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Adventures in Engineering
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2006-12-03 12:15
  Subject:   Nintendo has no chance of meeting their Revo ship targets. None.
Public
  Mood:Revo Nazi - "No Revo for you!"

After having spent a second cold morning camping out trying to get a Revo to no avail, I'm pretty frustrated. To give you some idea of the typical way things are going, let me offer this conversation I had with a manager at the Super Target in Superior at about 10:15 this morning:

Me: "Do you have any Wiis?"
Him: "We had some this morning."
Me: "But they're gone now?"
Him: "They were gone at 6:30." (Note: Store doesn't even open until 8!)
Me: "Cool, thanks."

As I said, this is the typical conversation, not an unusual one. The story was exactly the same at the Target in Boulder - people had reputedly lined up pre-7am to get one of the few available there. (Have you been outside in the 6 o'clock hour recently? It ain't warm! These people have some real fortitude!) In fact, the "they were gone before we opened the doors" response and one other, the "we don't have any and we're not sure when the next shipment will arrive" response, is how every single one of my inquiries about Revos have gone for the last two weeks running. At EB Games, where I waited an hour for the doors to open, they had none in a stock and told me to call back a week from Monday.(!)

I don't have exact numbers, but doing some rough estimating based on local conditions leads me to believe that Nintendo has shipped approximately ~650k consoles to the USA since the launch two weeks ago. Do the math - they're shipping an average of ~320k consoles a week. That's impressive, but it's nowhere near the actual level of demand. Now step back and consider the fact that 'Tendo was probably trying to prime the retail pump by shipping as many units as they possibly could in the week or two before the launch, and their weekly average ship rate falls even more.

So now there are rumblings about getting 4 million consoles shipped by Christmas. Again, do the math - that would be 1 million consoles a week, starting tomorrow and continuing for the next three weeks, solid. Given past performance, do you believe that?

I do not. Does 'Tendo really think that by tomorrow they can either A) speed up their production lines by a factor of three and/or B) hire three times as many people to get the work done? No chance. Not a snowball's odds in hell. I don't buy that their current plants are working at 1/3rd capacity now, and no one with any understanding of manufacturing would imply that even a doubling, much less a tripling, of production capacity could happen in a week. Even with all the money in the world, I doubt a doubling of production capacity could be done in a month.


The party line coming out of Nintendo seems to be "I know you can't get a Wii now, but don't worry, we'll have plenty shipped in time for Christmas." Don't believe the hype. Someone in Nintendo management is smoking huge bowls of crack, and buying into their own BS. The thing you need to keep in mind is what Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime said on Wednesday: "Exceeding (sales targets) is going to be challenging based on manufacturing capacity," he added "We will sell everything we make so now it's simply a manufacturing thing."

Every last Revo made will sell - and Nintendo knows it. Supply is running so far behind demand that scarcity is an absolute certainty - and Nintendo knows it. That tells you everything you need to know. Quite contrary to the happy-ass BS corporate party line, I predict that what we will see in the next three weeks... is exactly what I have been seeing for the last two. About every week, week and a half, a new shipment of approximately 40 consoles will come in to one, perhaps two of your local retailers. All the vouchers for every last one of them will be gone before the store has even opened its doors in the morning. And this will continue at least into the first week of January, perhaps several weeks longer.

Even assuming 'Tendo can keep up the weekly ship rate of ~300k+ a week, they will still be lucky to ship another 1 million consoles by Christmas. 4 million... is absolutely ridiculous.


Nintendo had no idea what they were getting into here. Sales are off the charts, orders of magnitude beyond anyone's wildest expectations. And manufacturing hasn't a fart's chance in a hurricane of catching up in the three weeks left before C-day.

Bookmark this post so you can find these words again come January: This Christmas, it's going to suck to be a Nintendo fan.
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Ashfae
  User: ashfae
  Date: 2006-12-03 19:19 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Not for those of us who habitually wait a year or three to buy new consoles, by which points there's more than one game worth playing on them. ;)
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-12-03 19:22 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Good point. But I'm not willing to wait a year to play Zelda.
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Ashfae
  User: ashfae
  Date: 2006-12-03 19:23 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I'll respect that, because damn it looks awesome. It'd be the one game in my more-than-one-good-game snark.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-12-03 19:32 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
As far as I'm concerned, it's the ONLY game for the Revo. I don't give a damn about any of the other ones. Metroid Prime 3 might be good or might suck, but since it's not coming out until next summer, I don't care.

