Nintendo Warns of Continued Wii Shortages

Nintendo’s Perrin Kaplan, vice-president of marketing and corporate affairs, has warned that shortages of the Wii console may continue for “some time.”

Speaking via podcast on the Game Theory site, Kaplan stated, “We are at absolute maximum production and doing everything we can. The number of units that we have been able to produce has far exceeded our hardware production in the past and the production levels of a lot of our competitors but demand continues to be really high.”

Nintendo had set a target of six million Wii consoles sold by the end of March, and announced last week that this target had been met, and was in fact limited by available supply, rather than consumer demand. “Merchandise does not move in the January/March quarter,” said Nintendo spokesman Yasuhiro Minagawa, “but somehow ours did.”

The overwhelming demand for the console, along with the Nintendo DS portable gaming system, allowed the company to raise its sales and profit forecasts for a fourth time this fiscal year. Unfortunately, such fantastic sales have left it virtually unavailable in North America, Europe and Japan.

Kaplan said, “There is a lot going on behind the scenes in terms of working on what we are producing and the numbers continue to rise but the product is so very popular that we may see the situation last for some time.” In spite of these difficulties, Nintendo’s stock has almost doubled over the past year, and rose another 2.1% following the revised forecasts.

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