, the Big N's juggernaut doesn't end there; the company put its name on six of the top 10 software titles sold throughout '07. Included in the list are the popular Pokémon and Brain Training franchises, as well as the latest installation from plumber protagonist Mario in his space adventures on the Wii.

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