The Freakonomics blog has a post up today examining why the Wii currently has a national availability of 2-5% some 5 months after its launch. The article calls Nintendo’s inability to supply demand “pretty unusual” and that retailers are benefiting as consumers continually return to stores to try and find the system.
What’s more, Wii shortages hurt game makers, especially when considering timed releases. People won’t buy a game when they can’t find the console, and the chances of them buying the same game later on decreases with time as new titles are released.
That said, I don’t believe Nintendo would manage scarcity this long, if at all. There’s simply way too much at stake when considering lost hardware and game profits, not to mention the fact that a lack of Wiis can actually play into an increase in purchases of other consoles. But yeah, it’s apparent that Nintendo doesn’t have any manufacturing chops. At least not right now.