Friday, April 20, 2007

Hey I Got Mine. Catch You Next Time?

I've spent my fair share of time rotting away in business classes during college to at least be able to feign appreciation for some of the ridiculous laws of supply/demand, and all that other mumbo jumbo that they like to pass off as educational these days.

Having said that, I guess it goes without saying that THIS makes sense on some level. After all, everybody knows that a good business really shouldn't focus on its customer's wants and needs. What you really should be concerning yourself with, is keeping those pesky shareholders happy. Don't you just love the business world?

So I'm sitting there thinking about the whole "You still can't find a Nintendo Wii sitting on a store shelf anywhere" fiasco that's still going on, and I'm half believing what this guy is saying. Now don't get me wrong, as I actually enjoy my own, even if it gets less play time than my other consoles at the moment. It just so happens that there is nothing released that screams "drop everything else and play me" at this point in time. I'm hoping that will change sooner than later. Once again, I digress ( Nothing like a good case of writer's ADHD to send a blog careening off track).

I can actually see Nintendo (or any other console maker for that matter) pulling this stunt on us, in order to make thing look great on paper for a particular quarter. Still, I have to wonder if they actually give a care about how this affects their customers. Certainly they realize that there's going to be large portion of people who simply write them off for a while, and spend their money on a competitor's goods that are very much in stock at the moment. Now you might think that this isn't a big deal, as these same people can come back later and buy the Wii (or the console in question) at a later date. The big question is; will they feel the need to? You sure better hope so.

In this particular example, it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to hold back the goods. It's not like Nintendo is trying their best to crank out cutting edge technology that has a high failure rate (like in their chipsets, for instance). I just don't see anything that could reasonably be slowing down their production line, and I firmly believe that time is their greatest enemy. As the PoS3 (yes, I meant to spell it that way) and the Xbox 360 continue to push the boundaries of their respective consoles, Nintendo is going to look worse and worse. I have no doubts that the Wii is going to still sell like hotcakes for the short term, but we all know it's going to be considered everyone's back up console once history looks back on all of this.

That is, unless Nintendo starts cranking these things out like the free AOL disks that mysteriously showed up in my mailbox each day for years. The key for Nintendo to save itself from a similar fate as the Gamecube is to actually make sure their console gets in the hands of customers who really want them, while these customers are still excited about the thing. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm right. Only time will tell. I still feel that this shortage (like most console launches that are years in the making) is a bunch of crap, and never should have happened.

Then again, what do I know? After all, I'm just a customer, and not a shareholder.

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