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GameStop Theorizes Wii Shortage Deliberate

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the ruh-roh-raggy dept.

Games 163

In GameStop's quarterly public conference call, company COO Dan DeMatteo called out Nintendo on what he sees as intentional supply shortages. Along with the news that the company hit $5.3 Billion in 2006, Next Gen reports that the call contained several remarks on the next gen systems. The Wii, Dematteo thinks, has been short supplied because 'they made their numbers for the year ... [Nintendo's] new year starts April 1st, and I think we're going to see supply flowing.' They also commented on the Euro launch of the PS3, with CEO R. Richard Fontaine saying, 'I think the summary of that was that it was a very good launch falling somewhat short of what [GameStop's Euro managing directors] would call a great launch.'

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163 comments

Nintendo Retaliates (3, Funny)

bym051d (980242) | more than 7 years ago | (#18506971)

By stopping supply of Wiis to Gamestop.

Re:Nintendo Retaliates (2, Insightful)

c0mmanderb0nd (994754) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507545)

Yes the only company actually turning a profit on a console just really doesn't like money so they would rather not make it by holding back supply. Maybe Dan needs to go back to firing managers whose employees sell games to kids and continue with his own exceptional management policies, as in how to ass whip customers into trading in more games or over pre ordering things that will never sell out in a million years. "Yes sir you really need to preorder Barbie horse adventure 2, the first one was a major blockbuster not to be missed, dont forget to bring in your trades, did you bring any trades, did I mention we take trades." Maybe Dan should lay off speculation and go back to his telemarketer like tactics of commerce!

Re:Nintendo Retaliates (1)

TikiTDO (759782) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508177)

Actually the article makes a rather valid point. Sure Nintendo could make a bajillion dollars right now selling all the consoles it could. Then come the end of their fiscal year they report all the high profit, get a few more investors. Come next year they suddenly find that they can't maintain the profit they did this year. All the investors see this, get pissed off, and a large number walk out.

On the other hand if they hold back, they are already making a decent profit. The growth wouldn't be as high as it would have with option 1, but there will still be some. Now comes next year, they ramp up production and make an even better profit at the end of that year. Now the investors they'll gain this year will be happy, and in fact they'll probably get a few more. Sure they can't guarantee what will happen after that, but in this world two years is a long time and I'm sure Nintendo has plenty of smart financial types thinking these things though.

Re:Nintendo Retaliates (2, Insightful)

Dorceon (928997) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508311)

If Nintendo sold all the consoles they could, they could take over the #1 installed base crown from the Xbox 360, which would force developers to support the Wii, which would lead to future profitability, both from increased console sales (since they'd be the most desirable console due to all the games) and licensing revenue (since Nintendo gets a cut of all the game sales for their console). In this case, short-term sales lead to long-term sales, making it stupid to hold back stock.

Re:Nintendo Retaliates (1)

TikiTDO (759782) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508761)

There are several points to consider there. First, their fiscal year ends in April, they aren't loosing much by holding back for a month. Certainly they'll make it back fast when the production ramps up. Remember, this article only concerns March. Second, even if they were producing at full volume they are still at around half the Xbox 360 install base, if their momentum holds, and that is a VERY big if, they aren't set to be #1 for a while yet. In fact them holding back could be seen as a clever move by Nintendo to raise demand in a time when demand may start to drop. As for developer support. Nintendo already made their point, the Wii is selling fast and will continue to for at least a few more months. It's safe to say that most developers are sufficiently forced as it is.

Re:Nintendo Retaliates (2, Insightful)

xero314 (722674) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508811)

If Nintendo sold all the consoles they could, they could take over the #1 installed base crown from the Xbox 360
I think what you me is "If Nintendo sold all the consoles they could, they could take over the #2 spot from the XBox (not 360), and still be millions of units behind the PS2 and the number one spot." You can add all the current gen consoles sales together and they don't even scratch the surface of the PS2s install base, which is still growing, even out growing the other consoles individually.

Re:Nintendo Retaliates (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18509105)

Oh, I get it, the Wii is last gen. That's a good one. How did you come up with it?

Re:Nintendo Retaliates (1)

xero314 (722674) | more than 7 years ago | (#18509817)

I think you misunderstood. I was not calling the Wii "last gen," I really don't get into that argument.

What I was saying is that the current leader in install base is the PS2, and there doesn't seem to be any console challenging that at this time. The PS2 has sold over 110 million units as of the end of 2006 (not including the christmas season where it did sell well), while all other consoles (not hand helds obviously) that are currently still on the market total 64 million (approximation, which includes, XBox, Xbox 360, PS3, Game Cube and Wii), with just under half of that being Xbox. So this puts the PS2 as number one, the XBox at number too and the Game Cube at Number 3. The current gen hasn't even begun to scratch the surface of install base. With Sony making a commitment to another 7 years of support for the PS2 (according the Game Stop), it looks like the PS2 will remain the leader through the rest of this years and probably beyond.

The PS2 is also still number one in total monthly game sales, including at least one game in the top 10 each month since it's introduction (with this months God of War 2 easily being a top 5 if not number one).

Re:Nintendo Retaliates (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18510477)

Oh, ok. I gotcha now. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

The PS2 does seem to be losing some steam in the latest charts, but obviously it will carry on for a while. I wouldn't trust the 7 years exactly, at least not for anything really worth playing, but certainly it's in Sony's interest to keep selling as much as they can.

Personally, I find playing the PS2 kind of painful now. It's not so much the graphics, although that's some of it. It's mainly the wired controllers. I hate being tethered now. It takes an incredible game to get me to drag it out all over again. God of War 2 pulled that off, of course.

You mean like the PS3 or XBox 360 launch? (1, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18506981)

I bought two Wii's before christmas.

PS3s marketing campaign was based on somebody getting stabbed in the parking lot, to get them on the news as the seasons "hot gift".

Re:You mean like the PS3 or XBox 360 launch? (3, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507101)

The sad thing is, that same dude that got stabbed in the parking lot later got stabbed on ebay too.

Re:You mean like the PS3 or XBox 360 launch? (3, Interesting)

senatorpjt (709879) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508473)

Then again, after a month of trying to get one, I gave up the Wii and bought a PS3 instead.

