The Freakonomics of the Wii Shortage

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It's been six months, and it's still next to impossible to find a Wii anywhere. Freakonomics looks at the issue and makes some interesting points. They point out that this is really bad for game publishers, but really not all that bad for stores, as it gets people in the door looking for Wiis. Even when they don't get one, they stick around and buy other stuff.

More interestingly, they say that it's unclear whether this shortage is positive for Nintendo.

The big N hasn't apologized for the shortages, and it's certainly kept the buzz up, but it's still pretty inexcusable to not be able to get enough product out to store shelves six months after a launch. I mean, it's not like there's a parts shortage, what the hell is the holdup? What do you think, have these shortages been good for Nintendo or bad? And will the buzz for the Wii die down once they're actually available on store shelves? And hey, when will that actually happen?

Because analyst Billy Pidgeon claims Wii supply won't meet Wii demand until 2009. 2009! If it's impossible to get a Wii for another two years than Nintendo will officially take all the buzz and goodwill they currently have and flush it down the toilet. Fortunately, Billy is an analyst, so he really has nothing to go on other than wishes and fairydust. In any case, there's only so long that this shortage can go on before people will just stop caring. Buzz only lasts so long, Nintendo. Don't blow the lead.

Freakonomics Blog [via Crunchgear]