Wii shortage no hype ploy, Nintendo says

Jack On May 14, 2008 14.05.2008 with 14 Comments

250_wii-shortage.jpgThe Wii Fit rush has apparently reinvigorated Wii shortages, but Nintendo has continued to stick to the company line that the shortages are not an intentional ploy to boost demand. Frankly, I never believed that a company as big, or as under the microscope as Nintendo, would be able or capable of pulling off such a sneaky feat. It took until today however to find the quote to sum that all up.

Over at GameRush Entertainment, Nintendo’s Dervin Camden said:

“The fact is that we have put far more product on store shelves worldwide than our competitors. The difference is that in a very short time we have far outpaced their total sales,” Camden said. According to Camden, it’s easy for some consumers to arrive at the conclusion that the Wii shortage is intentional when “competitors’ systems fill the shelves” and Nintendo’s console remains scarce.

Nintendo sold twice as many Xbox 360s and PS3s last month, combined. And there were still Xbox 360s and PS3s on the shelves, in decent numbers, after the month was over. The entire industry is doing well, actually. But to say that Nintendo is short selling supply, when in fact it has moved as many consoles as its two competitors put together, well, that’s just borderline delusional. Case closed.

14 Responses to “Wii shortage no hype ploy, Nintendo says”

  1. Andrew G. says:

    Last time I was at my local GameStop, a 20-something couple walked in and asked the clerk “Got any Wiis?”

    The clerk simply said “No Wiis.” The couple left, of course.

    I then preceded to ask the clerk how often they had Wiis, and he told me they receive a shipment every week and that they fly off of the shelves within the hour they are placed there. I can only assume it’s the same with other GameStops and that Nintendo is doing all they can.

    So no, I don’t think Nintendo is using the shortage as a strategy. That would be dumb, anyway. The more you sell, the more money you make, right? If you’re too busy holding them in a warehouse somewhere, then you’re not making any money.

  2. Gunder says:

    @Andrew G
    The shortage strategy actually is a popular strategy you’ll see used, and it does work. The idea is that it creates artificial hype. Consumers think “If a store is sold out of something it MUST be good, right?” and news stations give free advertisement by reporting shortages. Does that mean I think it is what Nintendo is doing, probably not now. You don’t get free news reports on shortages 18 months after release, and the consumer’s mind is probably well set. But do I think it is a popular strategy when systems launch? Definitely.

  3. Liraco says:

    Nintendo doesn’t do the shortage because it’s not in their best interest.

    HOWEVER it’s also not in their best interest to try and increase production of Wiis by a massive amount because they’ll eventually out-pace demand (instead of trying to keep up with it). As you probably know, having a lot of inventory that’s just sitting there is going to be costing you money. It’s not sustainable to go all out on production.

  4. Run line 10 says:

    “The idea is that it creates artificial hype.” isn’t this what game magazine do? The problem with this is the Wii has not been in normal people news for a while and you don’t see it on talk shows at all. The hype that is selling this machine comes from playing it in person. This is a word of mouth or a you got to play this movement. It’s like how hardcore gamers use to be till they all fell for magazine hype. The whole shortage thing is just silly because there is no way in hell they could meet this demand. They just went from a small percentage of gamers to selling to every one.

    That is the problem.

  5. Run line 10 says:

    I mean really the whole if it’s sold out then it must be good doesn’t work when it’s a game console. The avg public does not care if GTA4 is sold out they will not buy it at all. The AVG public does not care if what games are good and they don’t base what they will buy on what gamers are buying or even if it’s sold out. People that are looking for a Wii are people who have tried it and love it. They just know they want one for what ever reason or game. MS did the whole we are supply constraint…LOL did it work hell no! No one cared. After seeing a company do what the competition did combined how can you really believe that such a hype based tactic can be sustained with out the public saying F you? People have not stop showing up to ask for this console. If people did believe that then why would they keep asking?

    I would like to see the PS3 guys try this or even the xbox guys again. Simply put this does not work. The simple fact is people want this console… PEOPLE not just gamers. That is the difference. Now if the Wii only barely out sold the other and SONy and MS was greatly out producing nintendo then I would say hey whats going on! but that is not the case. And if it is ouch the xbox 360 trails by a cool 6 million and the PS3 is actualy being used as bricks to build a warehouse to store the unsold PS3s

  6. Paolo says:

    Gamecube went out of production sometime during its life, because sales were lacklustre. That probably hurt Nintendo a whole lot more than not having enough Wiis to put on the shelves because were literally flying out of the stores!!
    So this time around they are trying to control more how many consoles are on the market.

    Overflowing the market with tons of Wii wouldn’t give them any tangible advantage. The important thing is that every Wii produced is sold to customers, and not retailer! So if the Wii suddenly stop selling they won’t have an enormous amount of a product unsold.

    A product that is kept in stock for too much time cost a ton of money!
    Take the cars spare parts as an example: do you know why they cost twice as much as the original parts? because automakers have to stock those product away for as little as ten years after that model is dismissed, so customers of that car would be able to find a replacement!

    Same thing, with some adjustments (Consoles aren’t stocked for that long), can be said for this market.
    Think about Microsoft: they overflooded the market with the 360 (sold to retailers), but that didn’t spurs sales to customers!

    I really don’t think is Nintendo’s fault or trick for Wii shortages, it’s just enormously popular that outpaces demand!!!

