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Wii Fit shortage is a "missed opportunity" warns IDC analyst

Mon 02 Jun 2008 8:07am GMT / 4:07am EDT / 1:07am PDT

Plus Wedbush Morgan estimates just 500k titles sold in the US, compared with 2 million in Europe

Billy Pidgeon, analyst for research firm IDC, has warned Nintendo that its success with the Wii console could backfire if it doesn't work on managing consumer expectation.

Shortages of the fitness-based title Wii Fit have been widely reported, but are being felt most keenly in the US, and Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter believes that Nintendo is shipping four times as many units to Europe to maximise on the profits yielded by the strong Euro.

"The shortage demonstrates one consequence of the weak dollar. We're seeing companies ignore their largest market simply because they can make a greater profit elsewhere," Pachter told the LA Times.

"They know that Americans will be just as fat a few months from now," he added, estimating that only 500,000 copies have been sold in the US, compared to 2 million in Europe.

But Pidgeon expressed his concern over the patience of US gamers waiting for more stock to become available.

"That's a tough line to tread," he said. "When does the consumer get frustrated and move on?

"So far, the Wii still has cachet. But the fact that consumers can't find a Wii or a Wii Fit is definitely a missed opportunity."

Despite Pachter's estimates on shipments, retailers in the UK are still struggling to keep up with demand, although Nintendo UK has responded, saying: "We are doing everything we can to replenish shortages as soon as possible.

"To this effect we are continuing to bring Wii Fit stock into retailers across the UK on a weekly basis."

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