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Why You Can't Find a Wii for Christmas

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the they're-already-making-a-skillion dept.

450

Nintendo is making Wii consoles at a record pace, some 1.8 million a month. Last week they sold 350,000 units. Yes, just last week. And yet, still, it's going to be almost impossible to find a Wii in a store this Christmas. Wired reports that the problem actually began back in August. Summer being the traditional 'dry' season in gaming usually leads to hardware surpluses, but not with Nintendo's console. The result is a holiday season that Nintendo essentially couldn't prepare for. "Demand for Wii is so high, says analyst Michael Pachter, because of all the different types of consumers competing for the units ... it's not just kids who crave Wii. [It's] an especially big hit at retirement homes ... Hard-core gamers, who initially spurned the Wii's lower graphic power compared to the Xbox and PlayStation 3, have changed their tune on the console, thanks to brilliant software like the first-person shooter Metroid Prime 3. And eBay scalpers? They really want Wii." In fact, the only reliable way to get your hands on a Wii is to go that most dubious of routes. Ebay Wii sales are very brisk indeed this week.

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450 comments

The math? (2, Insightful)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519165)

350,000 sold x 4 (weeks per month) = 1.4million sold per month

They make 1.8 million a month.

If they're making more than they're selling, why is it so hard to find a console?

Re:The math? (4, Insightful)

MagusZeal (1156955) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519203)

I'd assume that's worldwide production and the sales figure is US.

Re:The math? (5, Informative)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519393)

I'd assume that's worldwide production and the sales figure is US.
From one of the article links:

Nintendo's 350,000 Wii systems represent the highest one-week U.S. sales total outside of its launch week one year ago.
So yes, that's US sales.
From another article link:

We're at a rate now worldwide of about 1.8 million Wiis produced every month
So yes, that worldwide production.

In fact:

About 40 percent of Wii sales have been in America
So the US only gets 720,000/month, so the 350,000 sold was two weeks' worth, sold in one week (presumably followed by a week of nearly no sales until the next deliveries). As a rough estimate, that means that Nintendo's Wii production is about half what the demand is. And because of this:

It takes about five months for us to increase the actual monthly rate of production
...it's not going to get any better before Christmas.

Re:The math? (2, Interesting)

bewmIES (251890) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519207)

Last week was an outlier -- Black Friday here in the US.

Re:The math? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519415)

Black Friday is a myth. The busiest shopping day is Christmas Eve.

Re:The math? (1, Informative)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519557)

A couple people I know in retail disagree with you.

The top three days seem to be:

1) Day after Christmas (all the sales, money and gift cards)
2) Black Friday
3) Christmas Eve

#3 usually comes in second place, with #1 or #3 coming in first, and the other second, depending on the store.

Re:The math? (4, Informative)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519619)

Maybe you should check this [snopes.com] out.

Anecdote isn't evidence, and your friends in retail don't know what they are talking about.

Re:The math? (0)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519819)

As I said, IT VARIES BY STORE.

What that means is - globally you will see one trend (the one you showed), but a coworker of mine managed several stores in a district with a previous job, and in the chain that he managed managed, the actual numbers (not just anecdotal evidence, sorry to break your poor assumptions) showed the day after christmas was invariable the biggest day for the store, followed by the day after thanksgiving, followed by Christmas eve.

Re:The math? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519989)

coworker of mine managed several stores in a district with a previous job, and in the chain that he managed managed, the actual numbers

I can repeat repeat words too too! Can I have your job?

Re:The math? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21520077)

No. For his job, typos are allowed, retards aren't

Re:The math? (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520127)

The "busiest shopping day" is not a "per store" statistic. I'm sure that at the bikini store, it's probably around Memorial Day. That's irrelevant, particularly at the scale that this discussion is about.

Please, please, please: learn to be wary of anecdotal reasoning.

Re:The math? (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520135)

Ahh, sorry that you meantion black friday as it relates to ONE STORE. Seems kind of pointless in regards to a story about the Wii, doesn't it?

Re:The math? (1)

zarthrag (650912) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519427)

There wasn't a whole lot of stores with a wii on the shelf *at all* on black friday. For Nintendo, every friday is "black friday". - Though I've had a few opportunities to buy another one these past few months - if I were thinking, I would have bought a few to scalp in a parking lot on black friday - that would have worked out great!

Re:The math? (0, Redundant)

kextyn (961845) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519243)

I believe that is the number for the US and the 1.8 million is worldwide. I could be wrong though.

Re:The math? (2, Informative)

Corporate Drone (316880) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519253)

If they're making more than they're selling, why is it so hard to find a console?

Check your units of measure. They're making 1.4 million a month, but they sold 350K last week.

Assuming that the two figures are representative, then you have a point. Otherwise, you're comparing apples and oranges (or, more to the point, the author handing you apples and oranges, and either not realizing it or not caring...).

Re:The math? (1)

BiAthlon (91360) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519263)

Your assumptions are:
Last week is like every week.
Each month has exactly four weeks (28) days.
350,000 is not rounded or approximated.
1.4 million isn't rounded or approximated.

