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(New York Times) -- "A Year Later, the Same Scene: Long Lines for the Elusive Wii"

Gahiggidy

My aunt & uncle run a Mom & Pop store, "The Gamecube Hut", and sold 80k WiiU within minutes of opening.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

December 14, 2007
A Year Later, the Same Scene: Long Lines for the Elusive Wii
By MATT RICHTEL
SAN FRANCISCO — Linda Beattie is trying desperately to pay Nintendo $250, but the company is not cooperating.

Two weeks ago, Ms. Beattie went to a video game retailer in the Bay Area in search of a Wii, Nintendo’s intensely popular video game machine. She timed her visit to correspond with the arrival of a U.P.S. truck that she had heard would be making its regular stop at the store, hoping it might deliver some consoles. She was out of luck.

So Ms. Beattie, 44, a permit expediter and not a stalker by trade, followed the truck to the next store, where it did drop off a handful of Wiis. She bought one, but store policy would not let her buy a second for a friend, so she quickly called him.

“He came from another game store that he was staking out,” Ms. Beattie said. “He got there two minutes too late to buy the last one.”
...

The Wii, with an unusual remote control that players wave to manipulate action on the screen, has attracted a broad, unconventional following — from young children to mothers and even the elderly. It has put to shame the frenzy over another much-hyped gadget, the iPhone, which prompted long lines at its debut in June but was readily available on store shelves the next day.

The demand for the console has prompted creative buying strategies, early-morning camp outs and recrimination against Nintendo for failing to produce enough machines a full year after the product’s release.

...

The unsated demand is costing Nintendo more than face. Estimates from industry analysts and retailers indicate that the company, which is based in Kyoto, Japan, is giving up $1 billion or more in sales [editor: Holy fuck! That amounts to 4 million Wii!] in the ever-important holiday retail season, not including sales of games for those unbuilt consoles.

“It’s staggering,” said James Lin, senior analyst at the MDB Capital Group in Santa Monica, Calif., who estimates that Nintendo is leaving $1.3 billion on the table. “They could easily sell double what they’re selling.”

Between the Wii’s debut last November and this Sept. 30, Nintendo sold 13.1 million consoles. It ships 1.8 million a month worldwide — a third of those to North America — up from one million a month earlier this year.

When it comes to its planning, Nintendo says it has not done anything wrong.

....


“It’s a good problem to have,” Mr. Harrison said of the demand, but he acknowledged that there could be a downside. “We do worry about not satisfying consumers and that they will drift to a competitor’s system.”

...

At the Nintendo World store in Manhattan, which receives daily shipments, shoppers line up on the sidewalk every morning for their shot at buying a Wii. There is a vibrant secondary market, with scalpers reselling consoles in store parking lots and online.

And while some people say they will keep searching for a Wii, others are giving up.

“I’m frustrated and I’m not going to try anymore,” said Betty Sapien, a San Francisco homemaker, who recently visited a handful of stores, including Best Buy and GameStop, to buy a system for her 9-year-old daughter. “They should have it well supplied. They know it’s going to be a big Christmas present, and it’s been a year” [editor: That's right, Betty. Nintendo's doing it to spite you!] since it went on sale, she said.

Another shopper, Yvette Marchand, a Bay Area elementary school teacher, said, “I’m not proud of this, spending two hours running from store to store.” She spoke as she was standing last week outside of a GameStop. She said she had been to several stores, like Best Buy, where she arrived at 7 a.m. on a Sunday — too late to get a console, because others had lined up at 5 a.m.

“I’ve also been to Target,” she said, but when she asked for a Wii, she felt like the employees were mocking her. “I’ve received the smirks and the laughs." [editor: I'm looking at you, AlteredBeast]

The GameStop chain, which accounts for around 23 percent of video game sales in the United States, said it could double or triple its Wii sales if the shelves in its 3,800 North American stores were fully stocked.

Bob McKenzie, senior vice president for merchandising at GameStop, said the company had stopped telling its stores when to expect their weekly Wii shipments. When word gets out about a delivery date, he said, “then people start doing crazy things, like putting up pup tents.”

