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NPD Reports November Console Sales

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago

The Almighty Buck 82

CBackSlash writes "Joystiq has a summary of the NPD console sales numbers for November 2006. The big headline is that the industry overall was up 34 percent to $1.7 billion. But the smaller headlines are probably more interesting for us: PS3 only shipped 197k, while the XBox 360 had 511k, and the Wii had a very respectable 476k. However, all of the new consoles were outsold by the lowly PS2 (664k) and DS Lite(641k)." These are a more detailed set of numbers than those we discussed on Wednesday.

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82 comments

Only one glaring issue. (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#17163518)

A lot of sales are not tracked by the NPD (like online sales), making this report all but useless.

Re:Only one glaring issue. (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 7 years ago | (#17163568)

"A lot"? What else, other than online? Online is a fraction of actual console sales, so you can happily discard those as still have meaningful numbers. So what else is being omitted?

Re:Only one glaring issue. (2, Interesting)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17163604)

IIRC, The NPD doesn't report Wal-Mart sales. Either way, take with a grain of salt.

Re:Only one glaring issue. (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 7 years ago | (#17163912)

You can still look at the percentages. I expect that their sample is large enough to be statistically significant even without Wal-Mart and online sales (do people who shop at Wal-Mart have that different purchasing stratergies to everyone else?)

Re:Only one glaring issue. (3, Interesting)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164022)

Acutally, I could be wrong but I suspect that not including Walmart would skew the results ...

Years ago I heard that Nintendo was far more successful at selling their product in Walmart than they were at Bestbuy/EBgames whereas Sony was far more successful in Bestbuy/EBGames as compared to Walmart; this was because the Gamecube was a less expensive system that targeted families (which fit Walmart like a glove) and the PS2 was more expensive and targeted single males (which suited Bestbuy/EBgames). If this is true, this would mean that Nintendo would lose more "sales" by not including Walmart in your study than Sony would.

By the way ... I'm saying Nintendo sold a greater percentage of there consoles at Walmart, not that Nintendo outsold Sony at Walmart

Re:Only one glaring issue. (1)

badasscat (563442) | more than 7 years ago | (#17168004)

IIRC, The NPD doesn't report Wal-Mart sales.

The NPD uses statistical sampling to include these sales.

Look, people. There's a weird and wacky theory out there that's now almost accepted as fact by many that says that NPD reports are inaccurate because only a few stores participate. The thinking further goes that this means the remaining stores, including Wal-Mart, are not counted at all. This is not true.

Last time I looked at an actual NPD report, around 70% of the industry was directly tracked. The rest is counted using sampling. What that adds up to is 100% coverage of retail. It may not be accurate down to the individual unit, but it is about as accurate as a hand count would be, because as complex as the retail industry is, there are always slight over- or under-counts. But it doesn't add up to more than a thousand or so units using either statistical sampling or a hand count.

The NPD reports are also what the game industry itself relies on (that is, in fact, why they exist), so it's kind of ridiculous for someone to call them "useless". If they're good enough for the industry itself, why aren't they good enough for you?

Re:Only one glaring issue. (1, Interesting)

Manmademan (952354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17163626)

"A lot"? What else, other than online? Online is a fraction of actual console sales, so you can happily discard those as still have meaningful numbers. So what else is being omitted?
NPD figures do not include Walmart either, which does have meaningful numbers, but AFAIK no one console dramatically outsells the others there, so it's more or less a wash and the numbers are useful.

Re:Only one glaring issue. (1, Insightful)

Azarael (896715) | more than 7 years ago | (#17163590)

With so many 're-sales' I'm sure that including online data wouldn't be much more useful. The shipment numbers in the summary seem pretty consistant with what has been reported on /. and elsewhere anyway. If that is the case, then where would online sales have room to fit in?

Re:Only one glaring issue. (1)

Control Group (105494) | more than 7 years ago | (#17163606)

I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that ignoring online sales would have an effect fairly proportional to the number of units sold "on the ground." I'm open to the idea that it might have a skewing effect, but I'd need to see a decent rationale for why.

Re:Only one glaring issue. (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164286)

The same reason excluding people who dont answer phone surveys from political polling skews those results. There is no way you can quantify all the possible correlations between online purchasing habits and console preference, but I guarantee they dont all balance out.

Re:Only one glaring issue. (1)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 7 years ago | (#17170060)

The newer systems may not have even been made available online in any meaningful quantity. I checked at a couple of randomly selected online stores when the hype began and noticed that to get a PS3 you'd pretty much better try braving winter's chill since you won't be able to find one online.

D

Re:Only one glaring issue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17163754)

Not to mention that NPD makes, at the best of times, guesstimates and shouldn't be taken as a truly accurate source.

Re:Only one glaring issue. (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17163774)

but 90% of those online sales are just people buying the flipped consoles on ebay!

Re:Only one glaring issue. (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165402)

I would imagine that by "online sales" they're referring to stores like amazon.com, tigerdirect.com etc. For all intents an purposes eBay is a 2nd hand market and I doubt many people would question those figures not being included. Stores like Amazon however do have a significant impact. Add to that the fact that Walmart.com and most definitely the brick and mortar Walmart stores probably make up a larger percentage than any other entity.

