Nintendo admits 'tight' Wii U stock as UK retail fears shortage

CVG sources claim supply figure could be as low as 25k units on launch day; Regular stock deliveries promised

Nintendo's next generation games console is almost certain to sell out immediately in the UK, with retail sources claiming that only 25,000 Wii U systems will be available on day one.


Update:A Nintendo UK rep told CVG, "Wii U stock levels will be tight on day one," before adding, "However we will be providing retailers with regular stock deliveries in the run up to Christmas in order to meet demand as quickly as possible." Update ends.

A retail source connected to the matter told CVG that the group does not have enough Wii U units to fulfill pre-orders.

The 25,000 figure they provided was then put to a distribution source working at a separate retailer, who said the number was "in line with our estimates".

However, a third source at another UK retail chain said his team was expecting the UK to receive "anything between 75,000 and 100,000 units during the launch period".

"What we don't know is whether this allocation will arrive on day one or be distributed across a number of weeks," he said.

The company expects to ship 5.5 million units to retail globally before April. Profit forecasts have been slashed and the company's president, Satoru Iwata, told investors on Wednesday that "production capacity, rather than consumer demand, that will place limits on our Wii U prospects for this calendar year".

In August, CVG learnt that manufacturing issues had limited Nintendo's supply options for Wii U on launch day.

Months later, in October, Nintendo was reported to have hit a second supply issue due to a factory fire. The company denied that the incident would impact on its Wii U production plans.

Week one sales of games consoles are largely reflective of supply constraints rather than demand. In 2005, Xbox 360 sold out during its first weekend after some 70,000 units were snatched up by eager consumers. One year later, Wii managed to break new weekend records with 105,000 units sold. PS3 broke new ground several months later, with a huge launch supply of 165,000 units all sold out in during its opening weekend.

Nintendo has confirmed a Wii U release date of November 18 in the US and a Wii U release date of November 30 in Europe. The company has set the US Wii U price at $299 for the basic model, while the UK Wii U price starts at £230.