back to article Nintendo sounds Wii-free Xmas warning

If you’re hoping for a Wii from Santa’s sack this Christmas, don’t get your hopes up, Nintendo has said. The console company today warned that there could be a worldwide shortage of its console this holiday season. Despite the company already disappointing Wii fans by confirming that DVD support won’t be ready for the console …


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  1. Spleen

    Ho ho ho

    It is in a company's interest to see that the market clears, i.e. that it sells a unit to every single customer that's willing to pay the price it demands. If customers turn up with cash in hand but they've got none left, there are three possible explanations:

    1) The supply can't possibly be expanded to meet demand. In today's world this can only apply to the few goods that can only be made properly by artists or craftsmen. A Wii is a generic electronic good that can be churned out by factories all over the world. Forget this.

    2) Nintendo are too incompetent to work out how many Wiis are going to be bought. They've been one of the leading console manufacturers since the NES, and have successfully kept with the times even as Sega et al have fallen by the wayside. Not a chance.

    3) It's a marketing ploy to sell more Wiis to panicking parents and others convinced that they've got to buy this now or it'll be too late. If there is a shortage at Christmas it will magically disappear as people flock back in to the stores in January on the back of great publicity shots of snaking queues and fighting housewives. And it's a ploy which lazy/gullible hacks are only too willing to support. Yep, sounds right.

  2. Chad H.

    I know where you can get one..

    But it will cost you......

    *Raises Pinky toward mouth*

    one MILLLION dollars!

  3. Chris Wood

    Get them from Germany

    I know quite a few people who have ordered Wiis from the German Amazon site and had them shipped to the UK. They seem to have less problem with stock shortages over there.

    I think the only downside is that you'll need an adapter for the plug.

  4. Chris Morrison


    It's amazing when you think back 2 yeas to Nintendo being a company that had all but died. The PS and PS2 had wiped the floor with them and they were way behind in technology and development.

    I've been a nintendo fan since my NES and Game Boy back in the 80's but I really thought they would have gone to the wall in the last 5 years.

    Now they have the worst console out technologically yet they are still outselling everything. I love my Wii, gone are my MMRPOGs where I go about shooting everything in is a bit of brain training or cow racing against the wife.

    ...Damn I'm getting old but the one thing no one can disagree with, the Wii is a heck of a lot of fun.


  5. SteveM

    Wii availability

    If you're interested, currently have Wii consoles in stock. No, I don't work for them :)

  6. Andrew Bolton
    Thumb Down

    Buy early. Yeah, in August.

    There is loads of discussion on various forums about the Wii shortage. I got mine earlier this year when there was reasonable availability. Any Wiis for sale are quickly snapped up by ebay profiteers, where basic Wiis are going for £300 now. Interestingly, there is apparently decent stock in Europe, with Spain reportedly awash. However, both and are now stopping some shipments of Wii's to UK addresses, despite them having stock and this being a violation of European open market law (isn't it?). I'll leave that one up to el Reg to investigate...


  7. Chris Paulson

    Can confirm this

    Have tried to get one for daughters xmas present and found they are like rocking horse do do.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vive la France

    I recently ordered a Wii Sport from They have plenty in stock, it costs only €6 for delivery, and mine came within a week. It's exactly the same as the UK version (except for the plug) and the total cost is €250 or £175.

    Or you could go onto Ebay and pay £300.

    Vive la France!

  9. Rax

    Find your Wii

    I went to 2 weeks ago and within a week I found my Wii console from Amazon, but I must warn you, you gotta be fast at the checkout!

  10. censored

    Currently available from... (easy enough to work out the German), and are apparently piled high in hypermarkets just the other side of the Channel.

    Stock up on Christmas booze while you're over there!

  11. Martin Ohr

    look harder if you want a wii

    wii's are out there if you look, I managed to obtain one from Milton Keynes argos yesterday as I was passing minutes after the delivery arrived. However I'd already found them in plentiful supply on amazon france and germany, french supermarket chain Auchan definitely has them as do all the major retailers in holland (according to my sister) the european price is a healthy 250euros making a trip to the continent by budget flight or ferry a possible cost effective option.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Well so much for it being a fad

    I bet Microsoft and SONY would die to have the sales that the WII is notching up.

    I think there is also a large number of Tech commentators, that should be eating a large dose of humble pie!!!!

    Not only do they make money on the hardware they do so on the software, and they sell most of the software for their hardware!!

    I guess this is payback for no 3rd parties supporting the gamecube! bey they'd wish they stuck to it and had the knowledge now to exploit the WII

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Plenty here...