Re:You mean like the PS3 or XBox 360 launch? (2, Funny)

tktk (540564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18509743)

Consumer Buddhism is the Key

Desire is the root of suffering. Therefore if you desire a console too much, you won't obtain it and suffer.
I don't want a 360 or PS3 and they're plentiful.
I do have a Wii, but I went to the store half-heartily, stood in line, expecting to be turned away, and was 3rd to last to get a ticket.
I want to play games on the Wii but don't really like the games.
Some of the games that I'd like to play are on a different system.
And I have no time to play.

Hmmm....I started this as a joke, but maybe there's a grain of truth in there.

Re:You mean like the PS3 or XBox 360 launch? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18510473)

Well, most people that couldn't get one seemed to be of the type "I'll buy it when I can pick up from the shelf". While it's not staying on the shelf, within a few weeks everyone that preordered got one, though if you're betting on that flash shipment of consoles then it's still hit and miss. In any case, I think your story is offset by equally many in Europe that went "Hey, this Wii is actually kinda cool (for a gimmick), and the PS3 isn't due out for several months..."

OH SNAP (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18507031)

Oh, I know they didn't just talk trash about my beloved Wii. Join me is correcting their obvious error Slashdotters, I just know you will.

Re:OH SNAP (2)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507807)

Oh, I know they didn't just talk trash about my beloved Wii.

They totally did, dude! I saw 'em, they said your Wii was short and aged.

That is a double edged sword (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507071)

You run the risk of having consumers turn to the Xbox360 instead because 3 months after Christmas is a long time to wait for a console.

I don't know if that is what Nintendo did... but it would seem short sighted to lose a customer over the life of this product and reaping in game sales just to have better numbers in one quarter.

Re:That is a double edged sword (0, Flamebait)

alcmaeon (684971) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507405)

Yeah, I know what you mean. I haven't been able to get my hands on a cool Wii console, so I am going to settle for a 'tard box 360 instead. Wonder if I can get it preinstalled with Vista?

Re:That is a double edged sword (4, Interesting)

DDLKermit007 (911046) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507469)

Gamestop is talking out of their ass. Nintendo still can't keep with with the DS Lite in Japan, and the Lite revision has been out for over a year, and thats the last place they want to have shortages.

Re:That is a double edged sword (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507517)

Well before the launch they were talking about how they produced so many units you should just be able to walk into your local retailer and walk out with one(sans waiting in line in cold weather for hours) on launch day. A huge nintendo fanboy friend of mine bought that line and ended up having to wait until well after Christmas to get one. He's not really bitter about it, but.....

Re:That is a double edged sword (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508237)

<i>Well before the launch they were talking about how they produced so many units you should just be able to walk into your local retailer and walk out with one(sans waiting in line in cold weather for hours) on launch day.</i>

That is not true.

<a href="http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/ 11/01/1855217">Here</a> is a story where Reggie Fils-Aime says "not to get complacent."

Re:That is a double edged sword (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18508427)

Reposting anon with formatting
Well before the launch they were talking about how they produced so many units you should just be able to walk into your local retailer and walk out with one(sans waiting in line in cold weather for hours) on launch day.

That is not true.

Here [slashdot.org] is a story where Reggie Fils-Aime says "not to get complacent."

Re:That is a double edged sword (1)

famikon (994709) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507537)

I was holding out for a Wii. Two weeks after Christmas I couldn't take it and bought a 360. I am happy with the system, although I can only find an hour or two per week to play on it; therefore, I have no good reason to buy a Wii now.

Re:That is a double edged sword (5, Insightful)

Skreems (598317) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507777)

The 360 has been out for nearly two years. They've sold somewhere under 11 million units. The Wii has been out for all of 4-5 months and they've sold over 5 million. And they still can't keep them on the shelves. Since they make a profit on their hardware, unlike MS and Sony, this is basically like printing money to them. I think demand has just exceeded everyone's expectations.

Re:That is a double edged sword (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508149)

The 360 has been out for nearly two years.

1 year and 5 months is not "nearly two years". Give it a couple more months before you start using that line. The 360 shipped in mid-November of 2005.

Re:That is a double edged sword (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507981)

You run the risk of having consumers turn to the Xbox360 instead because 3 months after Christmas is a long time to wait for a console.

I don't think Nintendo much cares if consumers turn to the 360, as long as they also buy a Wii. At current pricing, a Wii60 [wii60.com] is not much more expensive than a PS3 and gives you all of the benefits of a hardcore gaming machine (360 or PS3) and casual machine (Wii). I have both, and everybody I know with a Wii also has a 360 (though not everybody I know with a 360 has a Wii yet). I don't know anybody with an interest in the PS3.

Re:That is a double edged sword (1)

senatorpjt (709879) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508519)

I don't know anybody with an interest in the PS3.

Have you asked anyone with a decent HD set? If you have one, the PS3 is a better deal than the 360 because of the Bluray.

Re:That is a double edged sword (2, Interesting)

@madeus (24818) | more than 7 years ago | (#18509147)

I have a 50" HD Plasma, but I've definitely got zero interest in the PS3's Blu Ray. I get my HD TV via my satellite, and later this year those of us in the UK will be able to get additional HD TV via our 360's.

However, I don't have much interest in an HD-DVD drive for the 360 either. My perspective is, if I want an HD player (whichever one wins - Blu Ray or HD DVD) I'd rather get a good one, given how much I've invested already in my home media kit.

While I'm sure the PS3 is a competent console and plays games really well (even though the 'dashboard' and online software is a bit iffy sounding), I don't trust Sony's ability to write a really decent Blu Ray movie player, and I doubt the console is as quiet as a dedicated player (just like the 360 is noisy even when playing back DVD's). I'd be surprised if it didn't have compatibility problems evident in a year or two, just like we saw with most early DVD players.

I might well get a PS3 - despite owning a Mac, PC, DC, X-Box, GC, Wii and 360 I didn't get a PS2 though - it will need to have compelling unique titles to convince me (even if it's just two or three). If it had been the price of an X-Box I would have gone for it I think, but at 425 GBP for base package alone (compared to the 360's 260 GBP for Core - that's a fair step up, not that I'd get 'core'...) it was enough to make me not bother, given how similar it is to the 360.

I wonder how many other HD set owners (especially those of us in Europe who got sick of waiting for the PS3) have already got a 360 for the 'HD game fix', and are similarly not enticed by the PS3's inclusion of a Blu Ray drive. I'm still waiting for some PS3 'killer apps' (hopefully there will be some...).

