December 6th, 2007, 18:48 Posted By: Shrygue
via Computer and Video Games
The Redmond, Wash.-based US arm of Nintendo certainly can't be too depressed about widespread hardware sell-outs this holiday, but Nintendo of America president Fils-Aime would rather be getting consoles into consumers' hands.
"In absolute terms, it is highly, highly unfortunate that consumers cannot find a Wii to purchase," he told MSNBC in an interview. "And anyone who suggests that a shortage is good for business really doesn't understand business. We want the consumer to walk into any retail establishment and find the product. And that's what we're working tirelessly to make happen."
Fils-Aime recently said that Wii supply during the holidays would be "unprecedented," although Nintendo still doesn't expect to meet the strong demand.
When asked if Nintendo was too "conservative" in its manufacturing estimates for Wii, Fils-Aime argued, "You know, the very first annual estimate for Wii was 14.5 million units. No home console had ever sold that many in a first year. And so we were very aggressive at the start. Our issue is one of unprecedented demand and for this holiday season, we are putting more than twice as many Wii consoles into the marketplace as we had at launch. So we are not conservative in our manufacturing. If anything, we've been too conservative in understanding the depth of enjoyment and passion that the consumer has for the console."
Nintendo currently forecasts the Wii to ship 16.5 million units worldwide for the fiscal year ending in March.
The Nintendo boss also touched on Wii's online strategy, which would seem shallower than the feature-rich Xbox Live and the upcoming PlayStation Home. But Fils-Aime said competitors' offerings are for the hardcore, and not fit for real mass market penetration.
"Our view is that the online experience needs to be something that adds value to the consumer experience and enables them to have a more in-depth experience - especially with the Wii Remote," he said. "When you talk about [Xbox Live] gamertags, that really is a hardcore desire versus activity like creating Miis and other functionality that in our view, is much more what the mass market wants in their videogame console."
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