Analyst says Wii shortage "a missed opportunity"

IDC research analyst Billy Pidgeon says that the Wii's runaway success could backfire if Nintendo is unable to satisfy consumer demand.

Since the Wii was launched around 18 months ago the console has sold phenomenally well but has often been in short supply.

According to the LA Times, Nintendo's conservative attitude to production stems from the failure of its last console, the GameCube, to hit the company's sales expectations.

Pidgeon told the paper that Nintendo's production strategy could cost the company dearly, suggesting that consumers may choose to look elsewhere if they can't find a Wii or software for the system.

"That's a tough line to tread," Pidgeon said. "When does the consumer get frustrated and move on?

"So far, the Wii still has cachet. But the fact that consumers can't find a Wii or a Wii Fit is definitely a missed opportunity."

Exergaming title Wii Fit has been in short supply at major retailers including GameStop and Circuit City since launching in North America in mid-May, according to the report, while the $90 package is selling for as much as $150 on eBay.

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter believes that Nintendo has shipped just 500,000 copies of the game in North America but as many as 2 million units in Europe.

The game has already sold in excess of two million copies in Japan since releasing in December.

"The shortage demonstrates one consequence of the weak dollar. We're seeing companies ignore their largest market simply because they can make a greater profit elsewhere," he said.

The official company line is that Nintendo of America, like Nintendo UK, is doing all it can to ensure a regular supply of Wii Fit is making its way to stores.

"The consumer response to Wii Fit was exceptional," said a Nintendo spokesperson. "We are working as hard as we can to replenish the stock."

Courtesy of Next Generation (opens in new tab).

Jun 3, 2008