Nintendo Wii Flying Off Shelves, Facing Supply Shortages

Includes: MSFT, NTDOY, SNE
by: Steven Towns

Nintendo achieved its best week for Wii sales in the U.S. last week since the console's debut-week sales a year ago, with 350,000 units sold, compared to 300,000 sold the week prior. While the strong sales keep Nintendo on track to meet its upward revised fiscal target of 17.5M console sales, the company has a major problem of replenishing store shelves. Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime called the shortage of Wii consoles a "disappointment," saying "a shortage benefits no one." Fils-Aime blamed the company's misestimate of demand and said, "We need to be more bullish about the potential for the Wii," in an interview with the Associated Press. Nintendo has increased its monthly volume of Wii production to 1.8M consoles, from 1.2M previously, but will still not be able to meet demand. Nintendo's original estimate for fiscal 2008 (ending in March) Wii sales was 14.5M consoles. Nintendo said it also sold 653,000 DS portable consoles during the week Nov. 18 - 24. Nintendo's sales in Japan remain robust, but the Wii was surpassed by Sony's PlayStation 3 for the first time in the weeks ended Nov. 11 and Nov. 18, after Sony released a cheaper 40GB model PS3, according to a leading game magazine's survey. Ordinary shares of Nintendo gained 0.2% to ¥62,200 in Tokyo. Nintendo's ADRs rose 0.5% to $71.90 on Tuesday.

Seeking Alpha's news briefs are combined into a pre-market summary called Wall Street Breakfast. Get Wall Street Breakfast by email -- it's free and takes only seconds to sign up.