It's so hard to find one because so many people want one, they're a reasonable price (compared to the current generation of consoles), they're fun for the family, and they have less reclusive geek stigma attached to them compared to the PS3 or XBox 360.

Re:The math? (2, Interesting)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519729)

It's so hard to find one because so many people want one, they're a reasonable price (compared to the current generation of consoles), they're fun for the family, and they have less reclusive geek stigma attached to them compared to the PS3 or XBox 360.
I'd say PC's have the reclusive geek stigma. 360's have tourettes fratboy stigma, and PS3 has sticker shock.

Re:The math? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519297)

The 1.8 million figure is the worldwide production, not only for USA.

Re:The math? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519329)

Means there are 400K units spread out over ALL STORES that sell them.

Don't forget that they keep some for warranty purposes too. Not only that but the 350K is not an average.

And ... I found one [well there were two] at a Zellers [dept store] in Canada during the summer. Wasn't a huge challenge. It was just sitting there, being all "unsold" and all.

The trick is to look every time you go out. I looked at probably 10-12 stores on different occasions before I found it.

Amount being made != Amount shipped to retailers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519357)

Its not all in stock at the shops? A lot of it is in warehouses waiting to be ordered/shipped to retailers, in transit etc. Shops order what they expect demands to be, and that will either add up to be less than the stocks shipped by the factories, around the same, or (likely coming up to xmas) more, in which case production rates are increased to meet with demand, which is probably why the amount being made per month has increased in advance, so that when retailers realise they need to have a lot more in stock to cope with the xmas rush they will be able to get those supplies from the manufacturers With less concern over what the manufacturers can provide.

Re:Amount being made != Amount shipped to retailer (2, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520045)

Increasing production beyond the current point would require setting up new assembly lines. That's a big investment, especially if you have to worry about sales going down soon (the Wii is already being made at the highest rate a console was made at, going further is risky).

Re:The math? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519403)

The article says they just ramped up production to 1.8 million a month. Presumably last month they made less.

Not rocket science ya know.

Re:The math? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519423)

400,000 are in transit at any one time?

Re:The math? (1)

evwah (954864) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519425)

because you're extrapolating based on one week which might not be typical... and last time I read, demand goes further up closer to christmas.

Re:The math? (1)

ack154 (591432) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519447)

The 350k was just for the US, just for last week with Black Friday.

They normally average 500k+ per month in the US. But the 1.8m per month is split between the US, UK/Europe and Japan. So those three together add up to the 1.8m.

Re:The math? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519475)

I was wondering the same thing.

The only explination I could come up with was the difference between consoles MADE versus consoles SHIPPED. Perhaps this difference is the number of consoles that fail during pre-shipment testing.

Re:The math? (1)

link_mmc (880707) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519491)

First off, that math could only ever work in February.

Secondly, the 350k is US sales only.

From the article.
"Nintendo's 350,000 Wii systems represent the highest one-week U.S. sales total outside of its launch week one year ago. "

Re:The math? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519499)

RTFA

Nintendo is making 1.8 million Wiis per month worldwide. The article states that roughly one-third of those (~600,000 per month) go to North America. Last week, they sold 350,000 in the USA alone.

Now re-do your math, and I think you will see the problem.

Re:The math? (1)

CanadaIsCold (1079483) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519509)

I'm sure if you go to some walmart in the middle of nowhere you can find a wii. However in major city centers you're still going to have a shortage. At last report I heard there were still some kicking around on shelves in West Texas. Texas was cold last weekend too.

Dear the rest of the world... (5, Funny)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519187)

Welcome to last year.

Trust me, I'll be able to find a Wii come Christmas Morning. It'll be exactly where I put it a year ago.

Re:Dear the rest of the world... (0, Troll)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519589)

<grammar-nazi>
You'll be able to find a Wii on Christmas, but not for Christmas.
</grammar-nazi>

Sorry, couldn't help it. I'll be able to find my Wii on Christmas as well!

eBay Effect (1)

usul294 (1163169) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519189)

I'm not surprised there's shortages in stores, and large amounts on eBay. The employees in the stores get first dibs on the consoles when they come in, so they buy up most of them and sell them on eBay for big profit. This is at least what my classmate who works at Best Buy during breaks told me.

Re:eBay Effect (2, Interesting)

ack154 (591432) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519389)

Ya, there's something like 10k+ on eBay right now. Average selling price for just the console is over $400 plus probably $30-$40 shipping.

I was hoping to find one or two to sell on eBay myself. But I have family and friends that I would find them for first since I know other people looking. I've been telling people to buy a bundle if they see one in a store - even the $700 Walmart bundle. At least that way they get some of the things they would buy eventually anyways and they're not paying any inflated prices.

Re:eBay Effect (4, Informative)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519537)

"The employees in the stores get first dibs on the consoles when they come in, so they buy up most of them and sell them on eBay for big profit."

That's possible, but not necessarily true. The retailer I worked at would have forbidden that. If high demand items were in low supply, we weren't allowed to buy them. I know the same was also true for the EB that was down the street. Those stores didn't want that reputation.

