Live blogging a conference call with Reggie Fils-Aime. Please excuse the typos. Keep refreshing for new info.
Nintendo didn’t expect Wii sales to takeoff so fast
6 million Wiis sold in the US alone
No other home system has ever matched sales this quickly
No ability to stockpile systems
This is an unfortunate happening
Nintendo is doing everything possible to stop this drought
Worldwide production has been upped twice since launch
14 million to 16.5 million to 17.5 million
current production run - 1.8 million Wiis a month
production depends on components from various suppliers
work force has been tripled at North Bend, Washington
This drought benefits no one
raincheck program at GameStop for consumers to get a Wii after Christmas. GameStop press release coming later today. “tens of thousands” of rainchecks to be available that guarantee a system in January
Full payment needed, starts Dec. 21st, receive system in January sometime
Systems will be available this weekend, Best BUy KMART SEARS TARGET TRU Circuit City
WalMart is releasing systems all week long
Avg Wii player is 29 years old
US sell through for DS - 6 million units in US
Nintendo wanted a more expanded audience when they first started Wii development. The DS helped start those ideas.
Retirement communities are encouraging Nintendo to get Wiis in their facilities
No date for Wii production line to either slow down or speed up
US receives 50% of Wii production a month. Nintendo puts the most hardware where it will sell out the fastest.
No plans to manufacture Wii in North America.
Nintendo sold over 6 million pieces of Wii software through November. Not disappointed with 1.2 million for Galaxy. Attach rate for Wii matches the PS2 when it was at this time in its lifespan.
Reggie met with key third party publishers last week. Wii supplies were talked. Nintendo is on a sales pace with Wii that has never been achieved in this industry. Activision having tremendous success.
Reason the GameStop raincheck system is exclusive is due to presell campaigns. They have the ability to track specific purchases and where consumers go to specific stores. Certificates must be matched to certain consumers to certain stores. Only GameStop can do this.
Reggie on third party software quality - Publishers are working hard to take advantage of the Wii. A range of quality titles is always expected. Publishers that do a great job get great sales. Third parties are building a better understand of the platform, and better games will come.
Nintendo has no quality assurance since quality is subjective. Nintendo is working hand-in-hand with publishers to help them create the best games possible. The level of quality overall will continue to improve. Reggie reminds us of the quality of DS titles when that system hit. It takes time for pubs to understand the platform.
Proof of expanded audience - ESA findings included PC gamers. When talking avg age of console gamers, it was closer to 21 and 22. Now comparing a 29 avg player age on consoles to the 21 and 22 it used to be shows Nintendo that they are expanding the audience.
There are no reported shortages of DS. The 24th of December, inventory should be pretty tight…but consumers should be able to find one.
Reggie talks about online play on VC games - Nintendo mostly wants to leave original games alone. No anticipation of adding online play to VC games.
Reggie talks about online voice chat for Wii - changes constantly happening, online voicechat is possible. It comes down to finalizing a peripheral. The fact that the mic is on the DS shows that Nintendo is interested. It is certainly something Nintendo is looking into, and Reggie wouldn’t be surprised to see it hit the system.
Nintendo doesn’t have a program that fixes prices on the upside. This would be an illegal practice. Nintendo is disappointed to see retailers price their products above MSRP. Nintendo would like to provide these retailers with less product. 90% of sales are done with top 10 retailers in each market.
Software tie-ratio - 3.4 attach rate overall. A greater range of software titles and strong licenses, the consumer is buying more software. Attach rate expected to increase.
Attach rate on accessories - strong sales of Wiimotes, Nunchuks. Zapper has performed extremely well, and additional resources are being put out to get more units on store shelves. Virtual sellout on Zapper. Expect more after the holidays.
Pleased with results of Wii Fit in Japan
Issue with Wii is demand, not problem with manufacturing components
Reggie decides how much product goes to US, Canada and Latin America. Each territory has slightly different seasonality.
That’s the end!