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Gamestop expects third Christmas of Wii shortages

Retailer disagrees with Nintendo of America's belief that console will be available to all this holiday season

North America's largest specialist retailer, Gamestop, has said that it expects it will be all out of Wii consoles by the Christmas holiday season.

Earlier this week, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said that he was confident there would be enough Wii hardware to go around.

David Carlson, chief financial officer for the retailer, said that as well as the console, the retailer also expects sparse supply of peripheral Wii Fit and limited stock of the full band kits for Activision's Guitar Hero.

"Wii Fit is in very, very short supply. It sells through as quickly as it hits the stores," detailed Carlson. "And although the Wii hardware is in very good supply right now we believe it may as well be out of stock by the holiday season."

The Wii console has been in short supply since it was released two year's ago, despite Nintendo upping production and claiming to dedicate extra resources to manufacturing.

While Guitar Hero products will also be in short supply, Carlson indicated that the sale of music games may not be as robust as last year, although the genre is still a big seller for the company.

"The overall category of the music genre is very healthy and we expect it to be popular throughout the holiday season but I think as everyone knows, it’s not as robust as it was last year," he said.

"For example, the Guitar Hero band kit is selling extremely well and it is out of stock in many cases particularly the Xbox and the Wii versions. But again we think it will moderate somewhat for the holiday but it will still be a very popular category for our consumers."

Looking ahead to the first quarter of 2009, Carlson highlighted what the company expects to be its top five titles – Sony's Killzone 2 for the PS3, Microsoft's Halo Wars, Capcom's Resident Evil 5 and Street Fighter IV and Warner's FEAR 2.

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