Make us your home page
Instagram

Demand for Nintendo Wii red hot, growing

More than a year after its debut, the Nintendo Wii continues to fly off the shelves, courting anxious lines outside stores every time a new shipment lands.

The scene was repeated Sunday as Tampa Bay area retailers got a fresh batch of the sought-after game consoles, fast approaching the 25-million mark in worldwide unit sales. At the Best Buy store on Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa, more than 20 game buffs waited before the store opened its shutters Sunday.

"When we get them they are usually gone within a day," said Heather Brenemen, a manager at the Clearwater Super Target on Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard. The store, too, got a new shipment in on Sunday, but the game consoles were sold out by Monday afternoon.

It's a trend that industry experts notice nationwide.

"Sometimes they stay on the shelves for an hour or two," said Jim Barry, spokesman for the Consumer Electronics Association

Barry says that there's talk in the market about a "manufactured shortage" by Wii's maker, Japan-based Nintendo. But, the video game giant is probably overwhelmed by the demand onslaught for the toy, he said.

More than 720,000 Wiis were sold in March in the United States alone. That's more than the combined sales of rival Microsoft's XBox 360 and Sony's Playstation 3. And Nintendo continues to sell the Wii at the firm debut price of $249.99, even as competitors slash their price tags to bump sales.

The seventh generation game system distinguishes itself from its rivals by its wireless controller, and the handheld pointing device called the Wii Remote. The console allows players to indulge in innovative game play, physically acting out their moves instead of fiddling with keys and joysticks.

What's also worked in the Wii's favor is its revolutionary strategy to market it to a wider demographic, experts said. Teenagers want it, but so do moms, dads and grandparents.

The demand is driven by the variety of elements that the console offers, said Britt Beemer, chairman of America's Research Group, a consumer behavior research and strategic marketing firm. Consumers are using it for entertainment, exercise, family activity or just quenching their gaming thirst.

"It's a high-demand, hard-to-find item," Beemer said.

And it will probably continue to be that way until the summer.

"We think supply and demand will be in balance by July or August because of increased production," said Michael Pachter, a research analyst with California-based Wedbush Morgan Securities.

Nintendo reached that critical balance in Japan before Christmas and in Europe in February. The weakening dollar killed any incentive to flood the U.S. market with the consoles, Pachter said.

So, Wii fans, keep the faith. If you've been dying to own one, but can't get your hands on one, your wait may soon be over.

Madhusmita Bora can be reached at mbora@sptimes.com
or (813) 225-3112

How to snag the elusive Wii?

• If you are willing to pay a premium, shop around at eBay.com and amazon.com.

•Keep tabs on the retail giants in your area such as Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Circuit City. Call regularly to find out when the next shipment arrives.

• Look for advertisements in the Sunday paper.

• Line up early once you know your target store.

• Check craigslist, and nintendowiifinder and weebly.com.

Demand for Nintendo Wii red hot, growing 04/28/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 1:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  2. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood

    Business

    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  3. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa

    Business

    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  4. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county

    Water

    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.
  5. Honda denies covering up dangers of Takata air bags

    Autos

    With just a third of the defective Takata air bag inflators replaced nationwide, the corporate blame game of who will take responsibility — and pay — for the issue has shifted into another gear.

    Honda is denying covering up dangers of Takata air bags. | [Scott McIntyre, New York Times]