In a press release this morning, Nintendo issued a correction to a statement made the day before, asking readers to disregard just one sentence. That sentence, however, may have been the critical one: a promise that one million Wii game consoles would be available in the US before the end of this year.
Therefore, disregard the following sentence: “Despite spot shortages in some locations, well more than a million Wii systems will be available in the United States by the end of the year.” The other part of the disregarded sentence you should regard is the characterization of possible shortages as “spot.”
Last July, suppliers of equipment for Nintendo told Taiwanese industry publications that they had been told to prepare to ship enough equipment to make one million Wii consoles available at launch. At the same time, the company was promising to make two million consoles available worldwide by the end of the year.
Based on the latest data released this afternoon by industry analysis firm NPD Group, an estimate of one million units produced might not have been inconceivable. Just since its launch three weeks ago, the Wii sold 476,000 units in the US alone. Worldwide data has yet to be tabulated, though when the final numbers are in, the company may very well have built more than one million units before the end of 2006. But whether one million units remain available after the holiday sales rush, may have been a tall order.
Something else Nintendo might have to think about retracting is its own sales estimates. The company previously boasted of selling close to 500,000 Wii consoles in the US during its first seven days. While NPD’s tally remains impressive, the Wii did not outsell the Xbox 360.
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Nintendo Retracts One Million Wiis Promise, Outsells PS3 Anyway