In front of some retailers like Best Buy, where people have lined up to buy a Wii, the lucky few who manage to get one offer to resell them at a premium to those too far back in the line.

Colin Sebastian, an industry analyst with Lazard Capital Markets, said that on eBay, around 86,000 had been offered for sale since Dec. 4, with the average selling price about $320, 28 percent higher than the retail price.

...

Ms. Beattie, the truck chaser, said she and her friends, all in or near their 40s, have made the Wii a central part of their social time.

“We used to play poker,” she said. “Now we have Wii parties.” Because she’s self-employed, Ms. Beattie has continued to hunt for Wiis for her friends who have less flexibility at work: “They can’t leave their job when the U.P.S. truck comes.”
Ms. Beattie is a real American Hero.


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/14/technology/14wii.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=business


 

Gahiggidy

My aunt & uncle run a Mom & Pop store, "The Gamecube Hut", and sold 80k WiiU within minutes of opening.
ICallItFutile said:
This sounds familiar...

old?
No, it was posted 5 hours ago. Its the NYT... they're stuff isn't the cookie cutter AP/Reuters fair.
 

Sharp

Member
Should have tried searching in August or so, I think they were at least somewhat more available at the time. With the holiday season upon us, though, good luck getting one. Nintendo really should have manufactured more. Like, once again as many more.
 
Reggie warned you....

Also, Nintendo should make a giant poster/banner out of JoshuaJSlone's tag + sales chart, and put it up everywhere.

"WE'VE MADE MORE CONSOLES THAN ANYONE EVER IN THEIR FIRST YEAR, AND YOU WANT US TO MAKE DOUBLE THAT?"

>_<
 

fernoca

Member
FlightOfHeaven said:
Reggie warned you....

Also, Nintendo should make a giant poster/banner out of JoshuaJSlone's tag + sales chart, and put it up everywhere.

"WE'VE MADE MORE CONSOLES THAN ANYONE EVER IN THEIR FIRST YEAR, AND YOU WANT US TO MAKE DOUBLE THAT?"

>_<
Exactly..
And the fact that Super Smash Bros. Brawl is coming in under 2 months in the US (next month in Japan)..is not like demand is going to slowdown...
 

Gahiggidy

My aunt & uncle run a Mom & Pop store, "The Gamecube Hut", and sold 80k WiiU within minutes of opening.
I fully expect Wii to remain at 500k+ right on-through Q1. And then Wii Fit hits North America... (my knees tremble at the thought.)
 

johnsmith

remember me
God damn it. Anybody who is still saying they're generating artificial shortages needs to be shot for pure stupidity.
 

SRG01

Member
They really need to establish manufacturing contracts more aggressively.

Sure, there's room for conservatism in business, but Nintendo, now is not the time to do it.
 
Sharp said:
Should have tried searching in August or so, I think they were at least somewhat more available at the time. With the holiday season upon us, though, good luck getting one. Nintendo really should have manufactured more. Like, once again as many more.


I was thinking about that. Should have tried Summer.


And then I remembered they were also sold out.

Lining up for 8 hours last year was a good decision on my side.
 
I'll admit it, I laugh at people coming in the electronics dept. asking me for a Wii at 10pm... the sheer stupidity just makes me laugh. But damn, they really need to make a lot more. We get 50 plus calls a day asking for Wiis.




mj1108 said:
That would take care of half of GAF.
Well, I do think they were doing that early on, but now the demand they created is so high they can't keep up.
 

Gahiggidy

My aunt & uncle run a Mom & Pop store, "The Gamecube Hut", and sold 80k WiiU within minutes of opening.
BlackGoku03 said:
I'll admit it, I laugh at people coming in the electronics dept. asking me for a Wii at 10pm... the sheer stupidity just makes me laugh. But damn, they really need to make a lot more. We get 50 plus calls a day asking for Wiis.





Well, I do think they were doing that early on, but now the demand they created is so high they can't keep up.
Laughing at a customer is still pretty rude. (what chain do you work for?)
 