Re:That is a double edged sword (1, Insightful)

webheaded (997188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18509909)

If you actually bothered to use the PS3 or read about the reviews before you went spouting off your Wii/360 fanboy rant, you would have seen that the Bluray player in the PS3 is actually very nice. I know a few people with a PS3 and they love the player itself. I'm not a Sony fanboy, but I'm not an XBOX fanboy either. Don't just spout crap off like that as fact when you have no idea what you're talking about, it just makes me not even want to read the rest of what you said. Saying, "I don't trust Sony to make a good bluray player blah blah blah," when you could actually see for yourself is just a pointless sentiment.

Re:That is a double edged sword (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18511141)

Love how this was modded flamebait when it's naught but the truth. The only real downside to the PS3 is the controller, but they're releasing an actual remote within a couple of months. Nice to see how reflective of reality /.s mod system is.

Re:That is a double edged sword (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 7 years ago | (#18511409)

Well, as somebody reading this thread with a mod-point to give, I can say that the "fanboy" attack is getting pretty tiresome. If he had just given his point of view without the ad hominem it probably wouldn't have gotten modded down, and maybe modded up instead.

Nice to see how reflective of reality /.s mod system is.
It isn't perfect, but no system is. For the most part it works pretty well.

Re:That is a double edged sword (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18511913)

It's not entirely pointless. A lot of people who bought PS2s expecting a very nice DVD player didn't get one, and worse many of those died entirely after a few short years. While this didn't happen to everyone, it's understandable that some people might be skeptical of look to a PS3 for movie playback.

He wasn't spouting crap off as fact without knowing what he was talking about. Just about everything he said is carefully worded to make it absolutely clear it's his opinion, his skepticism and his issues.

There really wasn't any need to bring charges of fanboyism into this at all. :/

eBay markup (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508587)

At current pricing, a Wii60 is not much more expensive than a PS3
Including the eBay markup on the Wii ($70 extra at this writing)?

Re:That is a double edged sword (1)

asusag (973812) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508919)

Those numbers are important to their shareholders and I wouldn't disagree with Mr. Man from Gamestop. Waiting for April 1st instead of March 1st probably won't hurt their sales at all with how well the hype is holding on, whether it's deserving or not.

It takes a thief... (2, Insightful)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507085)

This from the company that resells new reprints as used because the used sells for more.

artificially choking supply? (5, Insightful)

ravyne (858869) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507095)

If they're artificially choking supply at ~6million units sold worldwide already, I'd hate to hear those numbers if they weren't.

Re:artificially choking supply? (3, Interesting)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508621)

If Nintendo was really intentionally choking the supply, it would make them the biggest idiots of all time. There is a short window after launch where you are everybody's baby - if you don't make it then, then your platform will fail. Cutting off supply during this period would be beyond idiocy.

It is possible that Nintendo underestimated demand when they were reserving factory time for the Wii to be built. Then again, it is possible they just can't get enough units to market as quickly as they would like due to some factor beyond their control (this is most likely).

Re:artificially choking supply? (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18509949)

If Nintendo was really intentionally choking the supply, it would make them the biggest idiots of all time. There is a short window after launch where you are everybody's baby - if you don't make it then, then your platform will fail. Cutting off supply during this period would be beyond idiocy.

How many times have we discussed on /. the importance of momentum and marketshare? Despite a very healthy start and the apparent success of getting non-gamers to buy the Wii, Nintendo is still sitting at less than half the market share of the 360. You are absolutely right; deliberately stunting their marketshare would be utterly retarded as it would hurt them in 3 ways: 1) Lower marketshare means less appealing to 3rd parties 2) People unable to buy a Wii would perhaps buy another console 3) Word-of-mouth advertising that gets the non-gamer interested in the Wii would be cut short.

I think they simply underestimated demand, and now it's both difficult and expensive to try to meet it.

Re:artificially choking supply? (1)

macserv (701681) | more than 7 years ago | (#18511549)

The Wii has well over the marketshare of the Xbox 360 [vgcharts.org] .

P.S.: Don't point me to NexGenWars... they estimate based on trends. VGCharts only uses official numbers.

Re:artificially choking supply? (2, Funny)

macserv (701681) | more than 7 years ago | (#18511557)

Of course, I meant, "well over half the marketshare of the 360". I need sleep.

Re:artificially choking supply? (2, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18511581)

Nintendo is still sitting at less than half the market share of the 360.
Half, yes. Sitting, no. The 360 has been out for what, four times the time the Wii has been around? Getting half the market share of a competitor who's been around four times as long isn't exactly "sitting", it's more an "in the process of overtaking".

Give it another 4, maybe 5 months and the Wii will be the best-selling next-gen console.

Re:artificially choking supply? (4, Insightful)

tknd (979052) | more than 7 years ago | (#18510191)

Release date: November 19, 2006.
Today: March 27, 2007.

Days between the two dates: 129 days (including today)

Wii's produced till today: 6,000,000+

6,000,000 Wiis / 129 days = 46,511.628 Wiis / day.

Each Wii sold includes 1 remote, 1 nun-chuck, 1 sensor bar, 1 a/v cable, and 1 power brick. In addition to this, Nintendo must also produce additional remotes, nun-chucks, and classic controllers at roughly the same rate.

I don't know about you, but you find me a manufacturer that can produce electronic hardware at a rate of 46.5k units a day without running out of any supplied part in the process. Even if you give them an additional 30 days to buffer the launch dates with units to sell you'd still get roughly 37.7k Wiis per a day. In order to pull this off Nintendo has to have good engineering (low defect rate), good manufacturing process (low manufacturing defects, fast/efficient production lines), and good supply chain management (can be compensated by better engineering to accept multiple part alternatives in the event a supplier cannot keep up with demand--I've seen this with their battery manufacturer changes that ship with the remotes). That doesn't even begin to include what you're going to do when people send back defective units during the warranty period.

For a global/multilingual launch and a company that only deals with gaming hardware/software, I'd say they're doing a damn good job.

I don't think anyone expected this kind of demand; it's not everyday that your mom, aunt, and grandma (literally) say "I want a Nintendo (Wii)." If there was a new product that was the next big thing compared to sliced bread, this is pretty close.

