Tokyo (Japan) – The holidays are fast approaching and Nintendo wants everyone to have a Wii game console. To combat the chronic Wii shortages experienced over the last two holiday seasons, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime says there will be a “significant increase” in console production and shipments. He adds that 50% more consoles should be hitting store shelves from October to December. Nintendo will also up shipments of its incredibly popular DS handheld by 10%.
Supplies of the Nintendo Wii have been amazingly tight in the two years since its years. Many stores are constantly sold out of the console, although many gamers have been successful by visiting general retail stores like Wal-Mart and Target. Nintendo has increased production of the console dramatically in the first half of the year and the company sold 4.5 million Wiis from January to August, a 45% increase from the year before.
The shortage was particularly acute during the 2006 when it was launched just before Christmas and the 2007 holiday seasons. Some shoppers resorted to camping out at stores waiting for the next shipment.
Unfortunately, some retail chains took advantage of the shortage and raised price while others forced expensive bundles on consumers. Nintendo makes nearly half of its revenue during the holidays as Nintendo ships. NPD estimates that Nintendo sold 2.85 million Wiis and 4.5 million DS handhelds from October to December last year. According to industry analysts, Nintendo will sell 9 million Wiis for the year.
Nintendo executives have hyped up the shortage in the past, in what can be called a brilliant marketing campaign. George Harrison, senior VP of marketing for Nintendo of America, said last year, “If you see one, buy it. Don’t assume that you can come back later and find one.” Genius I tell you.