Speaking to Wired.com yesterday, Fils-Aime claimed that Wii systems spend an average of only an hour on store shelves before they're purchased, a consequence of the fact that the system remains in high demand and extremely short supply well over a year after its release. "We are passionately upset about the lack of product relative to demand," he said, but claimed that Nintendo of America can do little beyond reminding its Japanese parent company of the "missed opportunities" caused by the lack of product.
He also pointed out that the North American market receives around 40 percent of the 1.8 million Wii systems produced by Nintendo each month; despite that fact, the seemingly endless supply shortage is strictly a North American phenomenon, as the console is readily available for purchase in Europe and Japan.
Runaway demand for Nintendo's hit console has resulted in ongoing supply shortages since it's launch in late 2006. In April 2007, IDC analyst Billy Pidgeon predicted the Wii would continue to experience strong growth, but that he expected Nintendo's supply difficulties to last until 2009.