According to GameStop, it's still not going to be easy to find a PS3 or Wii for the next couple of months.
On an investor conference call this week, GameStop Executive VP of Merchandising Tony Bartel said that he doesn't expect the current shortage of Wii and PlayStation 3 consoles to end until possibly close to summer. While PS3 sales are actually up over the same period in 2009, Wii sales are down and consumers are having trouble finding both in stores.
Talking about the current shortages, Bartel said: "Obviously it's a question we ask the platform holders constantly. I can tell you that we do anticipate we will be in this situation, at least with the PlayStation 3, for another couple months unfortunately because we could sell a lot more hardware than what we have on both the PS3 and Wii platform."
The Wii sold around 350,000 fewer consoles in February 2010 than it did in February 2009. Though PS3 sales are stronger, demand may be higher than supply is able to meet, with big titles like Heavy Rain, God of War III, and Final Fantasy XIII released already this year.
"We do believe the Wii will come into stock quicker than the PS3, so we do anticipate that those shortages should abate sometime before the next couple months," Bartel continued. "But I don't have clarity as to why there is a shortage other than because of the unprecedented hardware demand in December, and I think we are still scrambling to catch up from the surge that occurred."
The Nintendo Wii sold nearly 4 million consoles in December 2009 alone according to NPD data, and 1.26 million in November, which may have caused the current supply issue. There has also been a tight supply on Wii accessories such as Wii Remotes and Nintendo titles such as Wii Fit Plus. The PS3 shortage appears to be more of a mystery if unanticipated demand is not the issue. The Xbox 360 may be the only console readily available, as it beat out both the PlayStation 3 and Wii in sales for February 2010, and Microsoft also recently began distributing Halo 3: ODST and Forza 3 as a pack-in with the Elite model.
Perhaps Microsoft wants to get rid of all its stock before the Xbox 360 Slim arrives.