In my area I have about 5 stores that carry games and gaming products within a 15 mile radius of my house. 4 of those locations are Walmart stores. Considering that 5th store is a locally owned mom & pop shop NPD probably doesn't cover them either.... So exactly how well is the NPD covering people who live in my area? I'm an avid gamer and have been for years though it would seem that not one of my gaming purchases over the years has fallen under the radar of the NPD.

Re:Only one glaring issue. (1)

Thraxen (455388) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165550)

But would you expect the ratio of console sales overall to differ online compared to in stores? That's the important factor. I'd expect the ratios to remain fairly consistent and thus if you included online sales I would expect all the sales numbers to go up, but I wouldn't expect any one console to make statistically signifcant gains in units sold on any other console.

Re:Only one glaring issue. (4, Insightful)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166502)

Lets assume for a minute that people choose their console based on personal preference and that maybe personal preferences are based mostly on someone's personality type. Assuming that the Typical Xbox 360 buyer is more of a hardcore gamer recluse, they'd rather stay at home and play alone or online, meanwhile the typical Wii buyer is more of a casual bubbly gamer who plays on occasion but more frequenetly likes to have friends over for more a personal and social gaming experience...

Which personality type do you think is more likely to make their purchase online? and which personality type do you think is more likely to go down to the store? Obviously launch window antics change things a bit where the more hardcore gamers come out of the woodwork and get their goods which ever way they can. But my point is where and how people make their purchases is largely determined by which experience best suits them. It would be foolish to think that those same personality traits that determine how a person likes to buy their games wouldn't also determine which games they buy.

Why don't you go to a knitting class and ask the members what they thought of the football game last night. Do you think you'd get a response that accurately represented the feelings of all football fans? What if you polled every knitting class in the country? Would that be any better? What if you asked the people in the class whether they preferred gardening or motor sports? While I'm sure you'll find at least some motor sport fans chances are the same personality types that bring people to knitting classes instead of watching football are the same personality types that would have more interest in gardening then in motor sports.

Don't you think it's foolish to assume that every group of people would be equally represented when the sampling is always only taken from a very specific area?

Re:Only one glaring issue. (1)

El Gigante de Justic (994299) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164892)

Considering that virtually no retailers were selling the Wii or PS3 online due to the limited supply, those numbers should pretty much be accurate. If I had to take a guess, I would say that 360 sales might have some increase due to online sales (with that crazy $100 sale Amazon.com had) and DS, GBA and PSP sales are likely to increase more since they are cheaper and easier to ship.

Re:Only one glaring issue. (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 7 years ago | (#17171580)

Last year the big rumor was that Microsoft was purposely holding back 360s to create a pent-up demand that would theoretically explode. (The idea that they wouldn't release them prior to Xmas was lost on most of the morons who supported this theory)

I wonder if Sony has the same genius plan...or if anyone is accusing them of it.

Re:Only one glaring issue. (1)

Thraxen (455388) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165484)

Useless? Hardly. Unless someone can provide a valid reason why one console might be selling a bunch more online than the other consoles, then I wouldn't expect the ratio of units sold when comparing the systems to one another to change much.

Before saying "Only" (3, Interesting)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17163936)

Before saying that "The PS3 only shipped 197k" or that "Nintendo only shipped 476k Wii" you have to realize that NPD has never been a perfectly accurate survey of the number of system sales; they produce statistics that are valid and useful as a comparison to other NPD numbers. For years NPD didn't include Walmart's numbers and currently doesn't include online sales and sales from smaller retailers; this likely doesn't change the ratios of the numbers but it means that Sony could have sold 250k and Nintendo could have sold 600k.

And what does this tell us? (1)

stewbee (1019450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164024)

While the data is interesting, what is the point? Given that the supplies for both the PS3 and Wii were limited by manufacturing, hence their smaller sales, I would believe that those numbers would be much larger. The only possible inference that can be made from the data is that the 360 is getting out sold by the devices which ultimately cost significantly less than the XBox 360. I would have to think that if Microsfot reduced the price on the 360, their sales would be more comperable to the ps2 and DS lite.

Re:And what does this tell us? (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164454)

We get to see (aproximatly) how many units were shipped, something alot of people have been wondering.

We are seeing the PS2 still doing staggering sales (this is segnificant, as normaly the last gen will drop off rather quickly, however the PS2 is still just pickign up steam). Infact, I tihnk the PS2 has been one of "The Hot" items for the past few holiday seasons, something that is rather impressive for a video game system that is relatively old.

So all in all, the point is that we that are interested in these thigns have some (Relatively) hard numbers to look at.

Re:And what does this tell us? (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165850)

Does anyone else think kids mom's are going in to buy "that new playstation that the kids said they wanted for christmas" and leaving with the PS2 since the PS3 inventories are nonexistent? I'm sure this happens...I just wonder how much. I remember asking my mom for a specific computer game for christmas when I was a kid and ending up with some game that was just on sale. "You wanted a computer game! Here it is!"