Re:artificially choking supply? (1)

Kanasta (70274) | more than 7 years ago | (#18510867)

Maybe Sony called them and begged them not to make the PS3 look any worse than it already is?

ya think? (3, Insightful)

mstahl (701501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507103)

I'm shocked....

I'm not so sure that's the case though. There definitely does seem to be more demand than can be quickly supplied. Remember kids, the PS3 was the intentionally shorted console, and now they're on shelves everywhere. The Wii on the other hand is actually selling still and there's tremendous demand for them.

Online Multiplayer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18507117)

Where in the HELL are the online multiplayer games for the Wii? Is that intentional too?

Re:Online Multiplayer (2, Interesting)

7Prime (871679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507389)

Yes it is, and for good reason. Online multiplayer is the last psychographic Nintendo wants to hit, there are many consiquences for doing so. Blinding going into the online multiplayer market before establishing a good, solid, lineup of single-player and offline multiplayer games could have dier consiquences. It's quite possibly the single biggest reason why the DS and the Wii are doing so well, by heavily concentrating on offline gaming. Many many people are annoyed, intimidated with, and turned off by online multiplayer gaming. Currently, they're getting their fix (and thus fairly silent), but with the current trend toward strongarming developers into putting their games online, that could change very quickly.

The other consoles are taking over the huge gaping hole left behind by PC gaming, Nintendo has an opportunity to remain the bastion of traditional console gaming, and the followers that that genre has produced. I think its very wise of them to stay as far away from online games as long as they possibly can, in order to build up a pretty substantial library of single-player and offline multiplayer games.

Personally, my favorite version of multiplayer is sitting around, discussing games with my buds over a beer at the bar.

Re:Online Multiplayer (2)

pl1ght (836951) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507665)

Id rather be drinking beer at home on the couch playing GoW or Resistance online with my buds. Its 2007. Nintendo needs to get their online MP act together. I dont think there is any good excuse these days to not have an online multiplayer component.

Re:Online Multiplayer (5, Insightful)

Skreems (598317) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507851)

I'd second the sentiment that online play pisses me off. If it's done well, as an added mode on top of a great game, then fine. But a lot of developers these days are using it as an excuse to deliver extremely half-assed single player content. I don't know how many times I've heard, "The story mode for Gears of War is kinda short and not that interesting, but the multiplayer is a lot of fun." Somehow, playing against a trash-talking pre-teen with nothing better to do than practice 8 hours a day just doesn't interest me in the same way as a well written story mode.

Re:Online Multiplayer (1, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508991)

> The story mode for Gears of War is kinda short and not that interesting, but the multiplayer is a lot of fun.

Translation:

Hot ingame graphics are a requirement to get reviewers and teens to buy, gotta pay those guys. With the popularity of online the equally expensive cut scenes, hollywood actors doing voices and paying somebody who can actually write a half baked plot can all be cut to the bone.

Multiplayer is pretty much multiplayer, regardless of the game, because the PLAYERS are the most important thing and they are fairly constant even across widely different game genres..... and lame.

Re:Online Multiplayer (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18511193)

Actually, it wasn't that interesting. The enemy in gears was about as strategically sound as hitler, which pretty much any military historian could tell you was a fucking moron when it came to military planning. Seriously, with the numbers the enemy can call upon and the fact that the group you were primarily with were the only real resistance beyond a small enclave of soldiers on the planet the fact that they weren't tracked, had troops massed against them, and then literally swarmed after the second berserker is fucking laughable. You DO NOT leave an enemy group of soldiers that competent in your backfield and just send peicemeal forces against them.

Re:Online Multiplayer (1, Interesting)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18509211)

Generally people who are bad at games feel this way. Some people are just naturally better. My brother and I could probably hop in to any random FPS and within an hour be better than a majority of the players. It is a wrong assumption to think all these people are teens with a lot of time. I think it is more likely that you have poor reflexes.

Though you do bring up a good point. Many, many people are terrible at games and find online play frustrating. Having cooperative vs. dumb AI is a lot more fun for them and there is probably a large market for this. PvP play is more for people who want to test their abilities against other intelligent people. They appreciate it because it is the ultimate form of competition. Sure, some people get egos over it and some are immature teens. But really, if you are actually up for a challenge that is the best place to get it.

Re:Online Multiplayer (1)

7Prime (871679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508343)

Being 2007 doesn't have anything to do with it. Solitary entertainment has been around for millenia; it isn't going anywhere. It's not just old hat, it's extremely old, tried and true, old hat. The "everyone else is doing it" attitude doens't inspire any great new content. Nintendo's taking their own route, "single player fun", and I'd rather they do that as best they can, than dillute their resources by jumping onboard the online multiplayer fad.

Re:Online Multiplayer (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508657)

Nintendo's taking their own route, "single player fun"...


I vehemently disagree.

I've had a Wii since launch, and if there's one thing that is true of the console it is this: I never play it anymore when there aren't other people around. For whatever reason, I can't even bring myself to play Zelda unless someone else is there.

The system literally screams for you to call your friends, grab a few drinks and party. It and its games seem designed for groups, even if most people are spectating.

It seems meant for offline play, which at the moment is mostly centered around multiple people (although Super Paper Mario may get me to sit down with it when I'm alone).

Re:Online Multiplayer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18507753)

Metroid Prime 3 and Super Smash Bros. Brawl are expected to have online multiplayer, although it hasn't been confirmed yet. Given that Metroid Prime Hunters was delayed to add online multiplayer, it seems likely that Metroid Prime 3 has also been delayed to either add or (hopefully) polish online multiplayer.

Re:Online Multiplayer (1)

senatorpjt (709879) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508555)

I thought the whole point of the Wii was that you could play multiplayer games with other people that are actually in the room. It doesn't matter to everyone else in the room if I can play 40 other people in a game online, if they have to just sit there and watch.

Re:Online Multiplayer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18510101)

And even if it IS single player, it's still really entertaining to watch people run around- I was at a Wii demonstration near Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Main in Taipei a few days ago, and there was a considerable crowd just milling around watching people try Wii Tennis [or whatever it's actually called]. Having finished my errands for the day, I found a spot against the pillar and watched...for the next hour. I'd say as a rough estimate, at least ~50 of the people there were standing there before I showed up and were still there after I left.

