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More demand than supply of Wii U in market causing problems for consumers

By: Muhammad Qasim Hassan

  |   November 21st, 2012   |  
E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo

The strong demand of Nintendo’s first-ever HD console Wii U in the market is becoming a bit of a concern as the consumers are being forced to show a great deal of patience.

The anger that follows a long journey in cold weather and enduring horrible traffic to get to a store to buy a console that you or your child has been anxiously waiting for months, only to find it out of stock is something that cannot be communicated through words alone.

It is downright frustrating to find yourself returning home empty handed, with the wait for the new console not yet over irrespective of what the media has been stating.

Nintendo had expected such a scenario to arise upon its launch of its next-generation console and attempted to make its impact as minimal as possible by trying to manufacture and send as many consoles into the market as possible.

However, it is evident that the company is struggling to meet the market demand despite being mentally and operationally prepared for it.

During an interview with GameSpot just three hours before the launch of Wii U in Los Angeles, the company’s director of product marketing Bill Trinen had expressed his hope to see the system make the same impact as its predecessor Wii, which had ended up becoming short in the market and kept some consumers waiting for nearly a month to get their hands on it.

The Nintendo executive said that he hopes to see the same scenario in terms of the demand of the product, but the company has also learnt a lesson from the past and therefore instructed the production team to speed up the manufacturing of the console so that it can be brought to the market as quickly as possible.

“I think we’re obviously hoping for a similar situation. Any time that there is that much demand, it means people want the product. It’s tough to say right now. The sense that we’re getting is that there is a lot of demand for the system. As we did with Wii, we’re trying to manufacture them as fast as we can and bring them to market as fast as we can so we don’t have any shortages. But, back on the Wii, I think the volume for that system was unprecedented. So it’s tough to use that as a barometer,” said Trinen.

Nintendo has gotten what it had wished for, but the consumers seem to be paying the price for it. The company will have to react fast to the increasing shortage, or prepare itself for the consequences.

Wii U, the first console in next-generation space, launched with 23 titles in North America on November 18, with the deluxe version carrying a price tag of $350, while the basic version is being sold at $300.

The European and Australian region will celebrate the console’s launch on November 30, whereas Japanese consumers will have to wait until December 8 to get the taste of Nintendo’s latest offering.

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