Nintendo Ramping Up Production Of The Wii

Didn’t feel like standing in line for a Wii? No worries. Nintendo says they’re ramping up production. Could the Wii drought be over?

Nintendo’s PR team send out an email announcing increased production:

“While shipments of Wii hardware are expected to grow this month due to increased production, demand for the system remains at unprecedented levels.”

We think that’s PR for “we’re making more of them.” —MEGHANN MARCO

(Photo: toholio)

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  1. sizer says:

    Hah, imagine that. The end of the financial year and suddenly they’re ramping up production. All those rumors were apparently right – they sold as many as they wanted to sell last year.

  2. MercuryPDX says:

    I’ve heard other rumors that they’ve been “warehousing” them for “such and such” a date (aka. throttling supply to increase demand).

  3. kmanfactor says:

    How does warehousing them help Nintendo? By creating artificial demand for a product? If the product is a good product, and people want it, there is demand. Warehousing a poor product does not create a high level of demand, only a huge supply.

  4. Falconfire says:

    I really dont think any of the rumors have been true. They said ages ago they where tooling up new plants for production, since they had not planned on the demand to be more than it was for the Gamecube. It takes a while to tool up a plant for production. Its not like you stick a few molds in and say ok your making Wii’s now.

  5. SuperSolarEric says:

    Warehousing them doesn’t make any sense for Nintendo you still have to pay for those Wii’s. I think they left them at the numbers they have to hide the fact they don’t have the software yet to really make the Wii big. I bet before Mario Galaxy or the next Nintendo front line game is released there will be plenty of Wii’s for everyone.

  6. @kmanfactor: It does, however, create a narrative of desirability. It increases demand in the aggregate. That is…

    TOTAL DEMAND = [People who are going to buy a Wii anyway and are patient enough to wait until it's in stock] + [People who heard how Wii's are always out of stock, assume it's because Wii's are great, and thus decide to buy a Wii based on little more than that buzz]

  7. niccernicus says:

    I played one for five minutes, and that’s about all the interest I can muster for this system.

    Maybe if they hide them somewhere, I will becoem entranced with the lack of Wiis and start feeling the urge to wave a wand at my TV.

  8. Framling says:

    @n1ckel5:

    I can do that too.

    “The Playstation is dumb. Who wants to push buttons on a lump of plastic?”

    “Reading sucks. Oh, please, can I turn pages and look at squiggles on paper all day?”

    Trivializing things by reducing them to their constituent actions is fun!

  9. bluemeep says:

    Coincidentally, my roommate and I finally acquired one at our local Toys R Us here in Orlando. We had stopped in Saturday evening for the heck of it and saw a sign in their electronics department saying they would be getting in a shipment of 30 on Sunday (4/22, yesterday). When we asked the (somewhat zoned out looking) kid at the counter, he said they’d have them in the morning and would be opening early at 7 for them.

    We went home, made camp out preparations and were back at 4:00 AM. We made it in time to be at the front of the line. I was honestly surprised by how many people showed up; they stretched all the way around the building by the time the store opened at 11. Yep, 11. Not 7 as promised by the checkout lad. The manager was absolutely mortified when we mentioned that the kid had said that to everyone and she promised to take corrective action. This quelled the bloodlust of out fellow linesfolk or so I hear. I was sitting in the car with the AC on with heat exhaustion by that point while my roommate made the transaction…

    In any case, we got the sucker. I don’t know if it was a one time shipment to capitalize on the kids coming out to pick up the new Pokemon titles or if it’s going to be a weekly thing, but that’s my story.

  10. CRSpartan01 says:

    I’ve been looking for nearly five full months and still no luck. It’s a good thing I’ve already invested in several games, otherwise I might seriously consider jumping ship…

  11. MercuryPDX says:

    @kmanfactor: I think the blog rant echoed what Ted’s Famous Kickin Chicken and SuperSolarEric said.

    The system only has a few good titles out (Wii Sports, Zelda, Paper Mario), with a few “as good” titles being released in the near future.

    If everyone who wanted a console was able to get one, they’d be over it before the regular flow of titles from developers begins (this fall). You’d wind up with a large group of people going “Meh… there are no good games for this, I’m already bored with Wii Sports.”, who tell their friends that, and so on and so on. That negative word of mouth would stifle the desire for systems.

    By throttling the number of systems released, you have some people who play a friend’s Wii and say “Man this is so awesome, I want one.”, and tell that to their friends. You also have people who are STILL caught up in the buzz giving the impression that “The Wii is a MUST HAVE!”. Demand becomes a frenzy (like it is now).