Re:eBay Effect (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519689)

All they're doing is having friends and family come in to make the purchases, on the day they know the shipments are being put on the shelves.

This isn't the only issue. You can find Wiis easily enough, if you're prepared to stump up the cash and buy a package that includes more controllers and games, even battery packs. Most people don't want to part with $500+ just to get a Wii though.

Re:eBay Effect (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21520069)

That's possible, but not necessarily true. The retailer I worked at would have forbidden that. If high demand items were in low supply, we weren't allowed to buy them. I know the same was also true for the EB that was down the street. Those stores didn't want that reputation.


Oh bullshit. My brother works for a major chain and he snarfs two Wiis a week, prepays for them when they're stocking at 3am, and does what the hell he wants with them when he gets off work (like sell one to me at cost, then Craig's List at +$100 for the others).

It's really small. (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519211)

Really, really small. And quite cheap.

If it becomes too hard to find, just go to a friend's house and take his.

Leaving the money where the Wii was, is regarded as a nice touch.

Bundle packs (2, Interesting)

RootsLINUX (854452) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519235)

I have resisted all "Wii bundle" deals that stores try to offer because I just don't like the idea of being forced to buy other things when all I want is a console. But now that the Wii has been out for an entire year and I have still yet to lay my eyes on an Wii unit in retail stores, I have surrendered myself to the thought. Fortunately my mother works at Costco so next shipment of Wiis they get, she will be buying one of the bundles for me (which I believe isn't too bad: wii unit, 2 controllers, 2 games of my choice, $340). Its nice to have someone close working in retail for times like these. :)

Re:Bundle packs (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519305)


Thats pretty reasonable. Your likely to want the extra controller and certainly you will want some games. The packages last year seemed a lot less desirable (maybe because there weren't as many good games out for the Wii)

Re:Bundle packs (3, Informative)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519359)

I've heard of people buying bundles from walmart online only to return the parts they don't want right back to their local walmart. You might want to try that out.

Re:Bundle packs (1)

tilandal (1004811) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519395)

Thats a nice deal. As for me, I kept calling stores for weeks but I eventually got mine just by walking into Best Buy and there were 2 on the shelf. I bought one and I saw the other one on Craig's List that evening. Havn't seen any on shelves since and that was months ago.

Re:Bundle packs (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520055)

Yup, the Costco Bundles are very nice. I bought a bundle a few months after release (I think it was circuit city): an extra wiimote/nunchuk, Zelda, and Red Steel (Yes, I did want both games).

honestly, they are not THAT hard to get a hold of. A few tips:
1) Walk into your local EB/GameStop/bestbuy/whatever and ask when they expect to get the next shipment (day and time), if you don't know just ask when their weekly shipments come in. Be there around noon (generally) and ask if they have received the shipment.

2) Product forums. I found my Wii by regularly checking the "Customer Discussions" area on Amazon.com's Wii page, people would always be posting up when an online retailer had one in stock.

3) If you live in/near NYC check with the Nintendo World Store. They still receive large shipments multiple times a week.

If all else fails?
buy a DS, there are better games out for it then the Wii :P

Forget eBay - who wants my Wii? (1, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519261)

We got one in January last year, its a dream.

You can have it for a couple of thousand dollars. *evil grin*

Hype (2, Interesting)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519285)

How is this news? It's advertising, a reminder that you should buy a Wii and buy it now, since it's still readily available and presumably won't be in a couple of weeks. That is, it won't be if the hype works like planned.

Re:Hype (1, Informative)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519411)

you should buy a Wii and buy it now, since it's still readily available and presumably won't be in a couple of weeks.

Correct, except for the part about the Wii being "still readily available". The Wii is in short supply now, as it has been for the entire past year.

Re:Hype (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519597)

"How is this news? It's advertising, a reminder that you should buy a Wii and buy it now, since it's still readily available and presumably won't be in a couple of weeks."

Uh, no. It's sold out right now. They actually sold 1 million units Thanksgiving week. They're 'advertising' something you cannot realistically go buy right now.

It's all about over-hype and sheeple (-1, Troll)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519337)

Whilst I'm pleased to see Nintendo pulling ahead of the XBox and the PS3, this is all just about clever marketing at stupid people.

This is a self-fulfilling scenario where inducing an artificial shortage (by not making enough) creates a huge demand because every kid has to show his/her friends he's managed to get a Wii and every parent is made to feel like a terrible parent because he/she's not managed to get one for the kids.

Yet were there enough Wiis in the stores, it would not be such an "exclusive" item and less people would want it because everyone who wants one can get one.

Sometimes the sheeple (probably the same people that camp outside stores for an iPhone) need to step beyond material possessions some time and think about how they are ultimately just being manipulated by big fat corporations.

And as to the people selling them at twice the price on eBay - good luck to them. They've recognised a market of stupid people and capitalised on it.

Me? I'll wait a couple of months after Xmas and buy a Wii when they're cheaper - at the moment I'm having great fun buying up ultra-cheap Gamecube games from all the trade-ins the Wii frenzy has generated.

