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Nintendo Out-of-Stock: Incompetence, or evil? what's the deal with numerous game/console shortages??

Jan 18, 2017 at 1:40:43 PM
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Bronty (65)
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Its on purpose, I pretty well guarantee it. Designed to foster discussion and OMG did you see what they are going for on ebay at the water cooler.

Its also getting fucking annoying and they better watch it before people start resenting it.

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Jan 18, 2017 at 1:44:18 PM
arch_8ngel (68)
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Originally posted by: rlh

The reason why Nintendo's way of doing business bothers me is because what they are doing isn't special. Take Apple, they release new hardware all the time and they have to gauge demand before they manufacture product. However, they get it pretty close to right every single time. Yes their products may sell out on first day, but they always have enough to meet the demand usually within the first couple of weeks. Think about that-- a multibillion dollar company, no trillion dollar company, can have a near perfect product launch launch. Nintendo could do the same thing if they spend the time in researching the public and seeing how they feel about the product before launch. I don't know if they do any sample testing before they release a product, but their secrecy is their own demise. Without sampling, they have to guess consumer acceptance and, as stated, Nintendo will always "guess" marginal sales.
 
I think part of what you're overlooking in your comparison is that Apple almost certainly has privileged access to

1) exactly how many of their previous generation phones are still in use
2) exactly how many of those owners can upgrade without a penalty of some kind
3) exactly how many of those owners have previously upgraded from the generation before that one

Nintendo knows A LOT LESS about their core customers than Apple does, because when you buy a Nintendo console you aren't signing a 1-2 year service contract with a wireless provider that tracks your usage and knows your upgrade history.

Some of that has probably changed with Club Nintendo tracking individual product registrations.
But that service is completely voluntary, and I suspect not as widely utilized as some here might think.
(as opposed to Apple devices where EVERY cell service provider knows EXACTLY what device you are using, how much, and how frequently you've changed devices)

 

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Jan 18, 2017 at 1:58:34 PM
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jonebone (548)
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And Apple is an American based company while Nintendo is Japan based. Back to the whole JIT Japanese culture thing...

And I'm not sure if Apple perfectly meets demand, have you ever tried to buy a new iPhone? You go into the store on day one and all of the popular colors and sizes are sold out, all that's left is Gold in the smallest GB storage capacity. They don't hit it spot on either, overstock some colors and sizes and understock others.

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Jan 18, 2017 at 2:10:25 PM
arch_8ngel (68)
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Originally posted by: jonebone


And I'm not sure if Apple perfectly meets demand, have you ever tried to buy a new iPhone? You go into the store on day one and all of the popular colors and sizes are sold out, all that's left is Gold in the smallest GB storage capacity. They don't hit it spot on either, overstock some colors and sizes and understock others.
I certainly wouldn't have accused them of perfectly meeting demand.

Just that they are in possession of much more accurate consumer information when they take their guess at initial production.

 

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Jan 18, 2017 at 2:11:02 PM
rlh (66)
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Originally posted by: jonebone

And Apple is an American based company while Nintendo is Japan based. Back to the whole JIT Japanese culture thing...

And I'm not sure if Apple perfectly meets demand, have you ever tried to buy a new iPhone? You go into the store on day one and all of the popular colors and sizes are sold out, all that's left is Gold in the smallest GB storage capacity. They don't hit it spot on either, overstock some colors and sizes and understock others.

That's why I said they can meet demand in "weeks"... where Nintendo some times takes years.

But, I agree.  It is Japanese business-culture vs. US culture.  The reason why I still see it as a problem though is because if a US company wants to do well outside the US, they have to adapt.  Others may know better than I, but I'd assume that the overwhelming majority of Nintendos sales are probably in the US, Canada, Britain and Austraila.  I mention those countries because once you translate and design games for America, it's easy to distribute games in those regions since they also speak English.

So, if Nintendo is going to get the majority of their profits from westernized countries, they should mold their business model to meet the demands of the cultures that they are primarily marketing to.  Alas, they continue to be profitable enough and continue get by even though they are a bit out of place.

