Will Nintendo's Wii console suffer from stock shortages in the run up to Christmas for the third year in a row?
This is the question on many parents' lips this week, with their children still desperate for Wiis and Nintendo's Xmas big hitters such as the charming Animal Crossing: Let's Go To The City (not to mention their mums still wanting that Wii Fit to knock off the Xmas flab in January!)
Reuters reports that Walmart.com in the US is to offers "thousands" of Wiis and bargain bundle deals this week.
Walmart.com is to offer the Nintendo Wii console for $249.24, as well as a number of value bundles with games and extra controllers.
Asda stock situation
Walmart.com also plans to offer certain Wii games at a price of two for $30, and certain accessories, such as the Nintendo Wii Racing Wheel, under $10.
TechRadar has contacted Walmart's UK supermarket division, Asda, to find out what the stock situation is like with Nintendo Wiis for the consoles' third Christmas on sale.
A sales rep at a leading third-party games publisher told us today that they don't expect Wii shortages this Christmas, adding "although I think Wii Fit is going to be the sell-out gift this Christmas."
TechRadar contacted Nintendo UK for further comment, and we were given the following statement:
"To meet the continually increasing demand for our products, Nintendo is bringing more stock of Wii and DS into the UK this Christmas than ever before.
"We have increased our global production of Wii consoles by 600,000 units per month from 1.8 million to 2.4 million since July this year - the highest level of console production in our history. As a result we are planning to ship 27.5 million Wii and 30.5 million Nintendo DS globally this financial year, that's eight million more Wii and five million more Nintendo DS consoles than last year.
"Demand for Wii and Nintendo DS in the UK remains at unprecedented levels. Sales across Europe are outstripping last year with sales of Wii up over 76 per cent and sales of DS up over 27 per cent.
"Nintendo is continuing to expand the market for video games as its Wii and DS continue to appeal to a broad audience including women and non-gamers. This expansion has lead to huge demand for both Wii and Nintendo DS all year round, which is in complete contrast to traditional video games sales trends and has been - and remains - difficult to accurately predict.
"We are making every effort to ensure that the production of Wii Fit matches demand this Christmas. We have increased our shipment of Wii Fit into Europe this Christmas to help meet demand as best we can. Despite increasing global production and shipping more product into the market than ever before, we may still have some stock shortages of Wii Fit."