I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to be able to play Mario Galaxy at my home whenever I want to without actually having to buy a Wii.

I will solve this equation.
 
Jesus man, these people are idiots. It's not that hard to find a Wii. They make it sound like they're looking for a ghost orchid.

+5 for anyone who gets that last reference.
 

Tristam

Member
fistfulofmetal said:
I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to be able to play Mario Galaxy at my home whenever I want to without actually having to buy a Wii.

I will solve this equation.

Borrow one? :p

EDIT: Ah, whenever you want. Well that qualifier does make the problem rather difficult!

Steal one?
 

Hero

Member
If I still worked retail I would laugh at people too. If you knew your kids needed one for Christmas maybe you should've bought it during the slower summer months.
 

drohne

hyperbolically metafictive
that headline is almost in iambic quadrameter

a year later, the same old scene:
long lines for the elusive wii.
games it has none, but games have been
replaced with gimmick novelty.

there you go
 

Sharp

Member
drohne said:
that headline is almost in iambic quadrameter

a year later, the same old scene:
long lines for the elusive wii

there you go
I think the "long" is stressed though, which throws the whole thing off.
 
Hero said:
If I still worked retail I would laugh at people too. If you knew your kids needed one for Christmas maybe you should've bought it during the slower summer months.

Normal people don't have any clue as to why Nintendo can't make enough of these things.
 

drohne

hyperbolically metafictive
Sharp said:
I think the "long" is stressed though, which throws the whole thing off.

a few metrical irregularities never did a poem any harm

my total lack of talent is known to do poems harm, but that's a different matter
 
Gahiggidy said:
Laughing at a customer is still pretty rude. (what chain do you work for?)
I don't laugh in front of them, although I do smirk. I take that back, I have laughed at them when they get angry at me when I tell them we don't have any. They want me to search the back like it's some magical place where items that are sold out on the floor are kept.

These assholes know better. They know better than to expect a Wii at 10, 11pm at night.

We had 23 of them last week and once they got on the floor, they sold out within 40 minutes.

I work for the wonderful Wal-Mart.
 

sphinx

the piano man
something that nobody ever mentions in these wii threads:

Nintendo came into this generation from the freaking gamecube, their worst selling home console EVER, their biggest shame. How the hell were they supposed to know that people would go insane for the Wii?

I am sure they thought people had completely forgotten them in favor of the playstation consoles but to their surprise, people never forgot them, they just waited til they produced a console that didn't suck, ( or an interesting one ).
 
sphinx said:
something that nobody ever mentions in these wii threads:

Nintendo came into this generation from the freaking gamecube, their worst selling home console EVER, their biggest shame. How the hell were they supposed to know that people would go insane for the Wii?

I am sure they thought people had completely forgotten them in favor of the playstation consoles but to their surprise, people never forgot them, they just waited til they produced a console that didn't suck, ( or an interesting one ).
They should have known they needed to dramatically increase manufactoring consoles a long time ago.

They're losing a lot of money this season by not meeting demand... they had all year to prepare.
 
BlackGoku03 said:
They should have known they needed to dramatically increase manufactoring consoles a long time ago.

They're losing a lot of money this season by not meeting demand... they had all year to prepare.
And yet they're already producing them at well 2x what Sony did for the PS2 in it's second year.

If they managed to produce 2.8 million for Nov and Dec you'd likely still have this article, with the same people bitching about no stock.

Hell Nintendo's shipping/selling more Wii's monthly then Sony and MS are producing quarterly.
 
Thunder Monkey said:
And yet they're already producing them at well 2x what Sony did for the PS2 in it's second year.

If they managed to produce 2.8 million for Nov and Dec you'd likely still have this article, with the same people bitching about no stock.

Hell Nintendo's shipping/selling more Wii's monthly then Sony and MS are producing quarterly.
Nobody is comparing the Wii to the PS2 or the PS3/360. At least not in this thread. Also, if Nintendo did produce 2.8 million for both December and November, you're right, it would still sell out. However, (and this is my point) they would not be losing out on sales because we all know they aren't going to produce that many for Nov/Dec.

