Wii availability question

So, yeah,

It’s nearly April and Nintendo is STILL only shipping 1-3 Wii’s to major retailers on a weekly basis, and there are still no major online outlets where you can order one.

I fully understand that the system is selling well, but, with the extremely economical hardware / manufacturing process and the low cost, not to MENTION that they’ve been launched globally for quite some time … it really shouldn’t be taking them this long to be stocking the shelves on a regular / full time basis.

And, while this is a curious anomaly … there’s literally NO excuse for this in regards to the DS.

What’s the deal?

Is this a “manufactured” shortage (that’s a real industry practice … but usually it doesn’t extend this far into the post-holiday period) ?

does it have something to do with the lack of AAA titles on the console right now (we all know what’s happening with the PS3’s large shipments and low ratio of A+ quality software) and a reluctance by Nintendo to have a large amount of units sold during what could be considered a post-launch dry-spell?


I’m looking for a theory above and beyond “it’s really really popular” because, that’s a given, and Nintendo stated LONG before the holidays that they’d be able to combat this type of thing from happening … and clearly they haven’t been able to nearly 5 months post launch.

Oh yes, selling out over 6 million consoles in this time frame certainly gives room for speculation over manufactured shortages, it’s so obvious! I guess you went to next-gen.biz recently.

As for Nintendo’s promise to combat such situations, well, again, given the amount of units shipped I think they’ve done great and even if it was possibly to have produced more systems, perhaps even they underestimated the popularity the Wii would have.

Now, how about some evidence of this really being a manufactured shortage, something other than random rumours or “it’s just a gamecube with a new remote” or whatever other no-substance statement. Cost effective or not, the Wii still offers technically new technology as a lot of it consists of specialised parts that are not being manufactured for any other purpose whatsoever unlike the PS3’s blu-ray components and the Cell processor for example.

I’m not basing my speculation on anything other than my communications with my friends / colleagues in the game retail business, and my own past years in game retail.

I don’t read that website at all, and I’ve not seen that article.

However, I’ve seen Nintendo do this type of thing before, and I think that despite the fact that they’ve sold 6 Million + units, that they’re totally capable of doing something like this at no risk / cost to themselves.

Since software is, where we know the true profit lies, this would be the time for them to short-stock based on the low ratio of AAA games on the shelves and the POTENTIAL for “casual” consumers to “dump” their newly-purchased system due to early adoption / low software ratio / boredom / decent trade-in values to apply to other games / consoles.

Again, I was in game retail all through the Saturn, PS1, N64, Dreamcast and the beginning of the PS2. I’ve seen it happen more than you’d imagine.

But, I’m just curious what other people think, or if you think it’s totally NORMAL for the Wii to be near-impossible to find 4-5 months after launch, and not offered at all online at any major outlets.

Actually, all of the Wii’s technology is fairly common. Nintendo has always had a stance of staying away from bleeding edge technology (something Gumpei Yokoi started).

That being said, I think Nintendo simply grossly underestimated demand and is still just having issues ramping up in all three regions simultaneously. There is some effectiveness to manufactured scarcity, but when you are well past your launch window and there is still demand for it, you are doing yourself a disservice in not capitalizing on that.

In other words - nobody knows except Nintendo =\

Fairly common? I didn’t imply it’s bleeding edge, however even the CPU and GPU are components created specifically for the Wii, even if they are improved versions of GC hardware, or even if they are based on existing PC hardware, or whatever else. The manufacturers are only creating these specific versions for the Wii and no other devices at all. They don’t take a GC chip they happen to have an excess off and modify it to fit the Wii specifications, they build a new core altogether is how I understand it. Maybe I’m wrong?

Of course, there’s always an element of custom building. But, they are simply tweaks of existing technology. Both the X360 and PS3 had technology specifically built for their hardware (the GPU in the X360 was cutting edge, and the Cell in the PS3 was as well). The Wii, on the other hand, took existing tech and made a few tweaks here and there. Even the Wiimote sensors are all built on pre-existing technology.

I’m not saying they just ordered parts at Fry’s and slapped the things together. Just that they took technology that is cheaper and well-established and shouldn’t have manufacturing issues, which makes it strange that they are this far behind in meeting customer demand.