Sorta like back in college, when DMC3 came out [prerelease leaked...]...there was 15 of us stuffed into one dorm room, with one sofa, watching him play. =P

Re:Online Multiplayer (1)

SuperMonkeyCube (982998) | more than 7 years ago | (#18510303)

That's the one thing that Nintendo has had solidly going for it for quite some time now. Once Bomberman on SNES turned into a solid party game, and Nintendo saw the potential of social multiplayer, the multitap went out the window in the next generation. The N64 and the GC - four ports standard. What I appreciated just as much was that the games that are fun to play 4 player - Goldeneye, Mario Kart, Diddy Kong Racing, Bomberman 64 (1&2), Super Monkey Ball (1&2), all have good single player experiences. I guess the only Nintendo game you can't put in that category are the Mario Party games - which I suspect are rather lame by yourself but are big sellers. I'm just hoping that there really are Wii's in the store next week so I can get some Rayman action going.

so? (1)

tiedyejeremy (559815) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507139)

At least they weren't impossible.
I bought one for my house and one for my nephews. I'd rather be complaining about a company providing a limited release when there is a lack of software than have the poor implementation of the competitors.

Doesn't make sense... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507141)

The Wii, Dematteo thinks, has been short supplied because 'they made their numbers for the year ... [Nintendo's] new year starts April 1st, and I think we're going to see supply flowing.'

Most companies -- especially in the video game industry -- would shipped everything out the door that would increase their numbers at the end of the quarter. Doesn't make sense for Nintendo to postpone revenues into the next fiscal year. I wouldn't be surprised if the Wii becomes more widely available in April since it should have been available now. I don't think Dematteo knows what he's talking about.

Re:Doesn't make sense... (1)

L. VeGas (580015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507305)

Most companies -- especially in the video game industry -- would shipped everything out the door that would increase their numbers at the end of the quarter.
I respectfully disagree. Video game companies would be more likely to do this because DVD stamping is cheap and easy to ramp up. Console manufacturing is a whole different ball game. Any type of manufacturing includes significant capital expenditures.

Also, consider the human factor. If you've already made your maximum bonus for the year, it might be worth reserving some future sales in your back pocket for the following year.

Re:Doesn't make sense... (1)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508283)

Doesn't make sense for Nintendo to postpone revenues into the next fiscal year.

Game companies, especially large ones, do this kind of thing all the time. It's all about hitting the expectations for the quarter or year. If they've already hit their numbers this period, they want to do as much as possible to delay sales until the beginning of the next, so they'll have a better chance of hitting the numbers then. Project schedules for many products I've worked on have been moved around entirely to increase the chance of hitting guidance in a particular quarter.

Re:Doesn't make sense... (1)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508325)

I respectfully disagree with you.

There are several reasons Nintendo would do this.

1) Free Press. "Wii Shortages Continue", "Wii still high demand!", etc
2) Viral Marketing. "Did you hear, Johnny and Sally both just got a Wii! I've been looking for 2 months and I haven't found one! They must be the most popular and coolest thing on the planet! I'm so excited now, I really want one! Mooooom! I really want to get a Wii! Everyone else is getting them!"
3) Japanese business culture. Well, I'm not expert here, but from the random information I've learned over the years about this culture, it feels like it makes sense to me. If they hit their quota, they're going to hold over sales for the next quarter to make sure they hit it again. Two outstanding quarters are better than one, in the eyes of shareholders. I would guess it's about make sure percentages don't drop. Nintendo of Japan does pull the strings for Nintendo of America (just ask them how many games where not allowed to be release in America because NOJ said no to NOA)

If GameStop has to make a press release about this, they're probably doing so to try and blow a whistle on them to put some pressure on them and take it off themselves. Consumers would be the first to blame GameStop, not Nintendo for not getting the product they want. Most would quickly complain that GameStop didn't "order enough units" instead of realizing they asked for 100 but only got 3.

Which, after talking to some employees at GameStop for the last couple of weeks, they said 3 is about all they got and were told that it would be 3 weeks before they could get more from Corporate. Also, I just have this strange feeling that this isn't the first time Nintendo has done this. There's something nagging me in the back of my head about this. Of course, I'm something of a Nintendo fan, but I do know they had and would likely continue to do 'less popular' business practices.

Nintendo was a Monopoly and did a lot of the same things Microsoft is known for back in the mid 1980's with the NES. I think it might have been in the book "Game Over", regarding Nintendo and the video game industry. I also just read the latest version of GameInformer with small snip-its of 'rumors' that Nintendo is being dicks to 3rd parties again with extra costs and delays getting them development kits.

So, yes, we all love the Wii, but don't have such a rosey picture of Nintendo. Though, I'd still take that over root kits any day!

Cheers,
Fozzy

Re:Doesn't make sense... (1)

senatorpjt (709879) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508581)

Then again, Gamestop seems to be able to sell a Wii if you want to buy a $600 bundle. Fuck them.

Re:Doesn't make sense... (2, Insightful)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508857)

The book you mention is titled "Game Over - Press Start to Continue", and it is highly informative concerning the games industry if you a blissfully ignorant child at the time it all went down (as I was). I recommend it to anyone here who hasn't already informed themselves of what happened then.

Nintendo certainly had a Monopoly, and they used that power in the industry. How much of it was greed and how much of it was necessary corrective action to prevent the mistakes made in the Atari era is up to interpretation.

What they did (for whatever reasons) was unpopular with developers (however necessary it may or may not have been), hence the mass exodus around the N64 era to the Playstation.

I'm personally one who gives companies, as well as people, significant amounts of "benefit of the doubt" whether Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo. If there are problems with Nintendo and the shipment of development kits I'd much sooner chalk it up to logistical or supply issues (they can't seem to keep normal Wiis on shelves, developement tools are likely in a similar state) rather than any malevolence. Iwata is not Yamauchi, and I think he's eager to avoid the mistakes that made third parties abandon Nintendo for Sony in the first place.

This doesn't mean that he or Nintendo doesn't want my wallet, simply that he and the company he leads recognizes that in order to get at it properly they need third parties, and in order to get third parties they need to play nice.

The only logical reason to keep a third party away from a Wii dev kit at this point in time is to keep them from making a game with a pathetic excuse for a control scheme. Given that there are already games which have fallen into this category, I think we can largely rule that out.

Well I've rambled enough.

