For holiday shoppers who cannot wait anymore to get their favorite gaming consoles, and who are constantly on the lookout for Wii game consoles to satiate their thirst for games, Nintendo Co. and retailer GameStop Corp. are launching a rain check program. The rain checks will be available at the regular Wii system price, $249.99, on Dec. 20 and 21, and will entitle buyers to get the Nintendo console before Jan. 29. Fils-Aime said "many tens of thousands of rain checks" would be available.
As GameStop takes regular deposits on hot software titles before they launch, the company will have necessary infrastructure to handle the rain check program. The company is also working with other retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Best Buy Co., to enable the movement of inventory from the supply chain to shelves as quickly as possible before Christmas.
According to a report in Associated Press, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime said in a press release, “We expect this to be a great way for consumers who desperately want a Wii to have something to put under the tree.”
Since Nintendo Corp. launched Wii last year, it has been a huge success in the gaming market. The console has sold more than 6 million units in the U.S. and in November alone, 981,000 were sold in US. In comparison, Microsoft (News
) Xbox 360s have sold only 770,000 Sony PlayStation 3s have sold only 466,000.
With success comes controversy. The unprecedented sale of the Wii has led to the charges that the company creates artificial demands for its products by not producing as much as the demand in the market. But Nintendo maintains that it is not very easy to produce Wii at will. As the production depends on the supply of various components by different suppliers, if any one of those suppliers cannot increase the production, then Nintendo can’t either, explains the company.
The company has already increased the production twice since April, but it hasn’t been able to meet the demand.
Raju Shanbhag is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page
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