Re:And what does this tell us? (2, Insightful)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166450)

It's the games. There are stil quality games coming for that system and it's now dirt cheap with access to the back library available on the second hand market and greatest hits it's an easy buy. Even my die hard Xbox / GC fan boy friends picked done up cheap to play FFXII and the discounted gods of war/shadow fo the collosus/GT4. I'll problably be getting a WII as a present with money set aside for a PS3 in the new year (perhaps when MG4 comes out).

It's all about games. If the 360 had a higher density of the games I want I'd pick it up. The xbox has a few interestign ones btu since almost all the ones I was interested in (halo/Oblivion/KOTOR I II/ FABLE) are available on The Pc Id idnt' pick one up.

Re:And what does this tell us? (2, Insightful)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17167080)

Fully with you on this.

However that is the interestign thing, there are ALOT of very good games that have just come out for the PS2 (Guitar Hero2, FFXII, Okami etc), and some more still to come(God of War 2).

The thing that is really strange to me is the lack of games for the PS3, yet a glut of great games for the PS2. IT is interesting. It could also be sound marketing. the PS3 boasts full backwards compatability, so these are games that PS3 owners can pick up and play on their shiney new system, thus creating what LOOKs like a better launch line up. Also, if they actualy suspected haveing such a hortage on consoles, then focusing on the PS2, this season, for their software sales (where they really make money) is actualy a GOOD idea.

Or am I just looking into things to deaply, and trying to find paterns in chaos?

Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17164066)

But how about wating three or six months to see how the sales are holidng up? The PS3 and Wii have sold the numbers that were available at launch. The numbers of the other consoles might be interesting, but they can't be compared to these two systems until both are available without lineups or shortages.

Don't get me wrong - I'm really excited to see who will sell the most consoles in this generation, but at this point it's a bit too early to get excited about any particular contestant.

They are selling everything they can (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164076)

As far as I know, the PS3 and the Wii are basically selling every single unit that comes into the stores.

The XBox 360 numbers actually probably mean something because they aren't constrained by lack of supply.

So, Nintendo shipped more Wii units than Sony could ship PS3s. That's good for Nintendo because you have to strike while the iron is hot - meaning that right now people want to buy PS3s. It is less clear that the demand for PS3 will continue unabated in the future.

Re:They are selling everything they can (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164664)

I don't think we can i good conscience infer that because demand for the Wii and the PS3 is exceeding supply now that demand will continue unabated in the future. While it is unlikely that either system will sell poorly, it isn't clear how demand will hold up in the coming months. Indeed, what happends with demand in the coming months is more an indication of the health and potential of the systems, rather than something we can assume.

Re:They are selling everything they can (1)

Omestes (471991) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165796)

That's good for Nintendo because you have to strike while the iron is hot - meaning that right now people want to buy PS3s.

I might be misreading this, but you make it look like there is some odd causal relationship here. People are buying Wiis, therefore they want PS3s. This doesn't make any sense the way I'm reading it, people are buying Wiis because they want Wiis, and people are buying PS3s because they want PS3s, granted some people might be buying Wiis because there are no PS3s (not that a Wii is easy to get, mind, easier perhaps, but still a rare commodity), but most of the people who would want a PS3, I'd guess, are getting a 360 instead, since it is pretty much the same console, ideologically (i.e. graphics emphasis, "hardcore" mythos, etc). At least I got my Wii because I didn't want a PS3.

This early in the game its too hard to see what people actually want. The Wii could dominate, or the PS3, or the 360, I couldn't actually tell you which, or any, would, with any certainty. All prognostication, right now, is pure speculation. I put my bet on the numbers being the 360, followed by the Wii, and in very close 3rd the PS3, for the first year or so, with the PS3 eventually rising to ascendancy in a couple years thanks to price drops. But this is me talking out of my ass, like everyone else.

Re:They are selling everything they can (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 7 years ago | (#17186186)

I think the idea is that many people may go to a store looking for a PS3, but because so few shipped and the stores are instantly out of PS3s, they decide, in the purchasing moment, to go with what's available.

What matters here is how sizeable that number is. If it's large, the 360 will pick up a lot of sales that it wouldn't otherwise have gotten since they're the console in most abundance - well, or maybe the PS2 or the DS because those are so much less expensive and thus easier to justify as an alternative purchase.

197k PS3's seems right on target (1)

Frobozz0 (247160) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164252)

So, Sony says they'll have 200k units in North America for launch. NPD doesn't track all types of retailers or online sales. Their number is 197k.

Somehow the poster decides to say Sony *only* sold 197k as if that had anything at all to do with demand. They essentially sold exactly the number of PS3's they had available.

What is most telling is that demand for next generation systems is high this holiday season. The Wii and PS3, more or less sold out based on the supply they could get.

Re:197k PS3's seems right on target (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17164278)

Sony said 400K for launch, and 1 million by the end of the year.

After the launch, analysts started thinking that the launch number was more like 200K.

