back to article Nintendo kills Wii ads due to console shortage

Nintendo is replacing a series of ads for its Wii console this Christmas, despite the games machine being the subject of the most searched for term on eBay. A spokesman for the company told Marketing Week that demand for the console is already too high and that it wants to take a “responsible stance this Christmas and not fuel …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward


    My Dad ordered a new Radio Alram Clock worth £33 from pixmania and much to his delight got sent a Wii instead.

    We think some poor kid might be disappointed on Christmas morning though.

  2. Ed


    Sounds like a PR stunt to me. They've got more PR from pulling the ads than they would do for having the ads. They even had the BBC writing an article saying they were 'considering' pulling the ads last week...

  3. Steve
    Black Helicopters

    Plenty of Wiis elsewhere

    Nintendo should check their records. Clearly they've shipped plenty to mainland Europe where there are no shortages. High street shops in Germany have piles of hundreds of consoles. (literally - the first shop I went to had a pallet that was 5x6 boxes, stacked about 8 high).

    So, did the Germans just get their towels on them first or are Nintendo not being entirely honest about production numbers and are engineering a demand in our island nation?

  4. Scott
    Thumb Down

    Load of crap.

    I don't believe a word. I think that Nintendo HAVE deliberately been limiting the numbers to ensure that demand is high. It wouldn't surprise me to see some magically appear within the next couple of weeks.

    And eBay should be forced to ban sales of ANYTHING that is less than a year old from being sold above it's RRP. It's ridiculous that people are allowed to do this; it undermines the economy on so many levels. It's akin to selling tickets way above the original retail price.

  5. andy gibson

    DS shortages

    I've heard of serious DS shortages too, can anyone else confirm this?

  6. James Le Cuirot

    I'd sooner believe this about the DS

    I was on the back of a Megabus the other day when I overheard a bunch of women in their 50s chattering about the DS and how one of them was going to get one from Santa. That was a first for me and credit has to go to Nintendo for bringing gaming to a previously untapped target audience.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    RE: Load of crap.

    You're challenging the very nature of capitalism... Even the Chinese gov. wouldn't force to cap prices.

  8. DSL Angel

    Certainly Germany is well stocked!

    I too can confirm that Germany (well Munich) is very well stocked of Wii's!

    Sounds like its rip off Britain time! - Again...

  9. TheMadProfessor

    Just one slight snag...

    There's precious little stock of the DS Lite available either!

  10. Jon Brunson

    Re: Load of crap

    Wii is over a year old, so your proposed ban wouldn't affect Wii anyway.

    Sounds to me like Wii is in high demand in the *UK* but not in *Europe*, Nintendo don't appear to see it at that level though and distribute Wiis all over Europe evenly, with them piling up in countries where the demand is low, and sold out in the those where it's high.

  11. Lisa

    I can COMPLETELY confirm...

    That the DS is in exactly the same shortage situation as the Wii.

    I wanted to get my dad a Wii as he's been seeing the ads and liking the idea of it but sadly i gave up on that as soon as i took a peek at the stock problems.

    Then i remembered he wanted a DS for the brain training and to use on the tube - lo and behold thats also not available for love nor money. Well it was available in pink with one left in only one of the loads of shops i tried, but thats not really my dad's colour!

    I can't understand why at least the DS isn't in abundant stock as its been out so long! I think retailers are also to blame as had pics of the wii on the front page as of yesterday, making it seem like they have stock when they don't!

    I think nintendo just doesn't like the UK all that much - how else can it be explained?? Its not like they've even got a message on their website apologising for this situation.

    Boo hiss at nintendo!


  12. Graham Wood

    Re: Load of Crap

    How on EARTH is it "undermining" anything?

    Either you don't understand the capitalist economy, or you've been stung and are now bitter.

    Selling anything above the original price damages no-one (Except possibly the moron that's so desperate they have to get one).

