Where are all the Wiis?

The Nintendo Wii is still hard to come by. The PlayStation 3, not so much.

Well, it's been a nice couple of months since the launch of the Nintendo Wii and the PlayStation 3. After the predictably massive crowds and instant sell-outs of the systems on launch day, stores have had plenty of time to restock and get the new next-gen systems back on their shelves. Unfortunately, that hasn't quite been the case.

The Nintendo Wii is still almost impossible to find, and this is a surprising frustration for guys like me who decided not to wait in line for hours to get one at launch. After some legwork and a number of phone calls, I've determined that there isn't a Nintendo Wii on sale in Manhattan. At least, there aren't any Wiis for sale in Manhattan in the big-name stores such as GameStop and Best Buy. There might be some smaller, disreputable boutiques with Wiis in the back sold at high markup, but I want to buy my console for retail price from a store that's on the up-and-up.

iTrackr is a Web site that tracks different stores' inventories for big-name items. According to their site, only 7 out of 62 listed stores in New York City have Nintendo Wiis in stock, and none of them are in Manhattan. This Wii shortage is somewhat surprising, but not as surprising as the other thing I found in my search: many stores have PS3s on hand.

According to iTrackr, 30 of the 62 stores listed in NYC have PlayStation 3s in stock, including the GameStops I frequent at Union Square and the Manhattan Mall at 33rd and Broadway. I checked other areas on iTrackr to see if this trend followed. In Los Angeles, 4 out of 42 stores have Wiis in stock, while 12 have PS3s. In San Francisco, 5 out of 19 stores have PS3s, and none have any Wiis. The Wii is also sold out in Fort Worth, Texas, where 17 out of 18 stores have PS3s in stock. Even in my rural hometown of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, neither of the GameStops/Electronics Boutiques near town have Wiis, while both have PS3s.

OK, this is just one aggregation site, and it's not very scientific or statistically sound way to determine product availability. Still, it's a strange trend to witness. But even on CNET, two merchants are carrying PlayStation 3s (albeit at high markups over retail), but none have any Wiis.

If I was trying to get a PlayStation 3, this would be great news. Unfortunately, I want to get my Zelda on, and I really don't want to schlep out to Queens, NY to do so.

 

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