Re:197k PS3's seems right on target (4, Informative)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164636)

So, Sony says they'll have 200k units in North America for launch. NPD doesn't track all types of retailers or online sales. Their number is 197k.

Somehow the poster decides to say Sony *only* sold 197k as if that had anything at all to do with demand. They essentially sold exactly the number of PS3's they had available.

What is most telling is that demand for next generation systems is high this holiday season. The Wii and PS3, more or less sold out based on the supply they could get.


May 9, 2006

Kutaragi also took the time to comment on Sony's shipping targets for the system. SCE plans to have two million units available at launch (the Japanese press reports this as the initial shipment figure for the system, and not a number that will be gradually released over a launch window), with another two million by the end of the year and two million more before the end of March 2007.

http://ps3.ign.com/articles/706/706133p1.html [ign.com]

After that Sony changed their estimates to 400,000 in North America at launch (100,000 in Japan) with 2 Million shipped worldwide by the end of the year ...

After that Sony changed their estimates to 400,000 in North America at launch (100,000 in Japan) with 1 Million shipped to North America by the end of the year ...

If they shipped 200,000 in North America (80,000 in Japan) they are so far off of their targets that it isn't even funny anymore ...

Re:197k PS3's seems right on target (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17164732)

Don't forget to mention Nintendo there, buddy. They're quite a ways off of their target as well.

Re:197k PS3's seems right on target (1)

Psiven (302490) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166718)

I noticed this as well, with around 1.5 million sold worldwide, how will Big N sell through 2.5 mil more? If it will happen, I'd presume the european launch will give those numbers a boost. Apparently a fairly large shipment of Wii's and accesories is hitting the 18th of this month as well. So maybe a million in Europe and America this month, with another 500k in Japan?

This assumes they have 4 mil consoles to sell ofcourse.

Re:197k PS3's seems right on target (1)

Leviance (1001065) | more than 7 years ago | (#17168066)

Probably because die-hard nintendo fans like myself are too poor to buy the console at the minute or too busy to wait in lines or go searching for one. I plan to get one by next summer personally, and I expect there are plenty of others like me.

Re:197k PS3's seems right on target (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17165196)

(2,000,000 - 200,000) * (-$100.00) ==> $180,000,000


Assuming that Sony is losing $100 per console, it looks like they managed to not lose over 180 million dollars. Not a terrible screw-up, really. Those parts are getting cheaper to manufacture every day.

Re:197k PS3's seems right on target (1)

Thraxen (455388) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165630)

Actually, there was an article a couple of weeks ago that estimated Sony may be losing as much as $300 USD per console.

Re:what about the Million Wii March? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165844)

According to Yahoo News and G4 TV, Nintendo sold 400k in Japan alone and more than 650k in the US/Canada.

Re:197k PS3's seems right on target (1)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165936)

If they shipped 200,000 in North America (80,000 in Japan) they are so far off of their targets that it isn't even funny anymore ...

You're right, its not funny. Its hilarious!

In seriousness, this was not a launch. The PS3 did not launch. Its a fucking open beta, or something. If the rocket fails to lift off but instead rolls off the pad, I don't think you can use that word. 200k units is nothing.

(But lets watch. As a long time Sony observer, I do have to admit that historically they do great when their back is against the wall. This bad PR storm might be the best thing for the company, strain off some of that irritating hubris and get back to core competencies.)

Nintendo Sales (4, Interesting)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164594)

Console Sales (units)

* DS: 918k
* PS2: 664k
* Game Boy Advance: 661k
* Xbox 360: 511k
* Wii: 476k
* PSP: 412k
* PS3: 197k

Software Sales (units and sales grossed)

* Gears of War: 1 million -- $61.5 million
* Final Fantasy XII: 896k -- $49 million
* The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: 412k -- $20.2 million
* Guitar Hero II: 356k -- $20.2 million

All very interesting, but what I want to know is: Who are these 64 thousand new Wii owners who didn't pick up twilight princess? For Shame.

Re:Nintendo Sales (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17164720)

While many are ebayers - i was one of those who went to two stores on launch day - in the first case , 90 wiis... 70 zeldas... second case - 120 wiis.. 100 zeldas - if you were late you had to settle for a wii without a zelda

Re:Nintendo Sales (1)

KillaBeave (1037250) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164730)

I didn't get a copy yet. Been too busy with Gears of War to get really engrossed in another great game. One thing that's interesting about the numbers you posted. Nintendo sold 2 million + hardware units ... at a profit. I bet thier balance sheet is looking rather rosy right now.

Re:Nintendo Sales (1)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164772)

Some Wii sales were probably Christmas presents and being that it came with a game (Wii sports) many of the people buying the system may not have picked up an extra game; even if they did grab a game they may not have picked up Zelda.

Re:Nintendo Sales (1)

strider2k (945409) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164970)

I am one of those people. I am waiting to beat Wind Waker (bought it when it came out but never touched it) and waiting for a component cable.

Seriously though, don't buy any games until you have time to play them. I still have 8 other unopened new games.