Re:It's all about over-hype and sheeple (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519401)

Whilst I'm pleased to see Nintendo pulling ahead of the XBox and the PS3

Why? Are you a stockholder?

Re:It's all about over-hype and sheeple (4, Interesting)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519471)

No. I just think Nintendo have done far more to make fun interesting games than Microsoft or Sony have.

Plus I've never bought a music CD protected by a Nintendo rootkit or stayed up into the small hours reinstalling Nintendo Windows XP on a relative's PC because of viruses and spyware. :-)

Re:It's all about over-hype and sheeple (2, Interesting)

ifrag (984323) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519797)

No. I just think Nintendo have done far more to make fun interesting games than Microsoft or Sony have.

And rightly so. Microsoft and Sony are not known for having great 1st party titles and Nintendo is. On the other hand, take a look at the 3rd party titles, and you'll find there actually are good games in that basket for MS and Sony (including some cross platform). So Nintendo provides you with the hardware AND the titles and MS/Sony are just looking to license others to develop on their hardware.

What I would be worried about is if Nintendo will be able to keep producing innovating and top tier titles, because it really doesn't seem like anyone else is. Granted, there were a flurry of titles partly due to the excitement over a new controller concept, but I think that is fading away now. How many times can Metroid, Zelda, and Smash Bros be rehashed?

Re:It's all about over-hype and sheeple (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21519969)

Well, a quick wiki search says Metroid 10 times, Zelda 14 times and Mario 13 times (counting Donkey Kong, not counting Smash and Kart spin-offs). You know, since you asked and I'm bored at work and all.

Re:It's all about over-hype and sheeple (0)

powerlord (28156) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519845)

No. I just think Nintendo have done far more to make fun interesting games than Microsoft or Sony have.
Plus I've never bought a music CD protected by a Nintendo rootkit or stayed up into the small hours reinstalling Nintendo Windows XP on a relative's PC because of viruses and spyware. :-)


I'm not sure about that, but Nintendo HAS done far more to pursue the casual game market than either MS or Sony has.

BTW, I've never bought a music CD protected by a Sony rootkit or stayed up into the small hours reinstalling MicroSoft's Windows XP on a relative's PC because of viruses and spyware. ... I'd suggest better tastes in Music, and better education/prevention for the relative's PC. :)

Re:It's all about over-hype and sheeple (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519907)

No. I just think Nintendo have done far more to make fun interesting games than Microsoft or Sony have.

Plus I've never bought a music CD protected by a Nintendo rootkit or stayed up into the small hours reinstalling Nintendo Windows XP on a relative's PC because of viruses and spyware. :-)
Nintendo does some things well but they aren't' the "saviors of gaming". Sony and Microsoft have contributed as well. Without MS pushing live, online console play may still be a minute market. Without Sony laying the sales smackdown for two generations Nintendo may still be the monopolistic nanny corp it was back in it's hey day. Without MS pushing online content we may not have the PSN store or the wii shopping. Each of the three have made contributions.

As well Nintendo DRMs all it's games and their VC items. They will not allow VC purchases to transfer under any circumstance.

My personal opinions on the wii are that it is a great party machine but it has yet to come into it's own for solo play.

Re:It's all about over-hype and sheeple (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519483)

You must be new here. MS and Sony aren't /.'s most favoritest companies.

Re:It's all about over-hype and sheeple (5, Funny)

PJ1216 (1063738) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519527)

Me? I'll wait a couple of months after Xmas and buy a Wii
thats what people said last year too.

Re:It's all about over-hype and sheeple (5, Funny)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519657)

You broke the needle on my 'smug elitist' detector.

Re:It's all about over-hype and sheeple (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519981)

Well I'm sure if you queue up all night outside of Tandy's or some other electronics store, you'll be able to get hold of another.

Re:It's all about over-hype and sheeple (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519671)

"This is a self-fulfilling scenario where inducing an artificial shortage (by not making enough) creates a huge demand because every kid has to show his/her friends he's managed to get a Wii and every parent is made to feel like a terrible parent because he/she's not managed to get one for the kids."

They're producing 1.8 million units a month. That is not inducing an artifical shortage. (Not to mention, there's absolutely no way they could sustain the hype for over a year. People do get tired of waiting.)

"Me? I'll wait a couple of months after Xmas and buy a Wii when they're cheaper... "

No you won't. The price won't drop until demand slows. Fat chance.

Re:It's all about over-hype and sheeple (5, Insightful)

Marx_Mrvelous (532372) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519673)

You're wrong about one key point; they are not creating an artificial demand. They are running at full capacity and believe me, they'd sell more if they could. Maybe last year you could make this claim, but they are losing sales to MS and Sony because they can't keep units stocked. It's a nice conspiracy theory, but like most, only sounds good when you don't apply logic or look deeply into the issues :) Throw in a Sheeple, and you're 90% troll! (And Maybe I just got trolled!)