Like I said, they should have been preparing for this for a long time now. Meeting demand will garner more money than not meeting demand. Plus it will save me from having to fucking repeat myself 50 to 60 times a day. "No, we don't have any Wii's in." Then they ask, "Well, when will you get them in? Can I buy one now over the phone? How about if I come in and buy one before it gets there?" ... "Sigh."
 
BlackGoku03 said:
Nobody is comparing the Wii to the PS2 or the PS3/360. At least not in this thread. Also, if Nintendo did produce 2.8 million for both December and November, you're right, it would still sell out. However, (and this is my point) they would not be losing out on sales because we all know they aren't going to produce that many for Nov/Dec.

Like I said, they should have been preparing for this for a long time now. Meeting demand will garner more money than not meeting demand. Plus it will save me from having to fucking repeat myself 50 to 60 times a day. "No, we don't have any Wii's in." Then they ask, "Well, when will you get them in? Can I buy one now over the phone? How about if I come in and buy one before it gets there?" ... "Sigh."
My point was by any other consoles metric they are shipping more then enough. Demand is Nintendo's merry problem, but it's little more then a merry problem.

It's not like those Wii sales will go anywhere else.

Might drive you insane though in the interim.
 

andthebeatgoeson

Junior Member
BlackGoku03 said:
Nobody is comparing the Wii to the PS2 or the PS3/360. At least not in this thread. Also, if Nintendo did produce 2.8 million for both December and November, you're right, it would still sell out. However, (and this is my point) they would not be losing out on sales because we all know they aren't going to produce that many for Nov/Dec.

Like I said, they should have been preparing for this for a long time now. Meeting demand will garner more money than not meeting demand. Plus it will save me from having to fucking repeat myself 50 to 60 times a day. "No, we don't have any Wii's in." Then they ask, "Well, when will you get them in? Can I buy one now over the phone? How about if I come in and buy one before it gets there?" ... "Sigh."
But how can you make reasonable expectations of sales w/o comparing it previous data? You wanted them to have come up with a random number? 2.8 million is insane and you yourself state they probably still couldn't have fulfilled the need? The demand is overexcessive and nothing short of 4 million would be enough to satisfy demand.

And the evidence that you guys get 50-60 calls a day, WORKING AT A STORE SELLING THESE THINGS? 1, isn't that your job? 2, maybe it's the same 100 people going crazy trying to find these things, unable to camp at Best Buy on Sunday.
 
Thunder Monkey said:
My point was by any other consoles metric they are shipping more then enough. Demand is Nintendo's merry problem, but it's little more then a merry problem.

It's not like those Wii sales will go anywhere else.

Might drive you insane though in the interim.
I know, and I never fully expected Nintendo to ship more than it did this November. It's staggering, but what's more staggering is that they could sell more.

I think they are losing sales but not by much. Parents have to have something for Christmas. I see a lot of people opt for a 360 or PS3 or a PS2 if they can't get a Wii. Actually, they normally go for the DS if they can't get a Wii.

And yeah... it's pretty maddening.


skinnyrattler said:
But how can you make reasonable expectations of sales w/o comparing it previous data? You wanted them to have come up with a random number? 2.8 million is insane and you yourself state they probably still couldn't have fulfilled the need? The demand is overexcessive and nothing short of 4 million would be enough to satisfy demand.
The first six months should be apparent. Nintendo has sold out whatever they put out all year long. Tell me, what else should they be looking for? This is no surprise that the Wii is hot shit this season. Everyone, including Nintendo knew that half a year ago, so why was nothing done to manufacture more Wiis? What's the hold up?

My point is, and I don't know why you missed it, that they could be earning more. Around a billion dollars more to be exact, as the article says. What's your beef?

And the evidence that you guys get 50-60 calls a day, WORKING AT A STORE SELLING THESE THINGS? 1, isn't that your job? 2, maybe it's the same 100 people going crazy trying to find these things, unable to camp at Best Buy on Sunday.
We don't have a Best Buy here. Or a Circuit City. Or a TRU.