One can only guess... (4, Interesting)

7Prime (871679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507145)

But I'm not sure this makes a lot of sense. "Making goal" for the quarter isn't exactly the most important issue in the world, in comparison to the livelyhood of an entire console generation. I'm not saying that they didn't intentionally short the supply, but I doubt that it was for this reason alone, it's just too risky. I doubt it was to make the launch look incredible either, because they still did incredibly well, and would have sold out even if they had put twice the number of units into circulation.

Probably a more practical reason is to short the supply of units during the innitial games draught, a game release slump which is simply unavoidable for any console. If 5 million people get their Wii off the bat, and then have to wait 6 months for good games to start coming out, you're going to have a lot of angry people. Currently, most people are still focused on getting the damn system itself, and don't have time to bitch about the lack of games. Now that some big titles, such as Super Paper Mario, and possibly MP3 are on the horizon, they can satisfy more customers, with less public backlash.

Re:One can only guess... (2, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508063)

But I'm not sure this makes a lot of sense. "Making goal" for the quarter isn't exactly the most important issue in the world, in comparison to the livelyhood of an entire console generation.

It doesn't make any sense at all. The claim is that Nintendo, having easily met their fiscal goals, deliberately clamped production/shipments. First, so long as you don't appear to be sacrificing long term stability, investors would love for you to exceed your goal. Nobody complains about making more money, and I can't see why Nintendo would. The theory is that they want to move what would-be current-fiscal-year sales into the next fiscal year to make those numbers look better. That theory implies Nintendo thinks the demand for Wii is going to slack, which it doesn't show any sign of, and also that they think they aren't at any risk of frustrated customers buying one of the competitor's consoles. I think the opposite applies -- demand for Wii will continue to be strong, but only if people can actually buy one. The best advertising for the Wii is word of mouth (as in "come over and play Wii Sports"), and that only works if people can get them.

It would be a dangerous market game for Nintendo to play, and I see them as too conservative. If they can make a sale today, they will, because you never know if that sale is going to be around in six months.

Probably a more practical reason is to short the supply of units during the innitial games draught, a game release slump which is simply unavoidable for any console.

I think the Wii is more immune to a game slump than most consoles, simply because the mom/grandpa non-gamer demographic that is the whole "expanded market" thing the Wii is after is probably going to be happy with just Wii Sports for longer than any traditional gamer. This is also why the Wii is still very vulnerable to 3rd party issues, since if game uptake is low for the Wii despite the large number of systems out there 3rd parties may still be wary. Which means that right now not having a large number of Nintendo-published games for the Wii is good for 3rd parties; every sale of Trauma Center or Elebits or Rayman helps show the Wii as a 3rd party friendly platform.

Anyway, I know I personally am much more frustrated by my inability to play any Wii games than I would be if I owned the console and had to deal with a drought. If I owned a Wii and was pissed at the games drought, well, I already gave Nintendo my money and they made a profit on it. If I don't own a Wii because I can't find one, then if I don't like the lack of games I can go buy a different console and Nintendo has gained nothing. I really can't see this as being a rational reason for Nintendo to limit supply.

Here's the only thing that makes sense to me: Nintendo paid for an amount of manufacturing capacity based on their expected sales, and had every intention of meeting that demand. Actual demand far outstripped their expectations, so this supply was inadequate. Now they could have tried to increase their manufacturing capacity, and may have decided not to for two reasons: One, to keep the one-time costs of tooling up the factories off this year's report; and two, because they aren't sure in the long term that such capacity is really going to be needed. You can spend a ton of money building factories, but if demand trails off then you just blew that money for no reason. I'm betting this is the real reason -- again, being conservative, Nintendo isn't going to look at the higher-than-expected sales for a couple months and jump off the deep end constructing new factories.

The theory that Nintendo has the capability to make more Wii at will, but isn't due to some desire to manipulate the market, just doesn't hold any sanity-water.

Re:One can only guess... (1)

senatorpjt (709879) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508623)

Then again, from what I've read about the PS3 launch in Europe, the availability of consoles at retail is considered failure. If Sony had only released 10,000 of them, it would have been a huge success!

Re:One can only guess... (1)

Maxwell (13985) | more than 7 years ago | (#18509065)

It doesn't make any sense at all. The claim is that Nintendo, having easily met their fiscal goals, deliberately clamped production/shipments. First, so long as you don't appear to be sacrificing long term stability, investors would love for you to exceed your goal. Nobody complains about making more money, and I can't see why Nintendo would.


It makes perfect sense. Investors would much rather see a company make their goals for two years in a row, then to have one high year, followed by a dissapointing year. Consistency is rewarded. Nintendo would rather stall for a few weeks then sell everything they can *after* April 1st so fiscal 2007 looks as good as 2006.


JON

Re:One can only guess... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18509277)

It makes perfect sense. Investors would much rather see a company make their goals for two years in a row, then to have one high year, followed by a dissapointing year. Consistency is rewarded. Nintendo would rather stall for a few weeks then sell everything they can *after* April 1st so fiscal 2007 looks as good as 2006.

Like I said, that only appiles if the next year is going to be dissapointing, otherwise having an exceptional year is a good thing as far as investors are concerned. There is little reason to think there is going to be a slacking of demand that wouldn't be exacerbated by people frustrated at being unable to buy the console buying an alternative instead. If the goal is to avoid a dissapointing 2007 fiscal year, deliberately witholding supply now would be shooting themselves in the foot.

There is no sense behind Nintendo deliberately reducing supply given that they could increase it at minimal cost. If the cost to increase supply is substantial, then there is a financial argument, which I made in my last paragraph.

Gamestop is just frustrated (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507147)

I think Gamestop is just angry that they are stuck with shelves of the other consoles and they have no Wii's to actually bring in customers. They're probably also tired of answering the "Is the Wii in yet?" phone calls.

Trying to strong-arm Nintendo won't help, Gamestop.

Pure speculation but possible (5, Insightful)

L. VeGas (580015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507163)

It's very, very common for businesses to proceed slowly after sales / profit goals have been met in a fiscal year. Short term planning proceeds on a year-to-year basis. Te vastly ramp up production without fully analyzing consequences is a good way to shoot yourself in the foot, even if every console produced was sold.