Re:It's all about over-hype and sheeple (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519683)

Console manufacturers make their money on game sales, not consoles. It's nice that Nintendo actually DOES make money on a console sale, last I heard, but the games are still the primary income.

There is virtually no incentive to deliberately short the supply. Every day a person who wants a Wii can't find one is another day they might break down and buy something else. The more consoles you can get into the homes the more likely you are to attract better games and make more money. They want to sell you that console ASAP, because then you're going to buy their games and are much less likely to buy another console to buy somebody else's games.
=Smidge=

Re:It's all about over-hype and sheeple (4, Interesting)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519745)

The Wii is the fastest selling console in history, and is currently selling at about four times the rate of the Xbox 360. Is it that hard to believe that sales are genuinely exceeding expectations? Certainly at launch time, very few of the pundits or fanboys were seriously predicting sales of this magnitude. Also, Nintendo has been increasing production significantly - from 1M to 1.8M per month. That doesn't exactly lend credibility to your theory that the shortage is completely artificial.

Besides, do you really think Nintendo was equipped to predict the Wii's popularity in new markets, such as retirement homes? I simply don't see any way that demand hasn't far exceeded Nintendo's expectations.

An artificial shortage would only help Nintendo if it enabled them to sell more consoles in the long run or if it enabled them to jack up prices. They obviously aren't going to increase the price, so how might an artificial shortage still lead to increased sales in the long run? Earlier in the year, it would have been reasonable to say that they wanted to wait until there were some solid games out, but with the hype about Super Mario Galaxy, it seems pretty clear that that time is over. So, if Nintendo is capable of making significant production increases, why wait?

Re:It's all about over-hype and sheeple (1)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519767)

"Me? I'll wait a couple of months after Xmas and buy a Wii when they're cheaper"

Wow, that's exactly what I said last year. Then around April I said fuck it and bought one on eBay for $330.

Maybe Christmas 2008... :)

Re:It's all about over-hype and sheeple (1)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519769)

But why spend money on GameCube games? You'll never have enough time to to play them all. You're being manipulated into thinking this will make your life complete. you should look beyond material possessions to what's really important. Why not put the money in a 401k for retirement or donate to a homeless shelter?

Sometimes the sheeple (probably the same people that camp outside stores for an iPhone) need to step beyond material possessions some time and think about how they are ultimately just being manipulated by big fat corporations.

Seriously, you can buy all the GC games you want. You should spend your money however you see fit. But you might want to think twice about calling other people names for their materialism in the breath that you brag about yours.

TW

Re:It's all about over-hype and sheeple (0, Troll)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519925)

Yes, but the fact is I can go and mooch around the games shop trade-in racks whenever I happen to be in the area - but I'm certainly not going to get into a panic if they've not got what I want or stand outside queueing for something for hours.

Sorry, but I don't get this materialism shit. I like money, I like spending it on things I like but I'm not going to get all hot and bothered if I can't buy something I want because it's out of stock - it isn't that important to me.

Re:It's all about over-hype and sheeple (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519791)

I'll wait a couple of months after Xmas and buy a Wii when they're cheaper

Yeah, that's what I said to myself LAST year. Maybe it'll work out better for us this time.

Re:It's all about over-hype and sheeple (1)

timster (32400) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519815)

inducing an artificial shortage (by not making enough)

Come on... I'm not buying that line for a minute. Nintendo sold something like 20 million GameCubes over five years. Interest was simply never all that high. Now it's one thing to believe in your products, but another to put capital on the line for expensive production capacity assuming that your new system will sell 15 million in *one* year after your last system sold 20 million in five years. There's no way that Nintendo, always a conservative company when it comes to business stuff, would make an assumption like that.

Truth is, last November, nobody knew that this was going to happen, least of all Nintendo. If they planned out a shortage to increase demand, they would have made fewer Wiis than they did GameCubes (which, after the second shipment or so, was never in short supply anywhere). But that's just not what happened.

Re:It's all about over-hype and sheeple (1)

arodland (127775) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519823)

The XBox 360 was released in November of 2005. In the following 22 months (up to the end of 9/07) Microsoft reported sales of 13.4M units (594K per 30-day month). Wii was released in November of 2006. Also as of the end of 9/07, Nintendo reported total sales of 13.2M units (1.25M per 30-day month). Nearly the same total sales, in less than half the time. Do you really think that Nintendo would be so stupid as to create a shortage of something that sells like that, especially given that (unlike MS or Sony) they're said to be making money on hardware sales? They're making exactly as many as they can, and selling every one.

