Cause / Effect

Well, if there wasn’t a shortage before, there sure will be one now. I can just imagine the Nintendo PR people writing their releases, saying ‘gosh, yes, that’s terrible – we’re doing everything we can’ with a straight face. The question is, what’s more likely to cause festive-season related injuries: Wii Sports, or deranged parents battling each other at Woolworths to secure a copy of it?

Posted Wednesday, November 14th, 2007 under gaming.


  1. Thing is, the artificial scarcity tactic only works if your product isn’t actually scarce at all. See “Tickle Me Elmo”:

    Alice: “Hey Bob, do we really only have 10 of these things to sell to the 5000 crazed shoppers baying for blood out there at 4am?”

    Bob: “Hah, oh hell no, we’ve got a boat load of them. Most of these people are only buying one because they’ve been told they might not be able to buy one. They’ll feel like heroes when they all stagger out of here clutching that toy.”

    Alice: “That makes no sense.”

    Bob: “It helps if you don’t think about it. Picture our soon-to-be vast mountain of cash instead.”

    I dunno if that trick works for Nintendo since it’s already impossible to buy a Wii. I’ve been trying for 2 weeks, and nowhere in Guildford will deign to sell me one. (Well, actually, HMV said they maybe had one or two, but only if I bought it packaged with 4 games and an SD card for some huge price. I thought about it, but then realised that there aren’t actually 4 games I want on the console, and the staff just didn’t understand my argument of “I only want it so I can play Mario Galaxy!”)

    This thing’s been out for more than a year, and they’ve still not worked out how to build them at a reasonable rate. Those headlines look impressive until you realise that they’re not actually experiencing some unimaginable level of demand. The PS2 in its prime sold far, far faster than the Wii is now.

    *Ahem* I’ll stop now. It’s sort of frustrating, I have a lot that I’d like to write about the Wii, but since I now accidentally work for the competition it’s totally impossible to appear objective about it all (and also quite tricky to work past the “I wonder if I could get fired for writing that” factor.)

  2. I thought I’d seen them available (in limited numbers) around Edinburgh, but quite possibly bundled with unnecessary things as you say. Regarding ramping supply chains, you would imagine it’s something Nintendo, or their manufacturing partners should be able to figure out – take one GameCube, take another GameCube, take some glue…

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