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

Say what? (4, Insightful)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507345)

That dosn't seem to make any sense at all. Now, if you were going to accuse them of holding out on shipments of Wimotes in order to be able to get them in the WiiPlay combo boxes, I'd say yeah, I can see that, but it dosn't make any sense at all for Nintendo to be holding back on the Wii itself. From what I've seen they have been making regular shipments to various retailers, just not very large shipments. If you're patient and willing to make an effort, you can get a Wii, you just need to check in on a regular basis (which can be even easyer if you can find out the shipping schedule for one of the retailers). I pre-ordered my Wii and had it on release night, so I didn't need to worry, but I also know of at least 12 other people who didn't and have since purchased them. Of course, I don't know anybody that's purchased a PS3, but that's not due to a shortage there.

Ok, yeah, that last one was un-called for. And I do like the PS3, but only enough to pay about $350, so till then, I'll stick with the Wii (and maybe a 360 if they release the new hardware and it comes down to $300).

Re:Say what? (1)

Grave (8234) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507501)

I would like to say it's not a case of "holding out" on shipments. But it's not just the Wii. The DS and GBA SP are nearly as scarce (taking hours to a day or two to sell out at most stores vs. minutes to an hour or two for the Wii).

A person like Dan DeMatteo doesn't make those kind of statements unless he has legitimate reason to believe them. GameStop is a pretty large corporation, and CEO's of Fortune 400 companies don't blindly make that sort of accusation without there being some truth to it.

Re:Say what? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507707)

The DS and GBA SP are nearly as scarce

Are you sure you don't mean DS Lite and Gameboy Micro?

Re:Say what? (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507803)

DS Lites are NOT hard to find. Unless you want the colored ones. But the white ones are all over. In the midwest, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, EBGames/Gamestop ALL have plenty of the white DS Lites in stock. Target had a few black ones, and I haven't seen any of the pink ones.

Now, thats a variety of stores from KC MO, KC KS, St. Louis MO, Columbia MO, Springfield IL, Peoria IL, Urbana/Champaign IL, and Little Rock AR that I've personally been in in the last two weeks, at various times of day, and various days of the week. Either I've been damned lucky and been there on nintendo-delivery day every single time, or people are ignoring the "old and busted" white DS Lites in favor of the "new and shiney" black and pink ones.

For what its worth, there were only two stores that did NOT have PS3s on the shelves, and NO stores that had Wiis.

Re:Say what? (4, Funny)

rhombic (140326) | more than 7 years ago | (#18509023)

In the midwest, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, EBGames/Gamestop ALL have plenty of the white DS Lites in stock. Target had a few black ones, and I haven't seen any of the pink ones.

Now, thats a variety of stores from KC MO, KC KS, St. Louis MO, Columbia MO, Springfield IL, Peoria IL, Urbana/Champaign IL, and Little Rock AR that I've personally been in in the last two weeks, at various times of day, and various days of the week.


Dude, you gotta find a better hobby than browsing the electronics section of discount stores over a four state area. I mean, dude. Wow.

Re:Say what? (2, Funny)

fotbr (855184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18511195)

Job travel...I just stop in to see if any place happens to have a Wii.

Its either that or sit in the hotel room drinking beer and posting to slashdot. And we all know how well drinking and posting works.

Re:Say what? (1)

Grave (8234) | more than 7 years ago | (#18509245)

The GBA SP and DS Lite (all colors) are sold out at pretty much all retailers in the greater DC area, and I believe this is the case in many of the larger metropolitan areas.

In regards to the person who mentioned the GameBoy Micro, this is a dead system in the US. The GameBoy Advance SP, however, is still a good seller, though it has little further growth potential with the DS/Lite getting so many new titles.

Shortage? (2, Interesting)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507507)

Is it at all possible that Nintendo didn't expect the system to do so well in the US? DS-Lite is still the #1 seller in Japan while here its sales are more down to earth. By looking at that performance and equating DS = Wii, I'd call it reasonable to assume that they didn't expect demand to be so high.

Re:Shortage? (1)

liak12345 (967676) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507751)

Good theory if they weren't near dead on with their predicted sales figures.

Re:Shortage? (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18509679)

Think about what you're saying. They made sure they had enough manufacturing capacity to meet their predicted sales. Demand is higher than that, hence the shortage.

Re:Shortage? (1)

dead sun (104217) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508357)

Except we got the Wii here in the US before Japan got the Wii. Talk about a weird approach if they expected lesser sales here, especially given that Japan is home to Nintendo.

I suppose it is entirely possible they expected high demand here, but they received higher demand than planned. I don't, however, think Nintendo shorted the US any more than it had to due to production constraints and launches elsewhere. I certainly doubt they'd do so over something as trivial as just making quarterly numbers.

Re:Shortage? (1)

Dorceon (928997) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508449)

The winter shopping season starts earlier in the US (Black Friday) than in Japan (where Xmas isn't a holiday per se, you tend to get a big chunk of New Year's off, and the kids get gifts/money on New Year's Day.) That's why you'd launch the Wii in the US before Japan.

Oh of course (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18507553)

I know when I want to drive demand from my customers, I always intentionally ship less and less product. Just seeing their little faces tighten up with anger as the realization they have ONCE AGAIN failed to buy my product warms my heart.

I think before too long I'll just stop shipping product all together, why the sheer panic as people riot in the streets for my items is sure to make me millions and millions of dollars

*point at lip with pinky*

Maybe it's true... (1)

Lord_Ultimate (1049752) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507593)

Given that my local Toys'R'Us says they are getting 60 Wiis in on April 1, I find this very believable. Kudos to Nintendo for realizing they already had a huge profit and deciding to make sure their next fiscal year also turns a profit. Realistically, it's an unnecessary move, but why risk annoying your stockholders with a losing year?

Re:Maybe it's true... (2, Funny)

wiz31337 (154231) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508029)

Be cautions. You may walk in to find a pallet of 60 PS3 consoles and a sign saying "April Fools!"

Re:Maybe it's true... (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508083)

Kudos? They aren't risking anything by selling now. In fact it's the exact opposite! It's clear that they could stand to sell Wiis as they come off the line. Delaying the sales potentially results in fewer sales total. This isn't about annoying shareholders as much as misleading shareholders into thinking that the Wii demand is steady. And they may be damaging their long term prospects. The 3 months after Christmas are vital in demonstrating to consumers and developers where the market was headed, in addition to potentially lost sales. The more units in homes up front, the less incentive to go multiplatform, which leads to more unit sales, and a virtuous cycle.