(Then again, they had the same issue with DS Lites in Japan…)

edit: On a side note, I read the comments from the Gamestop COO and while most likely speculation, there is always the possibility that Nintendo is holding back units for this month. They could very well be ramping up production and will have a huge shipment go out in April to help even out their yearly earnings. If you think about the fact that X360 will be getting Halo 3 this year, and PS3 will (likely) finally be picking up some steam with more AAA releases, Nintendo may simply be trying to pace themselves to keep a steady flow of units through this year until Mario Galaxies or whatever hits.

That makes sense, given the fact that the Wii only uses 18 (!) Watt at maximum, while the XBox360 and PS3 use around 180-200 Watt. That alone shows that the production process for the hardware components has been optimized over time.

That makes sense, given the fact that the Wii only uses 18 (!) Watt at maximum, while the XBox360 and PS3 use around 180-200 Watt. That alone shows that the production process for the hardware components has been optimized over time.[/quote]

That’s crazy!! That’s less than most light bulbs…but believable.

Edit: Also didn’t the Wii have some small changes to the mother board recently so that it would be harder to mod? This is of course not the sole reason for the lack of consoles, but it could have some impact.

I do believe that’s simply a myth, the hardware changes were probably done for a number of other reasons and they happened to not be compatible with some of (not all) the wii mod chips out there afterwards.

That’s probably true, but it is interesting that so early on changes to the motherboard, not just the DVD drive like the 360, are being made; albeit minor ones.

Here is a link to the Gamestop COO comments Abadd was talking about I assume:

Gamespot exec says Nintendo held back Wii’s

I think he meant the link on my first reply :stuck_out_tongue:

The ONLY hardware modification Nintendo has done to the Wii recently is the D2B IC chip - which was easily hackable and is supported by all modchips currently out there, except for the WiiKey.

Modding the Wii is so easy, it’s not even funny.

I totally didn’t see the link color, since it was within the sentence, kind of just read over it sorry.

I think it uses 18 Watt when in standby mode. >.>;; I’m pretty sure it uses more when it’s up and running.

Does the Wii have an internal fan for cooling, or does it just use a heat sink, it is rather small and very quite.

Okay that’s enough!Where the hell do you guys get this kind of info and more importantly why??!

I remember Iwata-san bragging at E3 that when in stand-by the Wii uses about as much power as a LED. (Sure makes a lot of heat for using as much power as a LED)


That’s interesting, more or less the drive in the Wii is inactive during peak gameplay? Because I can’t see it using only 18 Watts when the drive is spinning and loading data and whatnot. It seems the 360 drive won’t shut up though, especially when you play something like Oblivion where everything is constantly streaming.

Kinda skeptical though despite the evidence…18 Watts!!

Some useless info.

Aquarium = 50?1210 Watts
Clock radio = 10
Coffee maker = 900?1200
Clothes washer = 350?500
Clothes dryer = 1800?5000
Dishwasher = 1200?2400 (using the drying feature greatly increases energy consumption)
Dehumidifier = 785
Electric blanket- Single/Double = 60 / 100
Ceiling = 65?175
Window = 55?250
Furnace = 750
Whole house = 240?750
Hair dryer = 1200?1875
Heater (portable) = 750?1500
Clothes iron = 1000?1800
Microwave oven = 750?1100
Personal computer
CPU - awake / asleep = 120 / 30 or less
Monitor - awake / asleep = 150 / 30 or less
Laptop = 50
Radio (stereo) = 70?400
Refrigerator (frost-free, 16 cubic feet) = 725
Televisions (color)
19" = 65?110
27" = 113
36" = 133
53"-61" Projection = 170
Flat screen = 120
Toaster = 800?1400
Toaster oven = 1225
VCR/DVD = 17?21 / 20?25
Vacuum cleaner = 1000?1440
Water heater (40 gallon) = 4500?5500
Water pump (deep well) = 250?1100
Water bed (with heater, no cover) = 120?380

So the Wii puts out power somewhere between a clock and a VCR. O_O