Re:Nintendo Sales (2, Insightful)

Taeolas (523275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165018)

Judging from posts here, those 64k Wii owners who didn't get Zelda, are the 64k Wii owners who couldn't FIND it in any stores in their area. Wouldn't FFXII and Guitar Hero II be part of the reason for the surge of PS2 sales too?

Re:Nintendo Sales (1)

Maserati (8679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17172092)

Well, it's holiday season so consoles always sell. And the PS2 is in apparently abundant supply. And there are some very good games newly released. Any kid who gets a PS2 instead of a PS3 or a 360 can complain - but only a little. FFXII and GH2 are smash hits. God of War 2 is going to be just as big. The keys for the PS2's success this season is the huge library of budget editions of great games and the number of games still to be released. As of right now GameFly.com has in their catalog 33 PS2 games listed as coming soon and the 360 has 27. God of War 2 isn't officially announced for release, so it isn't even on that list [1]. The vast used market helps too.

Oh yeah, price. A PS2 with 3-6 games costs about as much as a Wii with just the pack-in game.

[1] Metal Slug Anthology is on the list; some people who care might not have known.

Re:Nintendo Sales (1)

radish (98371) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165494)

I'm one of those 64,000 - just not really interested in Zelda games. Alas, despite a lot of excitement for the system (and many hours of waiting outside in the cold) I'm yet to be blown away by the Wii due to a lack of really great games. We've switched back to the 360 for most of our gaming already...Viva Pinata and GoW FTW :)

Re:Nintendo Sales (1)

kazad (619012) | more than 7 years ago | (#17178252)

Thanks for pulling this together. I whipped up a quick chart [tinyurl.com] to help visualize the difference. It's amazing how many DSs were sold! Nearly double the PSP and almost 5x the PS3.

Re:Nintendo Sales (1)

Hieronymus Howard (215725) | more than 7 years ago | (#17183442)

By manufacturer:

Nintendo: 2055K consoles sold
Sony: 1253 consoles sold
MS: 511K consoles sold

Looks like we have a clear winner, in terms of units shipped. Next months numbers will be even more interesting.

how can i get a wii (1)

krotkruton (967718) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164616)

So I see that according to the article, almost 500k wii's have sold. I thought Nintendo said that they planned on having 1m shipped by the end of the year. Even if a lot of those wii's have been sold online, there should still be a lot out there right? Does anyone have any tips for finding a wii at a store? The stores in my area are sold out and the two that I asked told me they don't know when they will be getting more. Any advice would be appreciated.

Re:how can i get a wii (2, Informative)

7Prime (871679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17164974)

Well, these are for the month of November, of which the console only launched halfway through. If 5K is accurate, then they're more than exceed 1m by the end of the year. At that rate, I think we're looking at 1.5m units sold by that time. Still, 1.5m units for one of the most anticipated consoles ever, is pretty scarce, so you're going to have to put a little energy and thought into planning how you're going to get it.

Start talking with sales staff at your local box stores. I say screw Gamestop, they're a little TOO organized, and their clientell is much more informed... thus the launch lines are longer and more cutthroat. You're better off targetting a less obvious place, like a Kroger Marketplace (called "Fred Meyer" here, which is where I got mine), or another general box store.

Lastly, treat every new shipment as a launch. It doesn't take much time to ask store representatives when and approximately what time of day they'll get a new shipment in. Do a little figuring as to the hype the system is drawing in your area to figure out just what lengths you're going to have to go to to get a Wii. All you have to do is be just slightly better informed than most of the population, which isn't difficult (since most people won't even know when a store will get a shipment in). Just a few minutes on the phone or in person, here and there, at a local box store, and you'll have a Wii in no time. And plus, it's kind of a fun little game in of itself, sort of like a Zelda puzzle, even before you get the game!

Re:how can i get a wii (1)

krotkruton (967718) | more than 7 years ago | (#17167234)

I knew that they did but thought that maybe there was some reason they were refusing to tell customers. I called two places: a wal-mart and a GameStop. At wal-mart, I talked to a couple people who either said they themselves didn't know or that the store wasn't given that information before I gave up since I could tell they weren't real bright and it was wasting my time.

At Gamestop, I walked into the store a week or so before the launch and asked the guy behind the counter if they were reserving Wii's for any future launches, to which he replied "No." and turned away from me. I turned to the other guy behind the counter and asked him if he knew when they would be shipping out more, to which he also replied "No." and started stocking things. At this point, I was a little pissed that they were so unhelpful so I left, vowing to never shop there again, but I was also a little disheartened at trying to get a Wii. Luckily though, I know my area pretty well and I believe that there are a lot of stores that sell consoles in the area while there aren't enough people to buy all of them. I had a friend who actually bought a Wii a day or two after the second launch, so I guess that's a good sign.

Anyway, thanks for the tips.

Re:how can i get a wii (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17165016)

They certainly do know when they'll be getting more. Just ask nicer, or get some girl you know to ask, etc.

They'll be able to tell you exactly when they're getting more, and you'll be able to go pick one up rather easily.

