Nintendo Claims Demand for Wii Is Higher than “Ever Anticipated”

Nintendo Mulls to Stop Wii Advertising Due to “Unprecedented” Demand

by Anton Shilov
12/07/2007 | 06:51 PM

Nintendo Corp. said on Friday that it was thinking about withdrawing TV advertisements of Wii game console-related products for some time. The motive for such an extraordinary decision was claimed to demand, which exceeds expectations of Nintendo and the company’s potential inability to fulfill it.

 

 “[The demand for Wii] has been unprecedented and higher than Nintendo could ever have anticipated,” a spokesperson for the company is reported to have said in an interview with Times Online web-site.

Advertisements of Nintendo Wii attract attention not only to Wii and its unique capabilities in particular, but also to video game consoles in general. As a result, when a potential Nintendo Wii customer comes to a store and sees that the desired game system is sold out, he or she may pay attention to other options available on the market, such as Microsoft Xbox 360 or Sony PlayStation 3 or 2. The consequence of such situation for Nintendo is a missed opportunity to get another gamer into the Wii camp during holiday season because of short supplies. That said, Nintendo wants to move some of its ad campaigns into early 2008, when the demand will still be strong, but not incredible, like in December.

“[Nintendo] is looking at moving some advertising on some products into early 2008 [so to] act responsibly,” the spokesperson is reported to have said.

Nintendo Wii is the least technologically advanced new-generation video game console, its rivals – Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 – have much more computing power inside and therefore can display more realistic graphics. But Wii has unique motion-sensitive game controller and games that appeal even to those, who do not typically play video games either on game consoles, or personal computers.

The question that analysts and observers ask these days is whether the market of novice gamers has capacity to grow further, or it is relatively limited and unparalleled demand towards Wii is heading to its end sometime in 2008; which is why, some think, Nintendo in intentionally undersupplies Wii to create hype and additional publicity for its latest game system.

“The issue of supply management has to be questioned, not least because 2008 is going to be the crunch year for the Wii. It’s then that we’ll discover whether it’s a fad or something with legs,” said Piers Harding-Rolls, an analyst with Screen Digest research company.

Nintendo Wii features IBM’s custom PowerPC architecture-based microprocessor named Broadway clocked at 729MHz and code-named Hollywood chip with built-in graphics core, DSP and I/O features from ATI that operates at 243MHz, earlier reports suggested. Nintendo Wii uses 91MB of memory in total: 23MB of “main” 1T-SRAM, 64MB of “external” 1T-SRAM and 3MB texture buffer on the GPU. Nintendo’s Wii does not feature a hard disk drive, instead, it boasts with 512MB of flash memory and has a card reader, which allows further storage expansion.

Nintendo set the recommended retail price of ¥25 000 (about $204) in Japan, $249 in the U.S. and €249 ($342) in Europe.