In regards to Apple vs. Nintendo, I am aware that this isn't an apples to apples comparison... no pun intended.  But, Apple still does a good job gauging their other hardware that isn't a phone.  Nintendo could learn from that.  In fact, I selected Apple because when it comes to fan-base and market appeal, the Apple market is the one that is most similar to Nintendos market.  Again, there are people that will buy a Nintendo console strictly because it was made by Nintendo.  This is just the same as there are people out there who will by a Macbook Pro because it's cool, the best and it's a got-to-have computer devices that shows "just how serious" about using a computer in a coffee shop. (No harm on Mac users, I'm on one right now!)

I think Apple could learn a lot from a bit more consumer research and doing target case studies on organizations like Apple.  I'm positive they don't have to be this conservative, even if it is the "Japanese way".
 

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Jan 18, 2017 at 4:51:21 PM
gunpei (10)
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Originally posted by: rlh
... The TL;DR conclusion to a WELL layed out argument is that for Nintendo to make a computer-device (that is never made from stock-parts), they have to spend a LOT of money setting up manufacturing lines. ...
You very thoroughly explained why they "under" produce and then refuse to understand it.

Originally posted by: rlh
It's like they ignore the fact that the have literally millions, if not tens-of-millions of fanboy/girls out there who will buy their products strictly because it's the next Nintendo console. The thing could totally suck, and assuming they had the supply, I could still see them selling over 10m on day one (assuming a global launch.)
Wii U has sold less than 14 million consoles over 4 years. Fewer than any Nintendo console since Color TV Game and fewer than any home console from today's big 3 except XBone. Just because you are a fanboy who buys anything they make doesn't mean it makes sense to them to take a major financial risk on hardware. Which you may be coloring rosy. NES took two years to get to America and then months to be available nationwide.

Jan 18, 2017 at 4:59:13 PM
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Strange thread this is.

People are complaining about Limited Editions being limited...

Comparison to the Amiibo shortage isn't really fair. Let's be honest, NO-ONE could in a million years imagine Amiibos would sell so well. Already now, we're all looking back and saying "What were we thinking".

NES Classis Mini comparison is also unfair, I'd say. A LOT of the pre-orders were sold to people that were already collecting NES and already owned a huge library. I'm pretty sure the Nintendo bosses couldn't imagine that these people would be the same people buying the classic. I mean, in all fairness, we didn't exactly need it, and a huge percentage of the ones bought are just bought to sit pretty on a shelf. I can understand how they didn't exactly expect that. That and the hype from about almost every single news media in the world must've come as a surprise, since other consoles (for example Sega) have been available in a modern version for years already without anyone actually caring.

And to think things like Nintendo isn't providing their fanbase with enough stuff. Come on, how many special editions and variations are there of the DS/DSi/2DS/3DS/3DSXL/NEW3DSXL and what they're called available? Seems like there is a new version on the market every fortnight.

Oh, and:

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Edited: 01/18/2017 at 05:10 PM by tordur

Jan 18, 2017 at 4:59:57 PM
rlh (66)
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I don't. I've given up on new games and tend to stick to vintage collecting.

My numbers were estimations, and were off, but considering that the switch is a new system, I'd say it has the potential to sell high quantities if the were available.

To your point though, I do think many people have the same effect that I have. If you see a product that you want but can't get it because the supplier can't get the goods out fast enough, eventually you write it off and look to put your dollars elsewhere. This happened with me and the NES Mini. I'm not upset that I didn't get one on launch day. My main beef with that case was that this is a really simple device and if there was ever a piece of hardware that didn't have to suffer from "typical Nintendo" behavior, it was that. With that said, if Nintendo could meet initial demand, they would sell more. The reason is because the attention span of the interested parties is always short. I have no clue how the Wii managed to keep demand so high for a couple years, but it did. I think the Switch might, just might, see the same effect.

Still, I have a very hard time that if Nintendo wasn't sitting on, say 2-4 million units, ready to go on day one that they couldn't sell them and if production lines were ready to produce 24/7, then they could probably quickly match those Wii-U numbers. IMHO, the Wii-U likely suffered from the fact that it felt like a Wii-U grade cause, well, it was. This Switch is a completely new experience so it has that hype going for it.