Re:how can i get a wii (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17165522)

That is of course, if you ask the right people. Regular employees most likely won't be privvy to that information (simply because they have no real need to know).

Managers of the Electronics department are good places to start. If not, you can try asking the store manager, etc.

If there are multiple manager-esque people in a department only one of them may know. So you might have to ask a few times to finally get someone who does know.

Re:how can i get a wii (1)

stewbee (1019450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165334)

I recently (Wednesday) tried to get a Wii myself at a Walmart. On Monday a co-worker of mine gave me a tip that Walmart was going to be selling on Wednesday. Later that day, I went to the electronics department at Walmart and directly asked one of the salesmen and her verified this. I unfortunately didn't buy one since I was 7 people too late for the quantaties that they had ,which was 19 total :(

From my experience, Walmart didn't feed me the line 'we don't know when we are going to get more.' crap like I received at places like Gamestop. Ultimately, I would just call around to different places and see if they have a set date which they will be selling the Wii, and treat it like it was a new release date (sort of). The Walmart that I was at, the first person in line was there at 4:30 am for a 7am ticket distribution. If you had a ticket, you could then buy the Wii. I showed up at ~6:15, but if I was there about 15 minutes earlier, I am certain I would have received one.

Re:how can i get a wii (2, Informative)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165656)

Have you ever considered that some of the EBGames/Gamestop might not know when they're getting their next shipment? Walmart is guaranteed a shipment on a given date because its coming from their own highly efficient distribution centers.

Re:how can i get a wii (1)

stewbee (1019450) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166024)

It's not like I didn't consider this before writing my comment, but the sales clerk has to know something about when they will be getting any sort of shipment. SOMETHING. Instead, they seemed to have a general disdain in my even asking them. Sure, it might get a bit repetitive telling the 100th customer that they are out, but that is still one customer that was about to drop $300+ in their store. Myself and others can easily take their money elsewhere when treated poorly by the sales team.

Re:how can i get a wii (1)

dlZ (798734) | more than 7 years ago | (#17168080)

I used to work at an EBGames, and most of the time (this was when the PS2 was launched) we really didn't know when more were coming in. They'd show up a day before they arrived sometimes in our shipping logs, but that was about it. And many times they just showed up. I think the disdain is because you get asked that question every 5 minutes. I know it's not a valid excuse, but it can be a bit frustrating :) I don't know if the EB/Gamestops still do this now that they're the same company, but EB also used to still take money down for shipments (basically, pre-order for the next few shipments) after launch, which meant we really had none for walk in sales.

Re:how can i get a wii (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 7 years ago | (#17170940)

I used to work at an EBGames, and most of the time (this was when the PS2 was launched) we really didn't know when more were coming in. They'd show up a day before they arrived sometimes in our shipping logs, but that was about it. And many times they just showed up. I think the disdain is because you get asked that question every 5 minutes. I know it's not a valid excuse, but it can be a bit frustrating :)


Ever consider, perhaps, the concept of putting a little 8.5"x11" piece of paper on the front window? I believe they're called signs. On it, you can put something like "Sorry, we do not have any PS3s", "Sorry, we do not have any Wiis", and "Sorry, we do not know when we expect to get any"? Thus saving the staff from having to be asked that question a million times a day, and customers time having to line up to ask said question. On the rare occaison you get said stock, you can at the close of business the day before you want to sell them, "We have stock of PS3s/Wiis - ## units. Please line up this way, and we open at 10AM tomorrow."

A simple question, a simple answer, if you don't want to answer it a million times a day, post a sign. Heck, if you didn't want it on the window, just hang it on the appropriate area on the store. Hell, I wish stores did it so I didn't have to ask.

Re:how can i get a wii (1)

dlZ (798734) | more than 7 years ago | (#17173542)

We actually weren't allowed to do this (it was brought up to the district manager.) They felt that if you came into the store to ask, and we didn't have any, maybe you'd buy something else. And it seemed to work. A lot of people came in looking for a PS2, and would leave with a few games for their older system instead. I didn't like the policy, but at the time I needed the job. I no longer work for the company because of their policies and instead have my own PC store now.

While it's a simple question, the answer normally isn't that simple. The stores want people to come in. Posting a sign would be counterproductive, because then people would know you don't have any already, and just move on. Even if the sign is in the store, many people will just look at it and turn right around. By forcing them to ask, they were engaged in conversation, which was the point of the policy to begin with. It doesn't make it any less annoying, though. I'd imagine most stores feel the same way about bringing people in. Especially the bigger stores like Best Buy, because even if they don't have the game system you want, maybe they have the CD/DVD/thingimajig that you were also looking for.

Re:how can i get a wii (1)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 7 years ago | (#17177936)

The stores want people to come in.
Never let business sense get in the way of a good diatribe.

Re:how can i get a wii (1)

whoop (194) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165742)

The Wii was released on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Everyone sold out. The stores around here received one more shipment, putting it out either Friday after Thanksgiving or waited for the following Sunday. So, that's either two or three days for sales in November. Pretty good to hit 500k. All the stores have been told they will have shipments each week as well. And there are five Sundays in December. So there's plenty of room to hit a million or more by the end of the year.