    Wiis are still in stock (in shops and online) over here in The Netherlands.

    Sex, drugs, and christmas shopping weekend for Mum & Dad in Amsterdam?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    DVD support

    How on earth is lack of DVD support a disappointment to wii owners? Its a game console, not a 'home media hub' or some such gash. I own a wii and like I reckon 99% of other wii owners I already have a DVD player.

  15. Simon King
    Thumb Up

    Where from?, that's where!

    My work collegue has just bought 3 for friends and family. €250, plus delivery, and they're not making you buy 4 games like some unscrupulous retailers.

    Not a problem for me, I've had mine since launch...

  16. Gianni Straniero

    Hen's teeth

    I was lucky enough to get hold of the last Wii in Scotland about a month ago. Had to look up there because there weren't any available in London.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    It's easy to get hold of one

    I recently bought a Wii via Amazon Germany - took 5 days and cost just under £180. No need to spend the stupid prices on ebay. All you need is a Euro-UK plug converter and you're away.

  18. Mark

    No Wii?

    C'mon, you're taking the piss...

  19. David Barrett


    Amazon Germany...

    They are still in stock at the moment!

  20. Karl Lattimer
    Thumb Up

    considering... ebay

    I'm considering selling my wii on ebay about 2-3 weeks before xmas, putting a reserve price of around £500 then buying a brand new one in the January sales :)

    Chances are you'll sell at that price, parents a effing nuts when it comes to stuff like this, and will pony up the lease for their house if it makes their kids xmas day.

  21. Luke Wells

    hardly out of stock yet

    Unless there has been a mad rush on Monday, they are not at all hard to find. I was in town last weekend (which is a change from my normal buy everything online attitude) and I lost count of the shops that had Wii in stock NOW signs in their windows.

    I also went into Gamestation which had at least 6 Wii boxes on the shelves with "In stock and ready to take home today" signs up. The price was usual retail value.with no extra markup.

  22. Anonymous Coward

    I think some are coming online at...

    I know someone that works at Ebuyer and he said they are putting some online later this week

  23. David Gosnell


    Seems that Argos will take orders if you ask in-store. We need a replacement, and they said there's a shipment due in tomorrow evening and have reserved the last one from it for us - and it sounds like the rest have been snapped up by first-time customers. Still some benefit from high-street stores vs the web, then, since the website really doesn't help at all if there's no current stock.

  24. Nick Roberts
    Thumb Down


    Dunno how you get Amazon to send one to the UK - they refuse when I try on either .de or .fr

  25. Neil Porter
    Thumb Down

    Cynical Marketing Ploy

    Go to Barcelona. Not 1 shop I went in last week were sold out and they all had plenty. This is either bad planning by Nintendo or deliberate.

    Won't somebody think about the children?

  26. Sampler

    German Wii

    Got mine from earlier in the year, the buttons are in the same places and when mouseovered the text in the status bar shows there english meaning (.asp with language skins are great) - believe I even used my UK account - though if they're stopping that now that kinda sucks.

    The whole thing (del. included) ended up cheaper than buying in a UK store - even a quality plug adaptor (couple of quid in maplins) still kept it under a UK retail price.

    Plugged it in, connected to my wifi and everythign worked a charm.

    Might try a bit of eBay profiteering then.

  27. Greg

    On the bright side

    Bugger. Knew I should have used that store credit with CeX to get a Wii for resale.

    There is a bright side for me, though. With everyone going mental over the Wii and iPhone, it's going to make it a piece of piss to get myself a Playstation 3 this November (though I'll probably get mine from America), just in time for Time Crisis 4.

    Aaaaahhhh, Time Crisis. Already got the other 5 on my PS2 (yes, 5 - there were 2 spin-offs) and I'll be damned if a little thing like the Atlantic Ocean is going to stop me having the 6th one.

    Brain Training, 1001 Mario games and Dragonball Z, or MGS, TC, Final Fantasy, and some proper games.


    I did have a cracking idea for a Wii game, though. Not Star Wars - that should have been out on release, FFS. Nope, I'm thinking Highlander. Bear with me. The Wiimote features an integral mic if I'm right, so here's what you do. Swordfighting etc, as you might imagine, but before you can kill another immortal you have to yell into the mic "THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!" I have these wonderful mental images of teenagers doing that in their bedroom at 1am and causing complete havoc. :-)

    Shouting into the Wiimote - the only way you can look more stupid playing a Wii.