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Jan 18, 2017 at 5:08:54 PM
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Originally posted by: Dangoo87

Guys, remeber that the Nintendo Switch is going to be region free so you are no longer limited to game suppliers from the states. Just find another supplier in a different region to get your copy. It may not look super pretty on your shelf but you are not completely shafted like before.





I actually considered getting an import copy due to this very reason. But the only pieces of swag from the NA Special Edition I wanted were the Sheikah Case, map and soundtrack. Not getting all that stuff anywhere else.

At this point I'm resigned to missing out and just getting the standard edition eventually. Really disheartening to miss out on the pre-order window only to see the Special Edition being listed for literally hundreds of dollars on ebay. It's disgusting.

Jan 18, 2017 at 5:11:52 PM
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Need Stadium Events + Panesian titles, 6-in-1's, Menace Beach, Moon Ranger & Secret Scout to complete my licensed/unlicensed sets.

If you've got any of the above for sale, hit me up!


Edited: 01/18/2017 at 05:12 PM by darkchylde28

Jan 18, 2017 at 7:52:48 PM
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Another upset fan... and his points are truly spot on. Let's talk about their limited editions. Nintendo has purposely made such items a scalper's paradise, and there is no excuse for this. NONE.


Edited: 01/18/2017 at 07:53 PM by avatar!

Jan 18, 2017 at 9:21:35 PM
DeChief (26)
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C'mon guys, it's a basic business strategy as old as time: artificial demand. Apple did it with the iPod and numerous other companies have done it too, so why wouldn't Nintendo do it?

Jan 19, 2017 at 12:19:28 AM
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Originally posted by: DeChief

C'mon guys, it's a basic business strategy as old as time: artificial demand. Apple did it with the iPod and numerous other companies have done it too, so why wouldn't Nintendo do it?

As many have started saying the famous line for a while now.

"It's ok when Nintendo does it".

Really just because they've made some of your favorite childhood games or other big companies have done it doesn't mean this kind of stuff is approved with everyone and just turn away from it. In a business stand point, it helps bring in income yes but doesn't mean it still isn't shady thing to do.
 

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Jan 19, 2017 at 1:22:01 AM
gunpei (10)
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Originally posted by: rlh

I don't. I've given up on new games and tend to stick to vintage collecting.
1. Then why do you care?
2. Point still stands. Regardless of specific numbers. Fanboys alone cannot support a mass market. As Wii U and GameCube have shown.
considering that the switch is a new system, I'd say it has the potential to sell high quantities if the were available.
Potential potential, gonna wunna shunna.

I too might have been interested in the NES Classic upon release and no longer am. You're right, I have more than one thing to spend money on. I don't even have to look for other places to put it. I could list ten off the top of my head. I am not a reliable customer for Nintendo or anybody else. It is one thing to appeal to an expanded audience, as the Wii and NES did. Quite another to depend on us to support high volumes-- especially without a strong lineup. That is really the key. I'll buy the machine if I want the games. But Nintendo can't simply "innovate" cool hardware and expect me to buy it for its own sake. I do think the Switch is neat. But where are the games? Two and 3 halves is not a launch. Hardware is to support software, which is what's really important. That's why I don't have or want a Wii U. The Switch landscape isn't looking better yet. I wish to heck it would. But it's not.

Jan 19, 2017 at 1:32:05 AM
gunpei (10)
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Originally posted by: tordur
People are complaining about Limited Editions being limited...

Apparently this can't be said enough for the OP and others. If nobody wants to pay the scalpers, they stop. So who is paying them and why? And why do you want the limited thing?

Jan 19, 2017 at 7:25:37 AM
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Got my preorder for the system in yesterday at Walmart. They are still taking preorders at the site-to-store pickup desks.

Jan 19, 2017 at 8:06:24 AM
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I think Nintendo is a fundamentally conservative company and would rather be back ordered than back stocked.

It's as simple as that.

