Nintendo struggling to meet Wii demand

26th Apr 2007 | 23:00

Nintendo struggling to meet Wii demand

Gaming giant pledges to up production of in-demand console

Nintendo has pledged to ramp up production of its in-demand Wii games console.

Unprecedented demand has led massive sales and frustrating shortages of the gaming machine the world over. But now Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has said the Japanese company will increase production to greater satisfy that demand.

"We must do our best to fix this abnormal lack of stock," he said. "We have not been able to properly foresee demand.

"We will do our best to offer the machine for those who are waiting," he added.

Big demand, poor supply

The Nintendo Wii is still cleaning up in the next-generation gaming arena, trouncing both the Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) and the Microsoft Xbox 360 in the US.

The Wii has consistently outperformed both of its rival consoles in all territories, despite the lack of availability due to the high deman. In stark contrast, the PS3's sales have been largely disappointing, with supply comfortably exceeding demand especially in the US and Japan.

Nintendo shifted 259,000 Wii consoles at $250 (£125) a pop in March alone. The Xbox 360 came in a fairly distant second, with Microsoft managing to flog 199,000 of them, with the PS3 again bringing up the rear with a lowly 130,000 units.

At the moment, the market leader is actually the PlayStation 2, which has been heavily discounted since the arrival of the PS3. But it is expected that once there are more Wii consoles available on the shelves, it will reclaim top spot in the console wars.

It's the Wii's original take on gaming which has made it so popular. It uses a motion-sensing wand-like controller (the Wiimote) which enables gamers to take a more active roll in games that are less graphics-driven, with more emphasis on gameplay.

Nintendo's profits shot up by 77 per cent to 174.26 billion yen (£7.6billion) in the last financial year, with sales flying up by 90 per cent thanks to the Wii and also its handheld counterpart the Nintendo DS Lite.

It was one year ago today that Nintendo announced that the 'Revolution' would be renamed as the 'Wii'.

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