Online Wii Demand Hits All-Time High; One Chain Offers “Rain Checks”
More than a year after its release, there is more consumer demand for the Nintendo Wii, by far, than at any point in its history. Interest in the Microsoft Xbox 360 is as high as ever, while the Sony PlayStation has experienced a surge in interest corresponding with the start of the holiday shopping season. That’s according to the Web traffic analysis firm Compete, which estimated the amount of demand, as extrapolated from online searches.
According to Compete’s data, more than 3 million consumers shopped online for the Wii in the month of November, a nearly threefold increase over the month before and 40 percent higher than in the month the console was originally introduced. Meanwhile the Xbox console, thanks to the release of the 360-exclusive “Halo 3” game, caught the Wii in terms of online demand in September, before surging again prior to the holidays.
The demand for the Wii and lack of corresponding supply, of course, has led to shortages, which have forced retailers to get creative. But one retailer, GameStop, is getting help from Nintendo itself: The gaming giant will offer a “rain check” to anyone paying full price for an out-of-stock Wii, promising them a console “sometime in January.” The offer, though, will only be available for two days- Dec. 20 and 21- and only at GameStop.