The Freakonomics Of The Wii?

We don’t feel so bad that we don’t yet have a Wii, because Dubner over at Freakonomics doesn’t have one and he’s certainly wealthier and more popular than we are. He’s posted a letter from one Paul Kimmelman summarizing the baffling shortage of Wiis. It raises some interesting questions.

For example, “Why hasn’t Nintendo apologized for the shortage?” And, “Why haven’t they ramped up production?” And, “Is this hurting game developers?” And, “Where’s my damn Wii?”

3. Game vendors (including Nintendo) are hurt by this, since their TAM/CAM is held artificially lower. Since shelf life of a game is very much based on release date, this hurts the game developers.

4. It is unclear how much this has pushed sales of XBox360, PS3, PS2, and even older Gamecube devices. Since Wii has a quite different controller design, people are attracted to it. Normally, this would have benefited their competitors a lot according to economic theory.

We got an XBOX 360 instead of a Wii, because, well, we could. And we love it. But we still want a Wii. Sadly, we’re not willing to punch someone’s Mom to get one. —MEGHANN MARCO

We Want a Wii! (Still) [Freakonomics]
(Photo:Michael T. Gilbert)