Re:It's all about over-hype and sheeple (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519895)

at the moment I'm having great fun buying up ultra-cheap Gamecube games from all the trade-ins the Wii frenzy has generated.
I'm having great fun buying up ultra-cheap Gamecube games -- to play on my Wii. Until recently, the Wii wasn't any good for much but replaying my older generation games. I picked up Mario Galaxy on Sunday and was very, very impressed with the title. The graphics look amazing (even at 61 inches) and the game itself is fantastic -- after a full year of wondering what I was going to do with the thing, I'm finally happy with my Wii.

meh (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519349)

They aren't exactly just collecting dust on shelves, but they can be easily found. Sure, it takes a bit of research (when is what store going to get a shipment in) and getting up early in the morning so as to be in line to get it when the store opens, but they CAN be gotten. It just takes a bit of effort. My ladyfriend and I camped out overnight about 6 months ago to get ours...grabbed two packs of ciggs, put a bunch of futurama episodes on my PSP's 2 gig memory stick, a couple of folding chairs, a little bit of food/drink, and had a great time. AND we got to go home with a Wii! Granted, winter is coming up so temps are getting a little cold to do that comfortably...but camping out at the store is almost as much fun as owning the console, IMHO. Just a part of the experience :-)

Sometimes it isn't that hard... (3, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519351)

It's still relatively easy to get a Wii here. They sell out, but not at the furious pace they used to.

Last year, they sold out before the store opens (because of more people lining up overnight than the store had). Then it changed early in the new year where it sold out in about 20 minutes. During the summer, it easily took a day to sell out, and now, about a week. (Still brisker than a PS3.)

At least here (Vancouver, BC), if you really wanted one, you can get one if you try. No fancy lining up, just check a bunch of stores during the week. I spot them quite easily - just check all the usual stores over the course of a week. You don't have to check every store daily - just once a week, and you're bound to run into one with one in stock within a week or two. From observations, companies like Best Buy and other big electronic chains typically get big shipments (~30/week or so per store), than game stores like EBGames (maybe 3 a week). Wal-Mart tends to get a few as well. Generalize to other big stores.

Of course, with Christmas approaching, I expect the sellout time to be around a day again, so if you have an electronics store (Best Buy, whatever) along your commute, it may help to stop by. If you ask nicely, they may even tell you when the shipments normally come in, so you can plan to visit that day, the day before (stuff occasionally arrives early), and the next business day (in case it's late). Heck, most stores post signs nowadays, so you don't have to ask, or offer clues (e.g., bundles) that they're in stock.

Re:Sometimes it isn't that hard... (1)

ECMIM (946033) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520087)

It's still relatively easy to get a Wii here. They sell out, but not at the furious pace they used to.

As if we needed more proof that Canada is located on another planet.

Yeah... (2, Informative)

tarun713 (782737) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519429)

...does anyone else remember all the news stores about the Wii before it release last year? And how every 3rd comment was someone saying "There's no need to wait in line, there are going to be plenty! I plan to walk into a store the day after release and buy one." ...12 hrs in line vs 1+ year of it being incredibly difficult to come across. I'm glad I waited in line. :D

I'm glad I stood in line at launch too (2, Funny)

Piata (927858) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519601)

I remember feeling kind of silly waiting in line for a Wii. "There will be lots more" I was thinking... but I got mine on launch and then the demand only increased. My older brother wanted to get one for his family for Christmas, and he spent the next month trying to acquire one, even missing work on several occasions to do it.

The same people saying the demand for the Wii is imaginary are most likely the same people that called the Wii a fad. Aren't fads supposed to fade out? or am I missing something here?

Ration or auction? (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519445)

When it comes to popular toys or Hanna Montana tickets, there are two obvious ways to increase fairness:

* Rationing. Nobody gets more than one. Period. All sales go through a central clearinghouse. All units are delivered roughly simultaneously.
* Dutch auction. Speculators welcome. All units delivered roughly simultaneously.

There are several major challenges to these:
* Both can be gamed.
* It's a logistical challenge.
* The toy stores hate it if they don't get a piece of the action or in-store traffic.
* Too bad for the kid who wants it for his early-December birthday if the units aren't delivered until just before Christmas.
* With dutch auctions, the market sets the price and families or retirees who could afford "sticker price" may be locked out.

HOW TO FIND A WII IN THE US (5, Informative)

B00yah (213676) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519479)

I've helped over 2 dozen people find wiis since launch (i got mine at midnight, so I was good), and I'll tell you all the same thing I've told them:

Check the weekly ads for Target and Best Buy on their respective websites on Saturday night/Sunday Morning. If there's a Wii in the Best Buy ad, go there immediately (sunday morning), they'll be there (ask if they're not on shelves, they may have not been stocked yet). If it's in the target ad, go to the store and ask the person working in electronics when they usually get their shipments in (day of the week). You should be good to get one if you get there before 10am that day.

Re:HOW TO FIND A WII IN THE US (1)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519647)

I believe those tactics would have worked great where I live a month or so ago...but I'm not so sure now that holiday season is starting to pick up.

Re:HOW TO FIND A WII IN THE US (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519777)

You beat me to it. I've had no less than five opportunities to buy Wiis this year. (I own two now.) Each time that I was able to buy them was either early in the morning on Sunday (Target) or during the week while I was out looking around at lunch (both Target and Best Buy). I told this to a co-worker and he managed to get a Wii at a Gamestop on a Friday. Just a few weeks ago I was at a local Target at around 10:30 AM and they have over a dozen available.

