The Wii is still sold out

Even a year and a half after its release, the Nintendo Wii is still sold out online and is unavailable for purchase from major retailers such as Best Buy and Amazon.

On Monday, we reported on the Wii Fit shortage. But believe it or not, the actual Wii console is still in short supply, a year and a half after its release. If you're like us, you figured that after the holiday season the overwhelming demand for the Nintendo Wii would finally let up and you'd finally be able to buy the console easily online and in stores. However, the Wii is still essentially sold out online; we couldn't find the console available to buy from major retailers like, Best Buy, and Circuit City. We did find a few places where you could buy a Wii, but they required you to buy an expensive bundle, like GameStop's $400 bundle or Wal-Mart's $500 bundle. According to Wii, you can't buy a Wii online for less than $390.

We contacted Nintendo for a comment on the persistant Wii shortages. Here's what the company said:

No home console has ever sold so fast for so long. We planned for big numbers--but not necessarily historic ones. We're doing everything we can. In fact, Nintendo recently forecast that for the fiscal year that began April 1, 2008, worldwide shipments for Wii will increase to 25 million from 18.61 million this past fiscal year. This summer, Nintendo will raise production to 2.4 million systems per month.

That extra production should help the shortage, but who knows if it's enough to handle demand. And while Nintendo claims it is doing everything it can, that's a little hard to swallow now that the company has had plenty of time to ramp up production. For what it's worth, other consoles are readily available online, with both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 available at Amazon. And Nintendo's other popular platform, the DS, can be ordered in a variety of colors.

When do you think the Wii will be in ready supply? Does anyone think Nintendo is purposely creating an artificial shortage? (We don't.) Does anyone have any tips for Wii seekers?