    So by creating a “system shortage”, Nintendo keeps the novelty of owning a Wii fresh in the public’s mind, until the game developers can catch up and deliver titles that by themselves will sell consoles.

  12. I have no idea if this is true or not, but an employee at Best Buy told me over the weekend that Wii shipments had essentially dried up over the past month or two, as if Nintendo was stockpiling them. He then went on to say that it looked like the drought was breaking, as they’d have 20 on Sunday morning (they did, and I got one) and another 15 later in the week.

    While stockpiling doesn’t reduce demand, I suppose that building up a supply and then dumping them on the market in short order could kill the eBay/Amazon re-sellers market by creating a temporary surge in supply.

  13. ohayorisa says:

    The drought will not be over until Wiis sit on the shelf instead of selling out the day they come in. Checking out the various trackers, nationwide Wii availability is less than 10%…it’ll take time to raise this number up to where Wiis are readily available even with increased production.

  14. niccernicus says:

    @Framling: Glad to see you got my point. /sarcasm (again).

    If a person is not interested, they are not interested (that was my point). Similarly, I do not like fruit. If a freak frost kills the entire crop of oranges for a year, it’s not going to make me crave one due to lack of accessibility.

    I doubt Nintendo is holding them back in a sinister plan. IMO, they do not have the track record to do this, nor does it make sense.

  15. Iron_Dragon says:

    I’m upset that nintendo is rushing them.

    I managed to get one from a late march shipment. The unit operated fine but would freeze up nearly every hour. It wasn’t just mid game but rather doing anything on the console. Open the Mii Channel. Freeze. Press the power button. Freeze. Yes it froze as I turned it off twice.

    I got a replacement from an early april shipment. The quality drop was noticeable right away. The cover for the SD card slot was popping out a little and the cables had all been packed poorly leading to damage. My main issue however was the unit had trouble reading disks. I was pissed off when the clerk at the EB told me that 26 seconds of reading a disk only to get a disk read error was “normal” because his did it too.

    At this point I just got a refund. The units were clearly rushed out the door to meet demand. I skipped nintendo tech support as I shouldn’t have to deal with a refurbished unit. I paid full price for a new working unit. Not a repaired one. People usually pay discount prices on refurbished tech equipment.

    Thankfully both my friends got working units from the late march shipment. I’m waiting till nintendo finally puts out a quality product again before I get another.

  16. M3wThr33 says:

    It’s kind of easy to confirm if they’re stockpiling them in their warehouse. I drive by it nearly everyday and you can see when it’s full of product.
    But this out and out proves that they were holding them back deliberately. Keeping people calling about them and waiting outside makes for good press.

    Especially when they only want it for ONE game, Wii Sports. (Your parents and grandparents don’t care about the rest.)

  17. NuggetUk says:

    Considering they are supposed to be stockpiling them in warehouses because they’ve sold their quota, it seems odd that they are still out-selling the other consoles on the market.

    I know from speaking with a fiend what works at GameStation here in the UK that they are getting regular shipments of consoles every 3-4 weeks, and there are still over 50 people on the waiting list. And it’s not as if it’s a big store he works for either, just in a town of a few thousand people.

  18. Papa K says:

    @n1ckel5:

    I’ll wave my wand where-ever I want. Wait…

    @Iron_Dragon:

    You buy a new unit – the second it goes out the door it is decreased in value, much like a car. You may be able to sucker someone into paying a ‘like-new’ price, but it’s no longer new, you used it, and they shouldn’t have to give you a new one – IMHO, that is. Otherwise, I’d be with you at the gates of Wiidom demanding a new unit :)

  19. WMyers says:

    If this blog was called “Supplierist”, maybe more people would understand that Nintendo can’t just “wave a wand” and increase production. To increase production, they’ll either have to do it short term (pay overtime and order additional components) or long term (negotiate new supplier contracts and acquire new workers and facilities).

    If they ramp up short term, they increase costs and lose their margin. If they ramp up long term, they risk an oversupply down the line. The fact that it’s taken so long indicates this is a long term increase in production reflecting a revised estimate of total demand for the Wii.

    In other words, they’re convinced they’re not coming in 3rd in the console wars this time around.

  20. shdwsclan says:

    Short supply…..people wii all the time, i dont thing americas sewage and treatment systems can handle more wii……

    In fact, i gotta go take a wii right now…