This article was up on wii.qj.net earlier, but it was deleted. I wanted to post it here again (from the Google cache) for everyone to discuss. I know I've got QUITE a bit to say about it.
GameStop and Nintendo find workaround for Wii shortage
Nintendo finally found a workaround to the Wii shortage problem this holiday season: a rain check program with GameStop. It won't get you a Wii right away but at least it guarantees that you get to put something under the tree, even if it's only the promise of one.
The rain checks will cost as much as a Wii itself (oh where are you, oh holiday spirit of discount?), at US$ 249.99, on December 20 and 21. The rain checks will entitle buyers to a Wii console before January 29.
According to Nintendo, "tens of thousands" of rain checks will be available. Hopefully there won't be a shortage of rain checks anytime soon.
[Via Associated Press]
This article was *removed* from the site. You can't even find it there now unless you click the 'GameStop' tag in another article, and even then, the link just takes you to wii.qj.net. So the issue here is this:
Nintendo is artificially inflating sales by selling consoles that haven't even shipped yet - at full price, not pre-order. This is guaranteeing GameStop "tens of thousands" of sold Wiis. That's $2.5 million for each 10,000 Wiis sold.
Meanwhile, there's no guarantee that the competitors will even get any SHIPPED until February, since Nintendo has promised to fill the GameStop orders by 1/29.
So both GameStop and Nintendo are fudging their Q1 '08 numbers, and monopolizing the availability of the Wii to just one store.
I wouldn't be the LEAST bit surprised if they decided to say, "Oh, you've got to buy a game and an extra Wiimote too"... just to get people by the balls.
It's dirty, dirty business. I posted pretty much the same analysis on the front page and was shouted down as being 'paranoid.'