Also, I had five Wiimotes and two nunchucks back when people were bitching and complaining about not being able to find Wiimotes or nunchucks in the early part of the year. Why? Because I went to look for them during the week, not on weekends, although I will admit that I did get a nunchuck during the weekend because I asked a store employee if they had any in the back room.

The short of it is stop waiting until after work on or weekends to look for a Wii!! That is when everyone else will be looking for it as well. And don't assume that no products on the floor means no products in the store! Go to the local stores, find out when their supply trucks come in, then get in there that evening or the following morning. It's worked beautifully for me and others to whom I suggested this.

Re:HOW TO FIND A WII IN THE US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21520099)

Good advice. I think that's the only way to get a Wii, but depending on where you live, it can still be difficult, though.

I live on the peninsula in the SF bay area. I bought my Wii back in June. I was at a Target the morning they got their shipment. Even though it was only 8:45am, they only had two left when I bought mine. I do all my shopping on weekdays, usually first thing in the morning. I look for Wiis everywhere I go and I have never, ever seen one except for the time I bought mine.

No Mom, It's MY Wii (5, Funny)

dorath (939402) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519495)

My mom got me a Wii for my birthday, and she has all but come out and said that she wants it back. She threatened to buy her own if I didn't bring mine for Thanksgiving (in retrospect I should have called her bluff). My aunts and uncles went absolutely nuts over Wii Sports Boxing. In 33 years I've never seen them get so worked up over any kind of game, much less heard them yelling and shrieking like they were. So yeah, I'd say that they're going to be hard to find. My mom hates consoles in general, but she'd really like a Wii.

Re:No Mom, It's MY Wii (-1, Redundant)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519563)

she'd really like a Wii.

Well then she'd better go and have one then - it's not good for the bladder holding it in like that.

Sorry, I was waiting for an "I'd like a Wii" statement...

Re:No Mom, It's MY Wii (3, Funny)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519749)

she'd really like a Wii.


Well then she'd better go and have one then - it's not good for the bladder holding it in like that.


Sorry, I was waiting for an "I'd like a Wii" statement...

Oh, good... 'Cause, you know, that joke just gets funnier every time I hear it.

(Dude left himself wide open, even talked about his mom wanting a Wii, and best you got is that she had to go to the toilet? I woulda been all like "watersports" and such... You know, his mom doesn't have wii she needs to get rid of, she wants it... Such a waste...)

Shortage should not affect most slashdotters (4, Interesting)

sudnshok (136477) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519531)

When I decided to by mine, I just set up a script that checked Amazon every minute or two. I know they have sites that do that already, but there are hundreds of people signed up for the email notifications on those sites. I figured if I had my own script I might get a head start on those people - which paid off. I think I had my script running for only 3 days before I got my Wii. I'm sure many other slashdotters did the same.

Re:Shortage should not affect most slashdotters (4, Funny)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519591)

When I decided to by mine, I just set up a script that checked Amazon every minute or two.

I'm doing the same thing for Duke Nukem Forever - no sign of it yet though.

Mine was just delivered... (2, Informative)

Gybrwe666 (1007849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519637)

Amazon is putting them on the website as they get shipments, as are Best Buy and, I've heard, others. I just had a tab open in my browser and refreshed every little bit. One minute it was $425-$600 on Amazon, the next minute it was $249.xx, no sales tax, no shipping. From what I could tell, the units lasted about 30 minutes, and the word hit the Internet on forums and message boards damn fast.

Of course, it was over $500 on Amazon Resellers this morning.

Same for DDR and Guitar Hero, which are apparently incredibly rare games for no apparent reason that I can see. One minute DDR was $168, the next it was $69.99. What's amusing is seeing how fast the Amazon resellers react and adjust their prices.

Bill

Not Indicative (3, Insightful)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519829)

Look, 1.8million made 1/3 go to US, so 600 000 in the US, 150 000 A week in the US

350 000 sold last week

Now, think about that, if every week they sold 350 000, and they only made 150 000, how did they find the extra 200 000.

Two answers- either they have a stockpile (not likely considering stores have been empty for almsot a year) - OR - they DIDN'T sell 350 000 units in the previous weeks.

Now, could we in future post articles which aren't based on freak statistics and make out those results are normal.

Regret with Mario and Smash Bros.? (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519861)

I bought a Wii at launch and sold it about a month later to my brother-in-law on the cheap because he wanted one. At the time I really don't think I made a mistake, and I still mostly agree with that. Until Mario Galaxy came out, there were absolutely zero games I was interested in. I played through Zelda and put tons of hours into Wii Sports with family and friends, good fun and all, but what has come out since then? Metroid and Mario basically. Maybe Zack and Wiki but I don't really know anything about that. I played the first hour of Metroid and though it was a great deviation from the Metroid-norm, it still didn't do much for me.

But Mario is out now and Super Smash Bros. Brawl will be out in a couple of months. Everyone says Mario is awesome and I put something like 2000 hours into Smash Bros. Melee so all of a sudden I'm thinking maybe it was a mistake? Not sure, but one or two games aren't really enough for me to rebuy a system, so it'll probably be a while until I actually pick up another Wii. I still have tons of last generation games to play though, and my DS, so I'll manage.