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Will

    Re: Load of crap

    "eBay should be forced to ban sales of ANYTHING that is less than a year old from being sold above it's RRP"

    Or they could let supply and demand drive a free market economy?

  15. Lickass McClippers


    One of the guys I work with just got back from his lunch break, apparently our local Game store still has a bunch of these Wee things...

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Trevor Hannah

    No shortages in Spain

    I was in Spain last week and went into two electronic type stores, both had plenty of Wii's in stock. As usual the UK gets shafted.

  18. conan

    There's no shortage

    It's been easy to buy a Wii where I am in the UK all year, it's just hard if you wait for December before rushing out to buy one for Christmas - factories produce at constant rates, they don't suddenly increase their capacity at Christmas. It would be foolish for a company like Nintendo to build a factory which can produce consoles at Christmas-demand rates all year round, because that would be wasted capacity for the rest of the year.

    I personally think it's fine for people to charge whatever they like on Ebay for Wiis. If your kid really wants one for crimbo but you can't find one in the shop, why shouldn't you have the option of paying more from Ebay? If you don't want to pay, just wait a bit. I waited about a month after release and had no problems buying one from a shop.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    37000 PS3, 28000 Wii, 12000 360's in October

    Interesting note from Germany above, the console sales for October according to Heise show the PS3 leading in October (3:1 over the Xbox 360!), overall the Wii is the winner still though. So you might be able to buy a Wii in Germany and import it if they have stock.


    37000 PS3's

    28000 Wiis

    12000 XBox360's

    Overall, the Wii still leads:

    Wii to 389,000

    XBox 360: 328,000

    PS3 172,000

  20. Dave

    Not shortage in France

    One could just pop over to cite europe. Micromania has plenty of wiis (plural wiiiii?) for sale. I even popped into leclerc and bought a DS just like that.

  21. Tom


    Nintendo aren't strumming up demand and making shortages... they're redistributing shipments meant for Europe, it just happens Wiis aren't selling on the continent. There is stock coming into the UK daily, it's just in very high demand. Amazon UK puts on like 1000 per day so they're defo coming in.

  22. Hedley Phillips

    Why not just wait

    We have just bought a PS2.

    Not only did we get it for about £30, but we got loads of games with it.

    We will also buy a Wii in ooh, 2-3 years time. No shortage then and the prices will be cheap.

    Are we the only ones who see a way out of this mad, I must have it now economy we live in?

  23. Phil

    Teach your kids some patience

    I ordered a Wii for Christmas last year. I explained to my teenagers about the shortage and that I'm not going to pay loads of money to get one off ebay. I gave them the choice. I order it and they have to wait, or I cancel the order and get something else.

    They waited. I ordered it on 12th November 2006, it finally turned up on February 26th 2007.

    Not only did we have a great Christmas, we had a great Feb/March too.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Also sold out in The Netherlands

    Been trying to get one in Eindhoven these last 2 weekends (for a friend in the UK), but have had no luck. There were plenty in stock here until quite recently though.

  25. Neil Hanson
    Thumb Down

    Actually quite a few around at the moment...

    A look on will show several shops that have them for sale right now - but crucially, only as part of expensive packages (putting aside the retailers flogging Euro consoles-only for £300 - shame on you Microdirect). The retailers are the ones really cashing in on the Wii.

    The DS on the other hand, can't be found anywhere. Either everyone wants a Nintendo for Christmas, or Nintendo themselves have completely cocked up their distribution and sales forecasts - personally I favour the latter.

  26. Kit Temple

    Useless Advertising

    There are some pretty poor marketing people out there. If you search for Wii on Google you will find a lot of useless ads from companies offering Wiis that they don't have.

    I would like to find a Wii package where I don't have to pay £500+ (the extra controllers cost £45 each extra player for the motion sensitive ones, plus I want a couple of good 4 player games). I am happily clicking away on the Amazon adverts each day until what the promise comes true, and by then all the profit will go to Google advertising department and not Amazon.