But, oh, since it's my job I guess that's okay. I have no right to be upset or annoyed. Thanks for letting me know. :)
 
I do think that the shortages are artificial, or at least purposeful. One of the biggest questions people have raised about the Wii is exactly what kind of lifespan we can expect from the thing. It'll be much harder for it to fizzle out if the demand is kept high for years on end.
 

SovanJedi

provides useful feedback
Oh good lord, here come the crazies.

As for losing 1 billion in profits, I don't think Nintendo particularly care about that. They were nearly at their highest grossing fiscal year EVER in terms of profits in August-September ish. Now it's just great big dollops of icing on their giant cake.
 

AlternativeUlster

Absolutely pathetic part deux
Wouldn't it cost a lot more money to ramp up production and then after the Wii stops selling like bags of potatoes on Gravy Island to slow them back down?
 
AlternativeUlster said:
Wouldn't it cost a lot more money to ramp up production and then after the Wii stops selling like bags of potatoes on Gravy Island to slow them back down?
Yes it would, but you have to remember we are talking about Americans here... we don't tend to think things through.

See: The presidency of a business failure.
 

MrSardonic

The nerdiest nerd of all the nerds in nerdland
SovanJedi said:
As for losing 1 billion in profits, I don't think Nintendo particularly care about that.

To quote you:

SovanJedi said:
Oh good lord, here come the crazies.

It's over $1bn in turnover that they have potentially lost in the US alone, and yes, any business will care about missing out on that. Only a complete cretin would seriously claim otherwise.

felipeko said:
It's not like those same people who don't buy a Wii now will pass on Wii Fit later...

Many people will purchase substitute items. Nintendo had a year to sort out their supply and they've fucked up if they are only making 50% of their potential Christmas sales in the US and have been out of stock in the UK since end of November.

The current situation highlights the error that Nintendo made. Either they should have made more effective efforts to increase supply while the buzz and demand is at fever pitch or they should have launched the console at a higher price. Either idea seemed ridiculous before launch and since you can't just raise the RRP price of an electronic good they had to sort out their supply issues.

It's not the end of the world because they are rolling in money and good press/world of mouth, but it is a major blunder that exceeds the blunder they made with DSL supply.
 

Borys

Banned
MrSardonic said:
To quote you:

It's over $1bn in turnover that they have potentially lost in the US alone, and yes, any business will care about missing out on that. Only a complete cretin would seriously claim otherwise.

Many people will purchase substitute items. Nintendo had a year to sort out their supply and they've fucked up if they are only making 50% of their potential Christmas sales in the US and have been out of stock in the UK since end of November.

The current situation highlights the error that Nintendo made. Either they should have made more effective efforts to increase supply while the buzz and demand is at fever pitch or they should have launched the console at a higher price. Either idea seemed ridiculous before launch and since you can't just raise the RRP price of an electronic good they had to sort out their supply issues.

It's not the end of the world because they are rolling in money and good press/world of mouth, but it is a major blunder that exceeds the blunder they made with DSL supply.

Yup and if I were the Head Logistic or Head Production Manager at Nintendo I would be shitting my pants now.
 

Lobster

Banned
Pachael said:
Yeah, there's a whole bunch of Wiis here.

There a whole bunch of everything here. Might not be any Wiis left after holidays though..Nintendos looking at a repeat of launch week.

Australian Market has grown pretty significantly! We kind of matter when it comes to PAL sales now!
 
Borys said:
Yup and if I were the Head Logistic or Head Production Manager at Nintendo I would be shitting my pants now.
He's probably reading this post right now thinking...

"What the hell could I do?" "We've gotten production at nearing 2 million freaking units a month within the first year!" "We've increased production three times since March and it still wasn't enough!"

*blows his brains out*

I hope you realize what you've done Borys.

It'll be months before they have someone qualified to take care of this unprecedented demand. You've setback Wii production by months. Now those 3 million they were making for the USofA are going to be shipped to Japan.

For shame.
 
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