Alternatively, this is about ramping sales of Super Paper Mario, which comes out shortly after April 1st. When you examine how many people bought the last Paper Mario game, re-imagining the franchise probably needs help. Now when you bring Wii and Zelda to the counter, the sales clerk can pre-sell you Paper Mario, and two weeks from now, suggestively sell you on it. Of course, this help comes at the expense of developers who've already released software, and customers who've paid higher prices because supply was intentionally stockpiled. This explanation at least makes sense to shareholders though.

Re:Maybe it's true... (1)

Doctor Faustus (127273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18509417)

Given that my local Toys'R'Us says they are getting 60 Wiis in on April 1, I find this very believable.
I suspect my local Toy'R'Us is also getting 60 units on April 1, just like the got 60 units on March 4 when I bought mine. It's just time for the next shipment. They seem to like Sundays.

It was kinda cool leaving Toys'R'Us a few minutes after ten with my new Wii (arrived two minutes before they opened, waited outside the door for a minute or two, and went right in), and driving past the Best Buy in the same plaza, where there were half a dozen people waiting outside the door in sleeping bags for them to open at eleven. I didn't ask, but I have a suspicion they were there for Wiis.

Re:Maybe it's true... (1)

aveldina (938862) | more than 7 years ago | (#18511315)

Just want to add, we also spent some time looking to find a Wii today, and the general feel was come back in April. Multiple stores told me they would not have stock until April. After everything I've heard recently, this would actually make sense.

Well that's pretty dumb. (1)

AbsoluteXyro (1048620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507755)

He says he thinks Nintendo intentionally dried up their supply. Well, duh. Is it hard to believe Nintendo would intentionally sell their consoles? Shocking, I know!

Long suspected (2, Interesting)

Aggrav8d (683620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18507959)

For quite some time now I've thought the shortage was deliberate to help them liquidate their stock of GameCube titles. I was never interested in the GC but there's such a shortage of good Wii games (that I have not already played through) I am forced to look in other directions. The online retro titles don't interest me so I'm forced to choose between lego star wars and mario sunshine.


As for april 1, I don't think we'll see anything new unless Nintendo issues with their shares has ended. Miyamoto couldn't announce anything new at the GDC because of it, so why would the company be able to make any april 1 announcements? If the issue is resolved then it's news to me.

Re:Long suspected (2, Informative)

metamatic (202216) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508457)

For quite some time now I've thought the shortage was deliberate to help them liquidate their stock of GameCube titles.

I don't buy it, for the simple reason that the Wii can run all those GameCube titles too. With the relatively small number of upcoming Wii releases, I'm expecting to work my way through the GameCube back catalog to fill in the gaps.

No, as a GameCube owner I can tell you that Nintendo has always had distribution problems. They just can't keep stuff in stores for whatever reason. Even high profile well-reviewed 'Cube games like Burnout 2 are difficult to find in stores and often go for a premium on eBay.

Re:Long suspected (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508937)

I shortage of software might point to that, but a shortage of systems? More Wiis implies more consoles to run Gamecube titles. Selling fewer Wiis is unlikely to move additional Gamecube software.

Re:Long suspected (1)

Garse Janacek (554329) | more than 7 years ago | (#18509601)

Since the first thing I did after (finally) getting my Wii and a couple major titles was to go out and buy (cheap!) a bunch of the old Gamecube games I missed out on since I haven't owned a console in more than 10 years, I'm skeptical of the notion that withholding Wii stock will increase sales of GC titles. Also, that would be the most radically shortsighted, stupid move they could make even if it worked, since a few extra dollars from old, mostly out-of-print GC games will not compensate for the potential lost sales from their new system that will drive revenue for years to come if people succeed in purchasing it.

It's actually quite likely that there will be increased supply in April, but not because Nintendo has been deliberately withholding them -- rather because they've been working on a ramp-up in production that will take effect in April. This has been public knowledge for quite a while, so "predicting" increased supply in April is a little disingenuous at this point.

Mmmmm... (3, Funny)

MWoody (222806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508195)

Would you like a little ketchup to go with that hand that feeds you?

Stupid theory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18508281)

This is a stupid theory if you stop and think about it. Companies have revenue targets, but since when does it make business sense to stop at your target and not exceed it? Money in the bank is money in the bank. All that money spent on advertising to sell a product that's not in stock...? Come on. What a ridiculous theory.

The problem was that they launched worldwide! Normally, you launch in Japan, then North America, and then Europe and other territories. By launching worldwide simultaneously they tripled and quadrupuled the amount of stock they needed to supply at launch... and failed to meet it!

Just curious... (1)

DoomfrogBW (1010579) | more than 7 years ago | (#18508813)

If Nintendo wants to control supply, who cares? It's their product. Get over it.

This is so *very* not news... (1)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 7 years ago | (#18510175)

Nintendo has been using "supply shortages" as a business tactic dating all the way back to the NES. It keeps retailers and licensees in line, keeps anticipation high, and helps them leverage their software rollout strategy to the highest level.

And I'll apologize for using the "leverage" buzzword by providing documentation to back up my facts.

http://www.amazon.com/Game-Over-Press-Start-Contin ue/dp/0966961706/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/104-2040246-58511 46?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1175043506&sr=1-2 [amazon.com]

Japan? (2, Insightful)

Chimera512 (910750) | more than 7 years ago | (#18510773)

Here's a question that i haven't heard asked:
Are there Wii shortages in Japan? clearly /. is largely english speaking US/UK/Ireland and there's no japanese /.er's coming on and saying that they've got no idea what the US consumers are talking about and that there isn't a shortage in Nintendo's home market. I'd be interested to see if the Wii is selling out in Japan too.

I wouldn't rule it out... but... (1)

WoTG (610710) | more than 7 years ago | (#18512129)

Nintendo has a long history with being extremely careful to not oversupply the SOFTWARE side of the business. It looks far better to have just enough, or slightly too few, copies of a game at the retail level than to have old games piling up on the shelves. Old games sold at a discount compete directly with new releases, and it just makes a console feel unwanted.

But that logic does NOT work with the consoles themselves.

Let me see, six months ago, exactly how many people figured the Wii would be the #1 console in demand at this point in time? Yeah, about zero. So, exactly how was Nintendo supposed to prudently build a manufacturing chain that could supply all the Wii's that turned out to be demanded? It couldn't. So, yeah, give it some time and the units will arrive. April 1st? Sure, why not. That'll have been 6 months since we've discovered the demand for Wii's.

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