    I'll get one eventually, I imagine. Just not yet, and certainly not at £280 from CeX! A 360 is about that price and a decent PS3 only £65 more!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's true

    Working for a major uk Wii distributor I've had to put my staff order on hold as the delivery we got the other week is already earmarked and us poor staff are right at the back of the queue :(

    On the other hand we have no supply problem for the xbox 360 in any flavour!

  29. John drake
    Thumb Up

    Wii Owners...

    own a wii put it on Ebay and get your money back 300%

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Strictly 1 per customer at 2 weeks ago, I ordered 3 on one order n 24hrs later had them in hand.

    All ready to go on ebay nearer xmas :)

    Chin chin

  31. Solomon Grundy


    In the States most any Costco store has the Wii in stock. Granted you've got to become a member but the price is right and the things have been in stock 100% since release.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    And counting...

    "one MILLLION dollars!"

    No, you're doing it all wrong. It's (takes breath) one mee-yluh dhollars! There's more lip action, it's special.

    I wonder where it came from originally. Thunderball has a SPECTRE meeting in which they talk about embezzling two and a bit million dollars of Chinese drugs in the US. I know the quote is specifically from Austin Powers, which was presumably a parody of the dialogue from Thunderball, but I wonder if there was a film in the 1960s that had "one million dollars" delivered in just that way.

    The most expensive plain Wii I could find on eBay was £374.98 including p&p, which is $769.11, which sounds even more awesome.

    I choose Paris Hilton as my avatar. She seems fit enough. Have her report to me in Istanbul in 24 hours.

  33. Max Fischer
    Thumb Down / loophole closed and are no longer shipping Wiis to the UK.

    I'd been on back order with a UK supplier for 10 days when they revealed they would not have any before Christmas so tried to buy one from yesterday. When a UK address is selected an error message appears stating:

    "Länder mit Versandbeschränkungen" ie. this country cannot be despatched to.

    Apparently this has happened before and the restrictions have been lifted sometimes, but with the stock shortages now I'd be surprised if this happens again.

    A personal peeve is UK retailers (and not ebay or marketplace sellers) marking up their stock so heavily at the moment. Micro Direct have been selling the entry level Wii sports package (usually £180) for £290. An absolute disgrace!

  34. Keith T

    Not really piss-poor service

    I know a couple of people working at different branches of Game .

    They both say that the demand for Wii's has been huge - if they got 10 in a day they'd sell 10 a day - almost everyone wants one.

    PS3's have been in stock since the launch and there's never any problems with stock of 360's.

    People seem to want the games that the Wiimote is designed for.

    But you first need a Wii to play them on.

    Is there another console that does boxing as well as the Wii?

    Games like football managers are best on other consoles or on PC's and those who want lurid graphics go elsewhere too.

    Gameplay v's graphics, horses for courses and all that.

    (but does anyone use their Wii for regular e-mails?)

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Got one...

    Well, go hold of one in a bundle with 4 extra games and some accessories for a lot less than ebay sellers are trying to punt the raw console for, so I'm happy - or rather the kids will be...

    But I can't believe how hard it's been for a year-old console with inferior graphics and less facilities. But then the sheer fun of the Wii is streets ahead of what the competition offer - never thought I would be hooked by a games console, but this one IS special.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Dutch connection...

    I'm an expat in The Netherlands, and I'll be heading back to the UK for Christmas.

    Should I seriously be thinking about loading the car up with Wii's for the trip? Is demand really so high in the UK?

    There doesn't seem to be a shortage in the shops here, and it's almost 'Sinterklaas' (that's when the Dutch kiddies get their presents, on December 5th).

  37. matchbx

    Got mine yesterday

    I walked into wally world yesterday to by my daughters b'day present and while I was there I noticed that they had just gotten in 10 or 15 units..... and they were going fast...

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We just got a wii from delivered to the UK for 248euros or about GBP180.

    All we had to do is buy a £2 eu to uk plug adapter.

    Dont get ripped off!

  39. Nev

    Plenty in France

    You can order them from places like (who still have plenty o' stock) and have it shipped to the UK for almost the same as the UK RRP.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Carphone Warehouse has wii's available

    They've got it on the homepage so they must have some...

  41. David Gosnell

    Argos again

    We got our replacement, no trouble - six hours earlier than expected, and nary a question asked.

  42. Tek

    ebuyer has 36 as i type....but

    they're horribly expensive (£290). the bundle consists of:

    Nintendo Wii Bundle Wii Sports Excite Truck Mario Strikers Charged Football + Wii Remote Steering Wheel Accessory

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