Wii shortages 03.16.2007

With the amount of posts I have on the Wii, I should just call this David’s Wii Blog. But it’s an interesting console — the most interesting of the new generation — and it’s simply so, so, so gratifying to see Nintendo flying at the top again. It’s been a long time coming after the N64 and Gamecube floundered away Nintendo’s reign and let Sony take the crown 1.

I gleefully met the latest NPD numbers released recently. Basically, for the month of February:

Nintendo DS 485,149
Wii 335,324
PlayStation 2 295,102
Xbox 360 228,225
PlayStation Portable 175,651
Game Boy Advance 135,887
PlayStation 3 127,321
GameCube 23,844
Xbox 480

I’m not going to do an in-depth analysis of the numbers, but really, they should speak for themselves. Nintendo isn’t quite at the Sony level of domination yet with regards to numbers (at least, outside of the hand-held gaming space), but it’s impressive.

But there is one big grey cloud2 on the horizon for Ninendo, and that’s the fact that demand is still outstripping supply. There’s a very real risk of people becoming disgruntled with the current supply situation and simply giving up.

This is where I think the Wii’s price point becomes a key factor is helping to alleviate the problem.

$250 is right at the outer edges of an impulse buy. Once supply starts to build up, then a person who may have been previously interested in the Wii will see one sitting on the shelves and think, “Self, I wanted a Wii. I should get one now!”

  1. My opinion on the affects of the PS1 and PS2 domination is fairly ambivalent. There are a fair number of things that Sony did right with the PS1 and PS2, but there’re also a fair number of things that Sony did wrong.
  2. The other big issue on the horizon for the Wii is the attach rate of games. Casual gamers and your proverbial “gaming grandma” may be perfectly happy and willing to play Wii Sports for the entire lifetime of the Wii.