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Wii still not restocked yet

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Doug Krizner: The hottest toy this holiday season: the Nintendo Wii. Yeah, just try getting one. Demand is so far ahead of supply, some analysts are predicting Nintendo will miss out on $1.3 billion in sales.

Let’s bring in Leo Louis from the Times of London. Leo, why is Nintendo having trouble keeping up with demand?

Leo Louis: You have an enormous number of components that go into these machines, which are drawn from a very large number of companies across east Asia. And, you know, it only takes one component supplier to sort of have a small delay for the whole system to slow down somewhat.

Krizner: There has been some skepticism, though, that the company has intentionally held back on the number of Wii’s it’s putting into the marketplace as a way to increase demand a little bit and maybe even capture a higher price. Do you think there’s much to that story?

Louis: Well, here we are talking about nothing but the Wii at the moment. You know, I think that Nintendo is an expert player in generating excitement about its machine. It knows that it’s not got as long a cycle as, for example, the Playstation 3. And so there is certainly some suggestion that Nintendo may be attempting to keep the excitement high.

Krizner: What is so appealing about the Wii versus Sony’s Playstation 3, or the XBox from Microsoft?

Louis: It really has to do with the audience that the machine is appealing to. It’s broadening out the types of people that would be playing video games — there are more women buying the Wii, and adults as old as 60, really. There’s also an issue of price — the Wii is significantly cheaper as a machine than the competitors you mentioned.

Krizner: Leo Louis is business reporter for the Times of London. We’ve been speaking to him this morning from Tokyo. Leo, thanks so much for talking to us.

Louis: Thank you.

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