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Wii

Reggie on the Wii Supply Situation

by Steven Rodriguez - December 14, 2007, 9:58 am PST
Total comments: 37

Major retailers will have a big supply release this weekend; GameStop will offer a rain check program for those who still can't get one. Also, what about Wii online voice chat?

In a conference call this morning, Nintendo President Reggie Fils-Aime explained what Nintendo was doing about the tight supply issues of the Wii, as well as detailing a new program aimed at making sure prospective Wii owners having difficulty finding the elusive console will have “something to put under the tree" this holiday.

During the call, Reggie explained why the Wii was so hard to find, and what Nintendo is doing about it. To that end, Reggie said that major retailers, including Sears, Kmart, Target, Circuit City, and Best Buy, will be releasing a big supply of Wii consoles to coincide with this Sunday's newspaper ad circulars. Wal-Mart will also have a "massive" supply of systems available throughout next week. Rumors have been flying about retailers hording Wiis, and now that Nintendo has confirmed there's a big wave of them ready to be unleashed, it seems as if those rumors are true.

To help meet the holiday demand, Nintendo has tripled its distribution workforce. However, Nintendo is only still outputting 1.8 million Wiis a month (more than half of that figure was sold in the U.S. during November), so that means the Wii consoles available are just getting to store shelves more quickly. Although the production level is double what it was when the console launched last year, the demand for the Wii hasn't let up at all since then. Nintendo has no plans to increase its current rate of production.

Reggie said Nintendo is not shipping in consoles via air freight to help cut down on transit time from Nintendo's Asian production centers to North America, like Sony has been known to do. Instead, he said that Nintendo is doing "unique things" to move consoles to the States. "We are expediting product to the Americas," he said. Reggie was also asked whether or not there were any plans to manufacture the console in the United States, to which he said there were not.

As a part of Nintendo's efforts to make sure people can give the gift of Wii in time for Christmas, Nintendo announced a partnership with games retailer GameStop called the Wii Rain Check program. The program will let consumers pre-purchase an out-of-stock Wii at full price and receive a rain check for the console guaranteed for delivery in January. Rain checks will be limited in supply, although Reggie noted there will be "many tens of thousands of rain checks available," divvied up among the retail chain's 3,000+ stores. The program begins December 20th.

The talk with Reggie touched on the success and supply line of the Nintendo DS. Even with its massive 1.53 million unit sell-through last month, the DS should not see any significant supply problems, according to Reggie. "We do not have reported shortages of DS," he said. "As we get to the 24th of December, inventory will be quite tight. There may be spot shortages at some retailers, but consumers should be able to find them."

Though the conference call focused on supply issues, Reggie did field some questions about some of Nintendo's other perceived shortcomings—namely, third party support and Wii online functionality. The lack of third party success is really on the publishers themselves, if Reggie's words are to be believed. He said that every system has "a range of quality" in its game library, and publishers are working on best using the Wii. "Those publishers who do a great job enjoy fantastic sales," he said.

Nintendo insists that things will get better. "As publishers understand how to take advantage of the unique aspects of the remote you will see better and better games," Reggie said. "Nintendo is working hand in glove with publishers to share with them our level of expertise with the technology."

Finally, Reggie was asked about Wii's online functionality—or lack thereof in certain areas. Particularly, will there ever be online multiplayer functionality in Virtual Console games? Probably not, as Reggie said Nintendo "does not anticipate" there being this functionality in the future. Online voice chat is another thorn in Nintendo's side, and to that, Reggie responded, "our system has the capability for online voice chat. What it comes down to is finalizing the peripheral."

Wii owners looking for this feature in their online games may have reason to be optimistic. Reggie finished answering the question saying, "I would not be surprised to see that capability come to this system."

One-Day-Only Wii Reservations at GameStop

GameStop will let shoppers reserve a Wii to be available after Christmas by January 25, but the offer is only avaliable in-person on Friday the 21st.

GameStop Announces Holiday Wii Reservation Program

Exclusive One-Day Program Helps Customers This Holiday Season

GRAPEVINE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME), the world’s largest video game and entertainment software retailer, announced today an exclusive, one-day reservation program to assist customers wishing to give the highly sought-after Wii this holiday season. Only on Friday, December 21, 2007, customers can reserve a Wii console for pick-up by January 25, 2008. Reservations must be made in-person at any GameStop or EB Games location in the U.S., including those in Puerto Rico and Hawaii.

