Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime has said he doesn’t feel threatened by the recent release of Halo 3, and that once again Nintendo won’t be able to meet demand for its Wii console over this year’s Christmas season.
Speaking in an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, Fils-Aime said he didn’t expect Halo 3 to move a significant number of new consoles for Microsoft because the game itself isn’t innovative enough to attractive new gamers. “I think that the Halo 3 consumer already has the hardware, because [they’re] playing BioShock and Crackdown and a variety of games that are, in the end, quite similar: First-person shooter experience, multiplayer capable online. Tell me what’s new?” he said. Referring to Nintendo’s software mix, he said, “I am fortunate to have a series of [games] that are all going to drive substantial sales for me and are all targeted to different parts of the consumer mix.”
Unfortunately for potential buyers, those sales may once again be limited by supply, which Fils-Aime claims is a question of underestimating demand rather than lack of production capability. “The issue is not a lack of production. The issue is we went in with a curve that was aggressive, but the demand has been substantially more than that. And the ability to ramp up production and to sustain it is not a switch that you flick on,” he said.
“We’re working very hard to make sure that consumers are satisfied this holiday, but I can’t guarantee that we’re going to meet demand,” he continued. “As a matter of fact, I can tell you on the record we won’t.”
Fils-Aime suggested holiday shoppers should keep their eyes on a wide range of retailers in order to increase their odds of getting a Wii for Christmas, and that they should check back often for new shipments. “We’re going to flow hardware,” he said. “It’s not that it’s going to show up only on one occasion. It’s going to be flowing in.
“The only other pragmatic advice is that we’re aware of the situation, and we’re working very hard to address it. Believe me, I’m constantly pushing for more capacity and more volume.”