Re:how can i get a wii (1)

Aerinoch (988588) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165764)

I thought Nintendo said that they planned on having 1m shipped by the end of the year. Even if a lot of those wii's have been sold online, there should still be a lot out there right? Does anyone have any tips for finding a wii at a store? The stores in my area are sold out and the two that I asked told me they don't know when they will be getting more. Any advice would be appreciated.

If you live in a place where there's fewer stores around, then this might not work as well. But here's what I did that enabled me to pick one up:
  • In the morning (right around the time stores opened), I called all of the major retail outlets in my area: (BestBuy, Circuit City, Target, WalMart, Costco, CompUSA, EB Games, etc.) I asked if they had any in stock, and if not, when they were getting them. The availability is best in the morning, when most people are at work.
  • Note: Toys R Us was not included in the list... I had the opportunity to purchase one from them on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), but I rejected that option because they were only selling the consoles in a bundle pack where the customer was required to buy any 3 Wii games @ $50 each, the console, and a 2 year warranty. They still sold out, but I didn't like the bait and switch they were trying to pull (they didn't mention the 2 year warranty was required until at the register)
  • If they have them in stock, speed down there and pick one up (grabbing up extra remotes and nunchucks if they have them). There is no room for mercy. Shove old ladies and children out of the way if need be. They'll understand your urgency.
  • Be persistent. If they don't have them and don't know when they will be getting more, call back and check again every couple of days.

It isn't anything special or unexpected, but I was able to pick up a Wii, Zelda, and enough extra remotes and nunchucks at Target on the Thursday morning after Thanksgiving by being persistent. Having a flexible work schedule also helps.

Try next Christmas (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17167088)

Does anyone have any tips for finding a wii at a store?

Play independent games on your PC for twelve months, and stores should become much better stocked.

Joystiq had a followup to this... (1)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17165704)

Nintendo pulled a strange about-face... relevant links to be found in the original post [joystiq.com]:

It's not every day that a major video game company tells you not to listen to what it says, but that's just what Nintendo did today. Yesterday, the company issued a press release trumpeting NPD sales figures that showed healthy Wii and DS sales. The release also promised "well more than a million" Wii systems would be on U.S. store shelves by the end of the year, despite what the release called "spot shortages in some locations."

Today, Nintendo issued a correction asking everyone to disregard the line about the million systems and the spot shortages. The company didn't offer any new projections for end-of-year domestic shipments, they just want us to know that the million unit target should go down the memory hole.

Given Nintendo's previous promise to ship four million systems worldwide by year's end, we find it hard to believe that not even a million of those system's would go to the world's largest video game market. So we have to wonder, does this retraction point to some Wii production problems that are slowing the planned deployment of the system?

Maybe Nintendo is just reapportioning it's limited supplies in light of crippling shortages in Europe, leaving the U.S. in the cold. Maybe the company just didn't want to tip its hand about regional distribution plans (although we think the damage has already been done if this is the case). Maybe Nintendo is scaling back Wii chatter in preparation for a planned merger with Apple (highly unlikely, but hey, anything is possible).

Re:Joystiq had a followup to this... (1)

haddieman (1033476) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166264)

It could be due to the fact that a (small) number of the consoles shipped with a bug that won't allow you to get online. Nintendo is replacing or reparing the affected systems free of charge (I am waiting for my replacement system right now). If this is a problem with the assembly lines it could take a little time for them to fix which could affect their projected numbers.

Ouch (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166628)

"while the XBox 360 had 511k, and the Wii had a very respectable 476k."

Remember, these are November sales. In the eleven days for which the Wii was "available" in November, it almost caught up with what the Xbox 360 did in thirty?

And note the quotes I put around "available." I've still never seen a Wii in the wild. In the local Best Buy, they have goofy Wii "protection kits" (that come in boxes at around the right size, shape and markings to pass off as a Wii) stacked up under the Wii demo endcap in an effort to either give the illusion of having Wii in stock, tricking unsuspecting parents into buying the accessory pack instead of the actual console, or both (this insult to my intelligence is enough that this was the last time I'll go video game shopping there), while there are multiple piles of Xbox 360 consoles in the middle of the floor, acting all but as a trip hazard.

I'd say in general, anybody who sells consoles is pushing the Xbox 360 hard, and either they're selling as fast as the stores can put them on the floor (and there are always a lot on the floor), or Microsoft is having trouble with their unspoken "Can't find our direct competitors? Try us!" strategy. But there's still 2 weeks until Christmas, so who knows what will happen.

"However, all of the new consoles were outsold by the lowly PS2 (664k) and DS Lite(641k)."

Um, according to first TFA, the DS sold 918k. Maybe only 641k of those were Lites, but there's no sign of that 641k number in either link provided. Also unmentioned in the blurb is that the PSP did 412k. Since these are US numbers, it makes me wonder where all the "The PSP is neck-and-neck with the DS in North America!" comments are coming from. Unless Canadians bought a half-million PSPs while totally ignoring the DS during November, it looks like the DS has the PSP by over 2:1.