  7. Daimyo Nintendo says:

    I, other video gamers, and video game blogs have delved into this subject on many occasions, and I do not want to dive too deep into this subject again.

    All the stores I go to have at least 3-4 Wii’s in stock, there is much more in stores now then a year ago. But they still sell fast. They stick around on shelves for a few days longer then a year ago.

    The bottoms line is that this subject has been analyzed to hell and the bottom line is I belive Nintendo.

    A: Because they HAVE put out more product then the competitor and their product has sold faster then the competitor.

    B: I HIGHLY doubt Nintendo would ever withhold product when getting that product out is what makes money!

    Nintendo loves money and marketing. With all the millions of items Nintendo has put out besides video games a few including toys, stuffed animals, action figures, pins, and clothing why the hell would Nintendo withhold product which will generate income and profit? It makes no sense! The demand is already so high that there is no need to. There is also no logical reason to. You might argue that “people want a Wii and are not going to go buy a 360 because the Wii is sold out which give Nintendo an upper hand. So Nintendo might as well put out more.”

    BINGO! Since the demand is already there and is so high, there is no logical reason to withhold product!!! Nintendo has put out more Wii’s then 360’s and PS3’s have been put out. If Nintendo were producing less then Sony or Microsoft then yea we would tell Nintendo to step it up. Just be patience, everybody wants wants wants. Well sometimes a video game is out of stock everywhere so I just wait till next week, its not that big a deal.

  8. Gregory Weagle says:

    @RunLine 10: I think this shows what the public values overall. I believe that they are tired of the constant pandering that the hardcore and the magazines that created as such. That’s why Nintendo barely shows any commercials nowadays on television because they know that the hardcore is either already convinced that they would buy such game (like Smash Brothers Brawl) or they will ignore Nintendo anyway since Nintendo is _kiddie_ (which in my view really means old). The rest of the public is convinced that the only way to sell videogames is with a bunch of bloated ad campaigns which are completely out of touch with their values and the ads are becoming a form of pandering (or worse preaching) and to many people that kind of pandering is in bad taste and that’s why they will actively try to avoid the industry altogether.

    As for the shortages: It’s simple. If you try to sell something to a much larger piece of the population (those who think videogames are a waste of time) and succeed in being in touch with their values and sell it at a pace that is in between the amount that the hardcore systems are shipping and the demand of the larger public (which is where Nintendo’s shipping rates are) then of course you are going to get shortages. It’s not surprising in the very least and why the hardcore doesn’t get that simple idea is beyond me.

  9. waltermh says:

    nintendo has already confirmed twice an increase in production from 1.8mil units a month to 2.3-2.5mil units a month. so the shortage will be over soon.

    not all of those units will come here, but alot will. china and korea are getting a wii market soon. thats where some of the supply is going, as well as some redistribution around europe. then theres the need for the holidays, where i am sure they have some big guns they hope will be system sellers.

    plus the needs of non gaming places like medical facilities, health facilities, hotels and retirement homes. they probably have a few thousand orders to fill just in non gaming places.
    like the military clinics that asked for 250 units, but were only spared 5, i am sure they will get some of that new batch. seems small amount, but with all they have been talking about the companies asking for systems, i am sure its adding up.

  10. Andrew G. says:

    @ Gunder:

    I guess I should have clarified: that method works fine near the launch of a system. But being so far along, as you said, it really doesn’t have the same effect. So I agree with you. I think the shortage actually might have been a bit of a hype ploy at first.

  11. [...] Exactly. I mean, if the Wii was hard to get and the demand for it was huge, why would that ever benefit Nintendo? Wii Shortage Is No Hype [GameRush via Infendo] [...]

  12. [...] Exactly. I mean, if the Wii was hard to get and the demand for it was huge, why would that ever benefit Nintendo? Wii Shortage Is No Hype [GameRush via Infendo] [...]

  13. Derek says:

    Andrew, the situation in my area is precisely the same. It is incredibly rare to see a Wii in the wild.

    Incidentally, I saw four of them on the shelf at a local Wal-Mart last week. I then immediately made some phone calls to people I knew were still searching for one and stood by the case to wait for my Wii-less friends to arrive and claim their purchases. As soon as passers-by saw me on the phone talking about Wii, they noticed the systems and they started to sell. My friend arrived just in time to get the last one; they had sold four Wii systems in a matter of minutes.

    I still can’t believe the demand is outweighing supply…after all this time, and after tens of millions of sales. It is insane.

  14. Run line 10 says:

    Believe it this thing is selling like PC did when moms and dads though it made their kids smarter. You know they still think that! So they get one and it’s used as an internet TV basically.

  15. Lance says:

    Wii’s in my area have been selling like hotcakes but in the middle of april for a bit there were stores that had a surplus in there of at least 10 everyweek until the major stores like Circuit City started excepting preorders for Mario Kart Wii then they started flying off the shelves. They’ve been selling fast for sometime, and it won’t let up till sometime in June because most people I know said they have a Wii preordered with Wii Fit so that they can get it the same day. In the meantime I’ve been showing them other great games that are available on the Wii including Smash 3, Mario Galaxy, and Mario Kart Wii. ( My wii library is kinda lacking unfortunately. Still need to get MP3 Corruption and a bunch of VC games and WiiWare games…)

  16. Never knew this, regards for letting me know.

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