Wii’s Still Running Short

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Almost a year after its introduction, the Nintendo Wii is more popular than ever—and while that means great things for Nintendo’s bottom line, it also puts enormous pressure on the company to meet consumer demand. And Nintendo is again raising the alarm that it may not be able to put enough Wiis on retailer shelves to satisfy customers around the world this holiday season.

“Nintendo is now in a position in which seasonality demand trends are being broken, therefore the demand for Wii hardware is constant throughout the whole year globally. Due to this phenomenon it is possible that the demand for Wii hardware may outstrip supply,” a Nintendo spokesperson told the BBC.

Nintendo has been struggling to meet demand for its console since introduction, but the company has slowly been shifting its stance from asserting the shortages are merely temporary to saying the inventory shortfalls may dog the console for some time.

Some gaming retailers have taken to posting daily updates on their stock of Wii consoles, and even mainstream retailers are starting to post alerts about the availability of the Wii through their stores. Similarly, Wii-focussed sites like wii-consoles.co.uk have even started acting as clearinghouses for Wii stocking information, collecting information from major retailers into real-time feeds so customers have the best shot at locating one of the hard-to-find consoles. Demand is especially high for unbundled Wii consoles that aren’t sold with games: game bundles can significantly increase the shelf price of a Wii (and, thus, profit for the retailer on the entire transaction).

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