In my opinion, the Revo is a one-game console. Fortunately, that one game appears to be great. That puts the Revo wayyyyy ahead of the PS3, which is a ZERO game console. And you don't need an MBA to know that when it comes to consoles, "It's the GAMES, stupid!" (But shhh, don't tell Sony! They're on a roll with the PSP and the PS3 now, releasing the console wayyyy before there are any games for it. They'll hardware-release themselves to complete oblivion in six more months at this rate...)
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Nikkou: edward lear's jumblies
  User: jumblies
  Date: 2006-12-03 20:43 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Keyword:edward lear's jumblies
http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-bt-49-en-70-1q86.html
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-12-03 21:04 (UTC)
  Subject:   Hahaha!
Notice how the American one is going for $500 and the Japanese one for $400. Despite the fact that they're EXACTLY THE SAME THING!! Tells you a lot about the shortage of consoles here in the USA.

Simple economics - as supply gets scarcer, the price goes up.
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Nikkou: edward lear's jumblies
  User: jumblies
  Date: 2006-12-04 09:19 (UTC)
  Subject:   Re: Hahaha!
Keyword:edward lear's jumblies
The US console comes with a game, but that sure won't cost a $100. :)
The rest is probably to cover shipping, other overheads and their profit. PlayAsia is a great online company. Very reliable (and lots of stock).
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MegaZone
  User: zonereyrie
  Date: 2006-12-03 21:57 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Duh!

Did anyone believe, for a second, either Sony or Nintendo on their shipping forecasts? I didn't.

I *will* be buying a PS3. I *may* buy a Wii... Revo. (God I had the name 'Wii'.) I probably won't buy a 360. But I'm happy to wait until post-holiday when the madness subsides.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-12-03 22:15 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Did anyone believe, for a second, either Sony or Nintendo on their shipping forecasts? I didn't.

Dunno. I'm not sure if I bought it, or just didn't think about it before now.

(God I hate the name 'Wii'.)

Penny Arcade said it best...
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-12-03 22:37 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I think Nintendo already manufactured the units last spring because they knew there will be people getting killed over it.

If the lines for the Revo have been anything besides peaceful, I haven't heard about it. Heard about several muggings and even someone getting shot in a PS3 line, but for some reason the Revo lines don't seem to attract the same kind of crazies.
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dpcfmander
  User: dpcfmander
  Date: 2006-12-03 23:38 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
"After having spent a second cold morning camping out trying to get a [revoWiition]"

Whoah. You... you *camped out in line*??!! Twice??!!!!!

Ahahaha! For some reason, that just sounds so unlike you. Nothing wrong with; just took me by surprise.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-12-03 23:40 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Not overnight, just for an hour or two (in two different places) this morning. I got up at 7:30 and pretty much blew my entire morning for nothing. Grr, argh!
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dpcfmander
  User: dpcfmander
  Date: 2006-12-03 23:44 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Sounds better than sitting at home twiddling your thumbs. *Shrug* Who knows, there might be some sexy female gamers in those lines! ;D (Wait, that's an oxy-moron.)
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  User: nickhalfasleep
  Date: 2006-12-04 03:30 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Nintendo doesn't have to desperately ship them out ASAP to then sell games that make them money. I think they make money on the hardware and all the games. It's not a rush like Microsoft or Sony to start selling games.
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Willow: Not So Easy
  User: willow_red
  Date: 2006-12-04 15:02 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Keyword:Not So Easy
A friend of mine is the Nintendo sales rep for this area. If you really want a Wii, I could ask him about how to time going to which stores in order to find one. He should know more than the people at the stores.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2006-12-04 20:13 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I'd much rather know that I'm wrong about them not meeting their ship targets than get an easy in. If you don't mind, pass along the URL to this post and have him check my assumptions.
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Ohmi
  User: ohmisunao
  Date: 2006-12-04 18:14 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I showed up at a Fry's in Fremont on day-1 and got one.. though they kinda raked me over the coals and made me buy some shitty games too. :P
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