While many store locations will have Wii in stock for immediate purchase during the holiday season, quantities are limited. As such, GameStop is offering this exclusive reservation program to provide peace of mind to shoppers that may not be able to locate a system in time for the holidays.

A limited number of reservations will be available at each store and only one reservation can be made per household.

The reservation process requires payment in full at $249.99 plus tax, to guarantee delivery in January. Customers will receive a custom-designed DVD case emblazoned with a Wii and the iconic Mario character wishing a “Happy Holidays! Your Wii is on the Way!" Inside the DVD case is a guarantee slip that provides gift-giver guidelines and an explanation of the gift receipt.

When the reserved Wii console arrives, the gift-giver will receive a telephone call indicating that their system is available for pick-up. Consoles must be picked up at the store location where the reservation was placed.

Talkback

Wow, I wonder how they're able to guarantee the raincheck for January... maybe GS just won't sell any consoles to walk-ins all of February?

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorDecember 14, 2007

I'm pretty confident Nintendo said "sell a maximum of this many and we'll make sure you get them."

Seeing as this is officially sponsored by Nintendo in a way, I see no reason to doubt the guarantee.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 14, 2007

::predicts a Crimm post::

Quote

Originally posted by: GoldenPhoenix
::predicts a Crimm post::


jerk.

Might as well say it: It should have never come to this

NeoThunderDecember 14, 2007

demand will still not be met.

It's going to be april or may before the supply can meet demand

Quote

Originally posted by: NeoThunder
demand will still not be met.

It's going to be april or may before the supply can meet demand


That's what we said last year...

Smash_BrotherDecember 14, 2007

"Preordering is stupid, SB and GP! You can walk into a Wal-mart the next day at noon and get a Wii!"

Har har har...

So a year later, the best way to get a Wii is STILL to pre-order.

MaryJaneDecember 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Crimm


Might as well say it: It should have never come to this


y not? how is this not a good thing from a business perspective? the mere fact that the Wii constantly sells out will intrigue more people to buy it. Also who in the hell couldv'e predicted this kind of demand? Would the PS3 shipments be able to keep up with the Wii's demand? I don't know how you'd figure that out, but I doubt it.

PlugabugzDecember 14, 2007

Maybe they can redirect/withdraw idle stock from Germany and send it to the UK?

You know things are tight here when people are going to France to get one.

Backwards Flying DragonsDecember 14, 2007

Anybody sign up for those Nintendo email things? I did, and a few days ago, I got an email from Nintendo saying I should trade in my old DS or GBA SP for a new DS Lite to save money. I'm pretty upset about it, since GameStop is something that causes developers, publishers and the three big companies to lose money. Basically, besides game promotions, I don't think Nintendo or any other company should have anything to do with them, since they sell used games and whatnot.

I certainly think this deal should have been made with a less disgusting company, and I hate to have received that promotion email, as well.

Quote

Originally posted by: Smash_Brother
"Preordering is stupid, SB and GP! You can walk into a Wal-mart the next day at noon and get a Wii!"

Har har har...


How long till tha quote becomes unfunny?

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 14, 2007

Never! When Wii2 comes out, I'm sure the quote will be pulled out again. face-icon-small-smile.gif

The inability to sell a Wii to everyone that wants one is bad. Period.

"Some analysts put the ballpark figure at around USD$1 billion. And that's just on hardware, and that's just for the holiday season. Other analysts, like James Lin from MDB Capital Group, put it even higher, somewhere around $1.3 billion. So, Nintendo, you worried?"

Quote

Originally said by: George Harrison
It's a good problem to have... do worry about not satisfying consumers and that they will drift to a competitor's system.


Nintendo needs to sell the Wii systems now. They need to have powerful lead in console sales and force the continued investment of third parties. In the end it is games drive hardware, not hype. This hype will fade, so its better to sell the systems NOW rather than say "hype will sell them later."

Smash_BrotherDecember 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Crimm
How long till tha quote becomes unfunny?


Never?

In all seriousness, I never blamed the staff, since even I didn't predict the amount of demand the Wii would see. I personally preordered just because I had the store credit kicking around, not because I feared calling dibs would be necessary.

I preordered cuz I expected it would be hard for the first few shipments. You know, I didn't expect Nintendo to do any better than any other console handling launches.

Also...I was out of town on launch day morning.

EnnerDecember 14, 2007

I still have yet to see on box on a store shelf or behind a glass face-icon-small-frown.gif
Oh well, no rush. It's a certain purchase since I'll need my Smash fix.