How I got one (3, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 6 years ago | (#21519977)

I got one this summer at a FYE store in New England.

My tactic was pretty simple: Ask all of the stores in my area what day of the week they typically get deliveries on. Then call each store on its standard delivery day (and the day after, if the shipment hadn't been unpacked when I called), asking if they had a Wii. It paid off in several months.

I was probably also lucky that I wasn't doing this during the holiday season, otherwise the Wiis probably would have been all snapped up before I got there. But still, my approach may be worth a shot.

P.S. It really is a lot of fun, especially for a casual gamer like me.

Find a Wii using Target Product Lookup (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21520035)

This method is not guaranteed, but it will help a lot. It helps best if you live in a large urban area with multiple stores around.

  1. Wait until midweek. Tuesdays are good, but Wednesday or Thursday also works.
  2. Actually physically visit a Target. Go early after opening. Go to where the Wii should be in the locked glass container.
  3. Look at the label strip where the $249.99 price is. Look for a series of numbers under a barcode. This is Target's internal tracking number for the item. Write this number down. Make sure it's not the UPC number (grab another item with a UPC to make sure - UPCs are longer than the Target number, generally.)
  4. Go to the nearest manned, not busy register. Guest service or the jewlery counters work great.
  5. Ask the asociate to do a product lookup for that number. Do not tell them it's for a Wii!
  6. The associate will run the numbers and laugh when they see what item it is. Politely ask them to keep running the lookup.
  7. Ask the associate to search other stores. This prints a list of all stores reporting any Wiis actually in inventory. It gives the 10 closest stores.
  8. Ask the associate to write down how many each store reported has.
  9. Ignore any stores listed with just 1 unit. This is mostly likely a ghost for the display unit.
  10. Check distance to store to see if it's worth driving that far.
  11. Call the promising stores and confirm stock! It's a long shot, but see if they can hold it for the time it takes you to drive. Less ethical people may resort to social engineering at this point.
  12. Drive at a reasonable speed and retrieve your Wii. Or, if you know someone in that area, commission them to immediately go forth and fetch.

This is not guaranteed in the slightest. It may take a few attempts. It's easeir than camping ad days, though, and will eventually get you somewhere. Try not to use the same employee day after day, and keep in mind that stock levels are only updated in the morning, not instantaneously. Don't keep checking back.

If you want a Wii... (1)

W2k (540424) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520105)

Go to Sweden. I was visiting a major household/electronics retailer the other day and Wiis were gathering dust on the shelves. I very nearly bought one myself, despite not owning a TV and generally preferring PC games anyway. Maybe now I'll go buy one and sell it for profit on eBay...

Actual Statistics? (1)

daveisfera (832409) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520179)

We always here about how it's a different demographics buying the Wii, but are there actually statistics out there to back that up? And I doubt we'll ever see them, but I'd love to see what the actual playing time is for the different age groups.

I got mine back in July (1)

Clomer (644284) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520183)

I managed to get my hands on a Wii back in July. It took some effort: about once or twice a week for 4 or 5 months I would hit up 7 or 8 stores until I found one at a GameStop. It was a great purchase, and I'm really glad I have it. Whenever we have any kind of get-together, the Wii invariably becomes part of the fun. Whether it's tennis or bowling, shooting ducks on Wii Play, or even playing Mario Kart: Double Dash with the GameCube backwards compatibility, the Wii is enjoyed by all sorts of people.

My wife has taken a liking to it, and she isn't much of a gamer at all. She can actually beat me in Wii Play fishing, sometimes laser hockey and billiards, and I have been gaming for over 20 years. I still win with the target shooting and the bubbles, but the difference is narrowing... and we have a blast playing Tennis together as a team.

It blows me away that the Wii is still in short supply. I don't think you can claim that Nintendo is artificially shorting supply, not with 1.8 million being produced monthly. It really makes me wish I had acted on my thought back when the Wii was announced to buy Nintendo stock.

Got mine. (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 6 years ago | (#21520185)

My wife managed to get me one as a present covering Father's Day, our anniversary, and my birthday. This was back in late-May. Now, I play it at least once a week with my four year old son. He loves WiiSports bowling and golf. Ok, he doesn't quite grasp the concept of golf and loves whacking the ball when it is 2 feet away from the hole into the water trap 50 feet away. Still he has fun. When it comes to bowling, though, he's surprisingly good. He has a high score of 121 and learned how to aim the ball to pick up spares simply from observing me doing it. I never tried to teach him it figuring it was too advanced, but I guess the Wii's controls are just that intuitive.

Just for the record, while I like the occasional game, I'm definitely not in the gamer market. The last console that I owned was the original NES and that was back when I was a kid in my parents' house. So I can completely see why they have a supply issue. They have a supply chain geared for the gamer market and a product being purchased by gamers and non-gamers alike. While they are increasing the supply chain as fast as they can, it's probably none too easy to catch up with the demand. (And they definitely don't want to ramp up too much and then be left with an overly huge supply chain and too many Wiis on the shelf.)
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