    My view is that the shortage is deliberate - either that or their country sales teams have very poor forecasting skills. If it is the second case then they should think on their feet and ship over a load of European stock and offer a free plug adaptor.

    Regarding the comment on factory capacity being a constant - well the manufacturer should always fill up the channel inventory a month or two ahead of a big season, and they should have some warehousing facilities of their own within UK that they can pile high ahead of Xmas period. Also - production rate is often not a complete constant, if your factory is working 2 shifts (2*8 hours) then you can always make it a 24 hour operation in times of need.

  27. Daniel


    I bought one in january, walked into a shop, paid my money and left. i have seen them in stock throughout the year... why the hell did noone think to buy early?

    Theres been talk of shortages in laptop supplies which affects the wii directly, so why oh why are people coming out with this crap about it being intentional. Nintendo could sell anything they produce right now, so why would they restrict stock? yes demand would increase but sales would decrease. after christmas things will invitably die down again.

    as for the comment about waiting a few years... why? i just dont understand that logic. old consoles don't generally get any new games except for cross platform games such as sports games. i wouldnt justify spending £500 on a wii, but i also wouldnt wait 2-3 years

  28. Jason Aspinall

    @Hedley Philips

    To be fair, the RRP of £180 isn't exactly expensive... what royally fucks me off is that the high st retailers have got everyone over the proverbial barrel by selling them with "bundled" games, stiffing the consumer into spending the better part of £300 a pop, with games! Yes yes, I know you need to buy games for the console anyways...just seems retailers are taking the piss!

  29. Anonymous Coward

    some people don't understand.....

    To those that think Nintendo are holding back are you nuts?

    Lets see.

    Nintendo could sell 10 thousand units at £150 and have a great marketing scam....


    1m units at £150 and have no marketing scam.

    Nope can't see any logic on restricting supplies.

    Ooops silly me, I must rush out and buy something, because they are in demand....

  30. Jim Cosser

    Demand restriction

    I know many people who have got interested in the wii purely because they have heard about the stock shortages, it creates intrigue and its great marketing.

    If you get plenty in stock in early/mid December you gain sales not lose them.

  31. ElFatbob


    how this little box of tricks is creating such a stir. It's underpowered and underfeatured compared to the 360 and PS3, yet it outsells them both.

    Admittedly it is unique from the interactivity perspective (a stroke of marketing genius - don't take on the 'big-boys' with raw power stats), and at £180 is attractively priced......

    ....except that the prices people are wanting for them now put them firmly in 360/PS3 package territory, both of which offer longer term value for money (IMHO).....

    A colleague described how his wife bought a Wii for £280 because she felt she had to (she sort of thought the kids might want one for Christmas) - only to be told by the said children that they wanted the PS3 (cos their friends have a Wii and they're bored with it now).

  32. BossHog
    Thumb Up

    Wii + GH3

    I've got my Wii and Guitar Hero III - and it's completely awesome!

    For those of you who can't get hold of one: come round, play guitar hero - we'll have some beers!

  33. AndyB

    Whinging Britain...

    Will all those fookers who forever find in necessary to moan about "rip-off Britain", ID cards, Missing CDs, IR35, Police, Royal Family, The Government, "erosion of freedom", RIPA, the EU, etc, etc, please sod off and live somewhere else ASAP.


    Merry Christmas

  34. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton

    So why are they being blamed as slackers?

    So if Nintendo factories and subcontractors are churning them out at the rate of 1.8 million per month and in the US the weekly sales of the unit actually exceed the monthly sales of it's closest red ring of death rival from Redmond ! As for for the other jogging last in line Japanese contender who launched well before them let us just say it took them a rather long time to clear the launch stock from the warehouse!

    The market for gaming consoles sure is a funny place !