Diclaimer: I'm a raving, rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth Nintendo fanboy. However, the numbers are the numbers.

Re:Ouch (1)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17166780)

Um, according to first TFA, the DS sold 918k. Maybe only 641k of those were Lites, but there's no sign of that 641k number in either link provided. Also unmentioned in the blurb is that the PSP did 412k. Since these are US numbers, it makes me wonder where all the "The PSP is neck-and-neck with the DS in North America!" comments are coming from. Unless Canadians bought a half-million PSPs while totally ignoring the DS during November, it looks like the DS has the PSP by over 2:1.

The "PSP is neck-and-neck with the DS" comments come from this:

http://www.vgcharts.org/usaconscomps.php?name1=PSP &name2=DS&type=2 [vgcharts.org]

The DS was released 4 months before the PSP so if you do the adjustment you'd find that the PSP + Nintendo DS were at the same level until June 2006 when the DS lite was launched; from that point on Nintendo has sold (approximately) 2 Million more units than Sony has. The depressing thing is that Sony's delay in Europe and Nintendo's dominance in Japan meant that the only region it was even close in was North America. The sad thing is that in North America ( http://www.vgcharts.org/usaconscomps.php?name1=PSP &name2=DS&type=3 [vgcharts.org] http://www.vgcharts.org/usaconscomps.php?name1=PSP &name2=DS&type=1 [vgcharts.org] ) interest in PSP software has dropped off recently and it is likely that Developers will begin to abandon it in 2007.

Re:Ouch (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 7 years ago | (#17168260)

Remember, these are November sales. In the eleven days for which the Wii was "available" in November, it almost caught up with what the Xbox 360 did in thirty?

November also marks the beginning of the Holiday Season(tm), so I think it's pretty fair to assume that a lot of those Xboxen were sold after Thanksgiving. There's also the fact that demand for the Wii (and the PS3) outstrips supply. So the only reason the 360 "won" this month in the next-gen arena is because the other two systems can't be made fast enough.

Xbox 360 Sales..... (1)

tlh1005 (541240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17170436)

Yes, If more Wii consoles were available they would have outsold the 360 and in less time..... Even if the Wii coud have sold 100K more consoles than the Xbox 360, it shouldn't be that close. The big picture is that in November, the 360 managed to sell 500K+ consoles MONTHS after it's launch day and amonst the launch of two other systems. I will be surprised if the Wii sells 500K+ units a year from now like the 360.

To be fair... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17172426)

To be fair, I've seen that strategy actually work. One of my coworkers went into London Drugs with me to check out some DVDs, saw that they had the PS3 demo set up and some Ps3 boxes, asked about them, found out they weren't available, and then decided he was tired of the wait and bought himself an Xbox 360. So I've seen it work, at least in one case.

Re:Ouch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17181754)

Ok, I'll bite. You realize that the XBox360 has already been around for *a year*, right? And that many people already own one, right? Microsoft has already shipped 10 million 360's and they sold over 6 million by September. All those people buying Gears of War, also bought or already own a 360. So yeah, Wii and PS3 sales will go up... DUH, they have nowhere to go but up!
Sorry to be blowing MS's horn here but these comments are just silly. Yeah people want to buy PS3 and Wii, but if they're not available they buy a 360 instead. Microsoft's winning this game and Nintendo and Sony are letting them.

Re:Ouch (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#17182172)

"Ok, I'll bite. You realize that the XBox360 has already been around for *a year*, right? And that many people already own one, right?"

If you want to go that route, why is the PS2 or the GBA still outselling it?

"Microsoft has already shipped 10 million 360's"

No, they've shipped 8 million, more or less. 10 million is their stated goal for next March.

"Yeah people want to buy PS3 and Wii, but if they're not available they buy a 360 instead."

Would you get a PS3 or a Wii if you had your heart set on Gears of War? I can't speak for the PS3, but with the way 3/4 of all Wii owners also getting Twilight Princess, it'd seem Nintendo would have more to "fear" from the GameCube version of it coming out next week, not something that can't play Zelda.

Timescale? (1)

Tom (822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17168470)

So the Wii shipped 10% units less than the 360 - in less than half the time. If you look at November, you have to take into account that the Wii launched on Nov. 19th. The PS3 launched 2 days earlier.

So, if you would do some honest statistics, and compare only days where all systems were actually available, those numbers would look just slightly different, probably with the 360 coming in third instead of first...

honest statistics (1)

tlh1005 (541240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17173204)

Good luck on getting those "honest statistics". There is no such thing when it comes to print and television media. The thing is it doesn't matter what the sales numbers are since two of the consoles are in short supply since launch day. It will matter what those sales figures are next year after they've both been in the field for a while and manufacturing increases. Even if the 360 sold only half the consoles of both the PS3 and Wii, it wins in Novemeber as far as I am concerned..... it's well past it's launch date and still at it's original price. I'm a loyalist to neither company and I'll probably bye a Wii at some point but I just don't see it's sales figures looking like the 360 a year later after it's launch.
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