With Wii U hype now in full motion its become quite clear that the console is going to be on a lot of wish lists this holiday season, currently there are rumors all around the industry that the Wii U will face significant shortages with their product. If Nintendo cannot sufficiently offer enough supply to meet demand, would Microsoft and Sony benefit in the sales department this holiday season?
Typically when a new console launches it’s the hardcore and techie’s that are first to line up, say what you will about the Wii or any other Nintendo console, it’s always the hardcore fan-base that camps out for new hardware. I was one of the ones that had to camp out in front of the now defunct Circuit City all night so that I could hoist Nintendo’s Revolution…I mean Wii high in the air, I even escorted an elderly couple to their car because they camped out as well, there had been recent attacks in parking lots for the highly sought after console, so I figured it’d be better safe than sorry. It was definitely an interesting and fun experience, but I had hoped to avoid staying up all night when the next console cycle kicked off, so I was quick to head to my local game store and pre-order a Wii U as soon as the price and launch date were announced.
The Wii U quickly ran out of available pre-orders both online and in the stores, I actually saw one game store employee laugh at someone who came in and asked if there were still any Wii U’s left to pre-order. Hardware launches are always filled with hype, hope and great expectations, and this one is no different, I really believe that people are starving for something, anything new and exciting to play games on. The one problem that might show its ugly head is lack of supply to actually meet the demand. Rumors are flying around the internet that Nintendo only has 300,000 units allotted for its North American launch, if that truly is the case there is going to be a lot of disappointed people come the holidays. I remember original Wii’s going for $1500 on Ebay because people wanted it so very badly, the Wii U could easily end up in the same boat. I know people who would pre-order one from one game store and then go pre-order one at Wal-Mart or K-Mart, they will keep one for themselves and one will go right up on Ebay.
We don’t actually know if there is any truth to the hardware shortage, we might even end up getting a second round of pre-orders, but it begs the question, why wouldn’t Nintendo have enough supply to meet the demand? This seems like a problem with every console launch, I sometimes wonder if these companies actually want to make money or not? Why release a new console if you can’t meet the demand for it? I understand trying to create hype and you want to get people to believe that there will be limited numbers to cause a rush, but actually limiting the supply doesn’t make sense to me at all, hardware launches are typically the best chance you’ll have at selling a high amount of consoles, especially this next generation because the current one has lasted so very,very long. I would hope that these rumors turn out to be false, but we have heard of fires in Nintendo production factories and that could actually still production quite a lot.
On the other hand, one companies misfortune is another companies fortune, both Microsoft and Sony could see sales spikes this holiday if the Wii U has supply issues, that isn’t to say that everyone who wanted a Wii u and couldn’t get one will buy a PS3 or Xbox 360 instead, surely a good portion of gamer’s who were going to buy a Wii U already have a PS3 and Xbox 360. If kids put it on their wish lists and parents can’t find one, those would be the types to buy something else because they wouldn’t really understand the difference or the reasoning behind their children wanting the newest and greatest thing, as opposed to something that has been on the market for six or seven years already. When Black Friday 2011 rolled around the Xbox 360 had its best single day ever, it sold around one million units and the Kinect also sold nearly a million, and that was on a single day. I can imagine both Sony and Microsoft will have plenty of bundles ready for the holiday rush, though I wouldn’t expect a year like last year, it should still be pretty solid, and lack of Wii U’s could make it a great year for Sony and Microsoft. Sony has its new slimmer slim PS3, and the Xbox 360 has one of the biggest games of the year with Halo 4 coming out in November. If somehow it turns out Nintendo has more stock than is rumored, it could still be a great year for Sony and Microsoft because I don’t foresee Nintendo having more than 900,000 thousand Wii U’s, and the demand is going to be above and beyond that mark.
There is going to be the obvious holiday rush, it’s the reason so many companies put their new products out in the October and November months, people are willing to spend and buy gifts for their family and friends. Even though the PS3 and Xbox 360 have seen market saturation, they can still pull off one last fantastic year, but a lot of it depends on if Nintendo has learned from past mistakes and planned accordingly. We’d like to know what you think though, if you can’t find a Wii U this holiday season, will you be picking up an Xbox 360/ Kinect or a PlayStation 3? Sound off in the comment section below.