Wii'll be back! Nintendo promises more Wii and Wii Fit soon
Why is this girl smiling?
The popularity of Wii Fit is making retail supplies of the Wii console as thin as a supermodel. So the little lady at the right may be psyched because she actually has one.
Demand for the new fitness game has spurred thousands to buy the Wii, Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America, told me today. "We are back to a significant out-of-stock situation on Wii hardware," he said.
But wait -- more are on the way. The Japanese game company recently began ramping up its output of Wii consoles, to 2.4 million units a month from 1.8 million. That's the fourth production increase since the console launched in November 2006. The increased supply is just now starting to trickle into retail pipelines, Fils-Aime said. But the factories won't hum at full capacity until later this summer, he said.
"Currently, demand is higher than supply, but we believe we'll soon get back to a more balanced situation," Fils-Aime said. Balanced. Ba dum bum.
Having consumers clamoring for your product is a good problem to have in these uncertain economic times. Nintendo's fortunes in this regard extend to its other properties. It snagged two out of the top 3 best-selling games in May, according to NPD Group figures released this afternoon. After the No. 1 selling Grand Theft Auto IV, Nintendo's Mario Kart raced in at No. 2 and Wii Fit claimed the No. 3 spot, according to the research firm.
Nintendo also sold 452,600 Dual Screen hand-held consoles in May, bringing total U.S. sales of the device to 20 million, according to NPD.
The firm also revealed that the game industry generated $6.6 billion in U.S. sales this year through May, 32% more than it did last year during the same period, NPD analyst Anita Frazier said. "The industry is on pace to achieve revenue in the range of $21 billion to $23 billion in 2008," she said.
Also according to the NPD report mailed out this afternoon to reporters: Sony's PlayStation 3 outsold Microsoft's Xbox 360 in the U.S. in May -- 208,700 to 186,600, respectively. Despite its supply constraints, Nintendo still managed to sell 675,100 Wii's in May.
Are troubles getting the Wii making you fit to be tied? Tell us about it in the comment box below.
-- Alex Pham
Photo courtesy of Nintendo