If you attended a business 101 class on how to run a successful company, do you think professors would teach and encourage the following?
- Refuse money from customers
- Make potential customers angry
- Do not meet the demand of customers
Yet for all the people who believe that Nintendo is intentionally withholding Wii consoles from the market to inflate demand, that's exactly what you are saying Nintendo is doing.
The point of business is to make money and it more or less boils down to a numbers game. Sell as many products as you can for the highest price the market will accept. From the perspective of a business owner/investor/stockholder, having media "buzz" and hype is gravy, but the idea that Nintendo would sacrifice substantial amounts of profit and market share in exchange for media "buzz" is foolish. Buzz is something that companies have no control over and has no measurable monetary value. Do you honestly believe Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, who are looking to establish their platforms, would continually trade sales/market share for something that is intangible and something they can't control? Inflating demand is a strategy that works in the short-term, but to continue to do so is risky and not a sound long-term business strategy (especially with competitors who are looking to out sell you). I think that's a huge gamble and good companies like Nintendo don't gamble.
Nintendo did make a big mistake by not anticipating demand better, but the reality is that Nintendo, despite its vast cash reserves from years of making profitable game systems (console manufacturers usually lose money on the console and make the money back on software), is not a Sony or Microsoft-size company with near limitless resources. To launch a game console around the world is an astronomical expense and managing the manufacturing is extremely tricky. A major mistake for a company like Nintendo could be prove to be disastrous (remember Dreamcast anyone?).
With so much at stake, Nintendo is better off playing it safe than sorry when it comes to its manufacturing, but I don't think the executive board and investors of Nintendo are happy with the shortages. These are people that don't care about videogames or media buzz. They only care about market share and financial bottom-line and that is who Iwata and the chiefs of Nintendo have to answer to. It's for that reason that I firmly believe Nintendo is doing everything in its power to put more Wiis on store shelves.
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