MaryJaneDecember 14, 2007

Yes except even if that 40yr mom decides to buy a 360 for some reason, is it really going to satisfy their desire for the Wii? Or are they just going to trade it in when they realize it's neither the games nor experience they were looking for.

I think of 3 kinds of ppl who buy a Wii (casual gamers, nintendo fanboys(using it loosely i don't just mean petards who buy with no regard just cuz nintendo said to), and hardcore gamers who played a Wii and were convinced it was real) aren't going to be deterred by the fact that they can't find one, and not for nothing, but almost 1million people mananged to find one. I see that as, as long as the demand has been there for a solid year without wavering, has there been any proof whatsoever that selling out has caused Nintendo to miss one sale? NOPE!

And uh, guess what, the games are going to sell the consoles when the "hype" runs out. I don't think hype has ever driven Wii sales, it's been word of mouth, and experience, as long as those two things are around (like until the imminent Nuclear Holocaust) I think the Wii will do just fine.

Again I ask, who could have predicted this type of success for a company that was laughed at for the GC which was a good system in itself, just without much support. I mean hell, didn't the 64 outsell the GC? Was Nintendo really going to throw huge amounts of money into production with such a radical product? What if it hadn't been so well recieved, granted the DS has made so much money it might not have mattered too much, but it's not smart business to rely on one product to push another one that's sinking. (hem hem Sony hem hem)

GoldenPhoenixDecember 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Smash_Brother
Quote

Originally posted by: Crimm
How long till tha quote becomes unfunny?


Never?

In all seriousness, I never blamed the staff, since even I didn't predict the amount of demand the Wii would see. I personally preordered just because I had the store credit kicking around, not because I feared calling dibs would be necessary.


I knew all along!

I highly disagree. Hype buys wont happen a year from now. The system shouldn't be selling on hype now, it should be selling on a smashing holiday lineup.

Who KNOWS what it's selling on now, it's selling WAY TOO MUCH to get any good insight.

In other words... why it's selling right now is less of a problem than how much it's selling.

Now... software... that deserves an examination of why it's selling (or not...).

MarioDecember 14, 2007

And then Smash Bros and Mario Kart will come out. LOL

pyrokamileonDecember 14, 2007

I didn't think I would need a preorder originally either but something about the idea of getting a preorder for the new Nintendo console somehow made me feel special and I knew I wanted to get it. Then again, seeing how hard it was to get a preorder should have told me something...

You know, these rainchecks basically ARE preorders... I wonder if Nintendo is the first company to have to reissue preorders a year after release?

MorariDecember 14, 2007

CENSORED FOR YOUR PROTECTION

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Mario
And then Smash Bros and Mario Kart will come out. LOL


And WiiFit.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: UncleBob
Quote

Originally posted by: Mario
And then Smash Bros and Mario Kart will come out. LOL


And WiiFit.


And Endless Ocean.

ShyGuyDecember 14, 2007

And No More Heroes

CalibanDecember 14, 2007

*joins bandwagon* And Pikmin 3. Wishful thinking, I know.

Quote

Originally posted by: Caliban
*joins bandwagon* And Pikmin 3. Wishful thinking, I know.


Wow, that's weird, I nearly posted the same thing but decided not to in case it would jinx it. If we don't get it now I'm holding you personally responsible.

And Animal Crossing.

And TimeSplitters 4

KDR_11kDecember 14, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: GoldenPhoenix
And Endless Ocean.


But that's out already!

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 14, 2007

Please keep in mind that stores like Best Buy don't necessarily put their systems out on the showroom floor right away (or ever). I have only hunted for a Wii once since launch (since I got mine at launch), and the experience was really easy. My friend and I walked into a Best Buy (the first store we checked out), asked if they had any Wiis, and were told they just got a shipment and all of the units were still in THE BACK. So they brought one from the back up to the register and he got a Wii.

CalibanDecember 15, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: insanolord
Quote

Originally posted by: Caliban
*joins bandwagon* And Pikmin 3. Wishful thinking, I know.


Wow, that's weird, I nearly posted the same thing but decided not to in case it would jinx it. If we don't get it now I'm holding you personally responsible.


Jinx is for loosers.

Dirk TemporoDecember 16, 2007

Quote

our system has the capability for online voice chat


THEN WHERE THE HELL IS IT?

StogiDecember 16, 2007

and GS wii

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