    Although I believe the death to commercialism stores the "tricky mart" in the land of imprisoned and paranoid , usually have regular deliveries to all stores across the land by Fed Ex at 8am and 4pm on a daily basis and if ordered delivery of the unit is reasonably quick and the prices are not jacked up to the ridiculous point where one can buy a number of fast modern notebook computers versus one console on "eBay"

    Go figure , what price a choice , sounds like they need the marketing skills of Paris the blonde bombshell do they not ?

  35. Jason

    Plenty in Greece

    Just looked online at a major retailer (think PC World, but with intelligent salespersons, if a little pushy), and the standard Sports pack is going for €235, around £169 (Internet price only), with free shipping, available in 24 hours. I could make a killing shipping these over to the UK, but it'll be too much trouble for me. (Warning, Greek language to all you xenophobes out there!)

    Shame I don't want one for myself...

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    corporate nintendo are idiots

    there is no shortage of Wiis'. there are currently 13,000 listed on ebay. if nintendo was smart they would have planned to ship thousands of them just before christmas so those of us who refuse to pay the inflated ebay prices could just walk into a store and buy them and watch the idiots selling them on ebay unable to sell what they have except at a reasonable price. nintendo could sell twice as many wiis if their marketing and manufacturing people had any brains what so ever.

    I see no reason to complain though, all you have to do is wait for christmas to pass and the stores will get additional stock and the ebay Wiis "will" drop to retail prices. everybody should just get pissed off enough all at once and not pay $500 plus for a $250 item. i tell my kids they can have one wii before christmas or two wiis after christmas. its unanimous, they all are willing to wait to get two wiis, or one wii and use the extra money for additional toys.

  37. Will

    There is no shortage

    I went over to France 3 weeks ago with my business partner and purchased 75 Wii's just after Nintendo announced there would be shortages. Problem is, everyone else had the same idea which meant the price on eBay crashed. In reality you need to sell a Wii at about £250 to make a decent profit, most are selling for around £220. Each Wii costs us £190 (because banks screw you on the exchange rate) then eBay charge you £10 to list it, £10 when you sell item and then Paypal take £10. If you send it special delivery, that's another £20. So to those that are bemoaning the price on eBay, wake up and understand why. People like us take a risk, sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't. If you don't like the price on eBay, perhaps it would be cheaper and easier for you to travel to France/Germany to pick one up?

    Also, I don't believe there is any shortage, they have had them consistently in stock in various places for about a week now at the likes of Argos and Game, yes they sell out within a day but then another retailer gets them in. Ninendo are playing games, there are no DS's anywhere now either. By this point, Nintendo don't need to advertise for Christmas, it would have been responsible for them to stop advertising in November but they are just making this announcement to hype demand further.

  38. Dave Southam

    Amazon stock

    Looked around for a wiimote in the UK (high st & online) most of last week - only available on uk Amazon from the marketplace at inflated prices., however, had plenty in stock (Sun night). Currently tracking my delivery which should be with me for Thurs. Incidentally... My local HMV came good with a Wii last week, and had Wii Play in stock yesterday...

  39. ElFatbob

    RE: Andy B

    'Will all those fookers who forever find in necessary to moan about "rip-off Britain", ID cards, Missing CDs, IR35, Police, Royal Family, The Government, "erosion of freedom", RIPA, the EU, etc, etc, please sod off and live somewhere else ASAP.'

    I thought everyone was talking about Wii's. You get the wrong story?

  40. bogsheet

    @Hedley Phillips : your stingyness won't wash with the kids!

    Quote : "We have just bought a PS2. Not only did we get it for about £30, but we got loads of games with it.

    "Are we the only ones who see a way out of this mad, I must have it now economy we live in?"

    Er no, you are a stingy old fool who will be playing an extremely outdated old console this Christmas, I just hope you don't have kids to disappoint with this!

    'Hey kids, forget that film in the cinema, I picked up a VHS of a five year old film for a quid in a car boot sale! It's great honest!'

