| REDMOND, Washington
REDMOND, Washington Nintendo Co Ltd 7974.OS
is having trouble planning for the coming months because of
shortages of its Wii video game console, and the company is
also seeing signs of higher-than-expected demand for its DS
handheld device, a top U.S. executive said on Monday.
"The level of demand we are facing complicates all of our
future business planning," Reggie Fils-Aime, president of
Nintendo of America, told Reuters in an interview. "All of that
becomes a much tougher exercise until we have supply and demand
curves that intersect."
The DS has been the best-selling piece of gaming hardware
this year, moving 1.5 million units in November, according to
market research firm NPD.
"The DS continues to perform exceptionally well, with some
retailers voicing concerns about DS inventory going into the
holiday," Fils-Aime said.
Nintendo, which is striving to meet Wii demand more than a
year after the machine first went on sale, was also trying to
discourage the practice of bundling the consoles with extra
games or accessories and selling it for a higher price.
A Wii by itself sells for $250 -- cheaper than Microsoft
Corp's (MSFT.O) Xbox 360 and Sony Corp's (6758.T) PlayStation 3
-- but some retailers have offered bundles priced for double
"Retailers have already been given feedback that we are not
big fans of that. We think it masks some of the price advantage
we have versus our competition and, frankly, the consumer
should decide what they want," Fils-Aime said.
Asked if Nintendo had threatened such retailers with fewer
Wii shipments, Fils-Aime said only that the company carried a
lot of weight as maker of one of the most highly sought items
this holiday season.
"We don't have to remind retailers of the strength we have
right now. We are simply making an observation and that
reinforces our point quite nicely with retailers," Fils-Aime
Nintendo's top priority was to satisfy Wii demand because
the issue was an obstacle to future plans, Fils-Aime said.
Unable to accurately forecast how many Wiis will be sold in
the coming months, Nintendo is finding it difficult to plan for
new games, such as "Wii Fit," an upcoming physical exercise
game that uses a pressure-sensitive board.
"We at Nintendo America are focused on getting to the point
when any consumer can walk into any of our retailers and find a
Wii. Then we can plan, on an ongoing basis, the rest of the
business," Fils-Aime said.
He said he had high expectations for Nintendo's recent Wii
game "Super Mario Galaxy," which some analysts said had strong
but not spectacular first-month sales despite being one of the
most critically acclaimed games of all time.
The game sold 1.1 million copies in the United States in
November, but fell short of marks set by other blockbuster
titles such as Microsoft's "Halo 3," which sold 3.3 million
copies in its first month.
"Galaxy will have extremely long life and will have
extremely large numbers throughout that entire life," Fils-Aime
said. "Mark my words, look in six months and no one will have
any remembrance that it 'only' did one million copies in its
(Reporting by Scott Hillis; editing by Richard Chang, Gary