  41. The Avangelist
    Thumb Up

    Ds Lite are bit errr... lite on the ground

    Would be a brilliant marketing strategy were it not for the fact that there are pretty much zilch DS Lite's in the UK as well meaning that not fuelling for the slightly higher priced and niche console (which I pre order in 05 and got last year, BURN!) they can then cause mass dissapointment to thousands of little bratty girls who want Pink and White DS Lite, and boys who want a Wii but may possibly have shut up given a DS Lite.

    Gotta love Nintendo!

  42. Steve Rowsell

    @ Will heart bleeds for you.

    if you want to try and take advantage of the Wii shortage by buying up ridiculous numbers of them in the hope of bleeding parents dry, you deserve everything you get, (i.e. to get your greedy fingers burned).

    I personally hope you sell none of them and you find yourselves £14 grand short.

    (and no, I'm not in the market for a Wii, I'm very happy with my Xbox 360. That was just my objective opinion).

  43. Steve Rowsell
    Thumb Down


    Congratulations, you win todays prize for most facile, empty-headed comment.

    I applaud Hedley Phillips for taking a stand against the 'must have at all costs' attitude of too many people.

    Whereas 'bogsheet' has shown that he/she is all too easily taken in by the marketing baloney that convinces people that three stripes on a pair of trainers means they are three times more valuable than those without.


  44. SmokeyMcPotHead

    I got... one from Argos with a few games and the accessory pack last weekend, my extra Nunchuk from Gameplay and Wimote from Argos - Thurrock. All for uninflated prices. I don't feel sorry for those twats trying to sell them on eBay though - serves them right if they end up stuck with them or loosing money. Incidentally both Wiimotes and Nunchuks are not that plentiful either.

    I only picked one up because the misses fancied it, personally I've never owned a console in my life, no point I always have a reasonably powerful PC at home so I've always played the odd game I do play on that.

  45. Will


    Steve, I wasn't aware that I was asking for your sympathy.

    I fail to see your logic though. Why is it that people in the UK hate to think of anyone showing a bit of entrepreneurial spirit to make a profit? Isn't the basis of a capitalist society supply and demand? Perhaps Nintendo should sell the Wii at cost price, heaven forbid that they should make a profit. Why are Audi R8's demanding a 20% premium over RRP at the moment? Because demand is greater than supply. Impatient people who have the money will pay the extra 20%, others will wait until supply catches up.

    Nobody makes parents spend £250 on a Wii do they? However, if people want one desperately enough they will pay what they will pay.

    As for being £14k short, don't be silly, the worst that will happen is that we will have gone to a lot of effort for very little profit and that's the risk people like us take. You on the other hand are probably Mr Play It Safe who just moans about 'greedy' people.

    Greed is what drives our society, if you don't like it toddle off to a communist one.

  46. Rob Gemmell

    title is misleading

    For those who can read ... they have pulled the ads because they don't want a shortage in the UK and Europe. There's already shortages in the US and Canada (I haven't seen a store here have one in stock for 3 weeks.) Outside of the title I found no reference that there actually is a shortage except when the American spokesman talks about the shortage.

  47. Marco Alfarrobinha

    Advertising gone right

    It is unbelievable that you guys are going on about what is just an overpriced, under-powered console. If someone wants to play games, well, they have two proper consoles out there that will last for a few more years whereas the Wii will last a few months after the novelty effect has died off. Thank you.

  48. bogsheet

    @Steve Rowsell

    Ah no, Steve you miss my point.

    You think my post was about me?! Ah no, you would be wrong, read it again! I won't be buying any console this Christmas...

    But to admire Hedley Phillips for "taking a stand against the 'must have at all costs' attitude of too many people" by buying an ancient console from several years ago on the cheap is pretty empty headed in my opinion...

    The real point is that, although a PS2/NES/whatever might convince you, it won't convince any youngsters this Christmas! Now if you want to criticise this "must have" attitude then I suggest you start with all the kids in this country, it is they who embody it most... and see quickest through any BS that out-of-touch old folks might try to pull on them!

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like