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Jan 19, 2017 at 8:14:48 AM
Gentlegamer (14)
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Originally posted by: rlh
 
Originally posted by: rcorporon

Just old, antiquated business practices that have no business still being used and are anti-consumer IMO.


Well, I don't think any of us could claim to be "experts" on this, but it's my perspective that this is the closest explaination after trying to search for solid answers to this assinine situation that happens with every... single... major Nintendo release.

I wish I could find it but the most reliable article I read, which was put out a very good source (possibly Ars Technica or other legit, journalistic tech site), which asked these questions.  I think it was from the era of the Wii when it had multi-year, pent-up demand.

The TL;DR conclusion to a WELL layed out argument is that for Nintendo to make a computer-device (that is never made from stock-parts), they have to spend a LOT of money setting up manufacturing lines.  In the case of the Wii, Nintendo had to hedge there bets on making 1 OR 2 production lines.  They chose to be conservative and made 1 line and that was their fatal mistake.

I'm still bitter about the NES Classic.  I really do feel that 99% of their issues stems from conservative business models that pervent them from taking risk.  Nintendo will probably never, ever over-produce ANY product ever again.  To be that sure, they need to design their production process so that even a failed device or (toy line) will be profitable, even if they sell a limited run because there is very-little demand once it's released.  

The issue is even further confounded by the fact that Nintendo typically demands high-quality manufactured goods.  Yes, the internals of something like the Switch might be underpowered when compared to the competition, but one thing you can be certain of is that little device, and all of the controllers and accessories, won't feel like junk.  Manufacturing quality is expensive-- even cheaper items.  You have to be sure you find quality plastic mold makers, quality PCB board printers as well as board and final-product assemblers.  This takes time, money and research and it's very hard to replicate it quickly when demand is begging for more production.

The bottom line is that Nintendo's extreme business conservatism and demand to be profitable at the cost of taking risk, plus the requirement of extreme quality, means that there will ALWAYS be shortages.  That could change if N's culture shifted back to taking risks on it's hardware but I doubt that will ever happen.  The current model is "safe" and is certainly profitable.  Yes, they leave vasts sums of money on the table, which scalpers are more than willing to take and, certainly, they could be even more profitable if they made, say 3 production lines for the Switch, rather than 2.

However, if the cost is, say $100,000,000, to create that second line then an expectation of profit-turning might shift from one year to three or even four.  If the Switch flopped, then that could take down Nintendo.  Maybe not immediately, but considering the change in the gaming market, Nintendo knows they are already behind the eightball.  Unless gamers shift back console gaming from casual mobile gaming, Nintendo will continue to be conservative, make limited but profitable quantities and play it safe.

That's just a fact we're all going to have to live with.

Everyone bookmark this post because this is the answer.
 

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Jan 19, 2017 at 9:38:10 AM
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Originally posted by: Serpentor

Got my preorder for the system in yesterday at Walmart. They are still taking preorders at the site-to-store pickup desks.

I stopped there first and this older lady looked SO confused and said, "No, we're not doing that." I politely said ok thanks and then proceeded to the electronics department, who pointed me to the layaway desk which is the same as the photo desk. Guy there was able to take my preorder no problem. I did not get to select a color, so I'm wondering how that will work come March 3rd, but I'm not too concerned. 

So yes, if anyone is looking to preorder a Switch, go to Walmart. Start at customer service and then just keep asking around until you find someone who knows where in that store you preorder. 

Jan 19, 2017 at 10:17:36 AM
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jonebone (548)
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Originally posted by: avatar!
 
Another upset fan... and his points are truly spot on. Let's talk about their limited editions. Nintendo has purposely made such items a scalper's paradise, and there is no excuse for this. NONE.
This just in... limited editions are limited.  More on the news at 6.

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Jan 19, 2017 at 10:28:38 AM
RegularGuyGamer (110)
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Originally posted by: jonebone

Originally posted by: avatar!
 
Another upset fan... and his points are truly spot on. Let's talk about their limited editions. Nintendo has purposely made such items a scalper's paradise, and there is no excuse for this. NONE.
This just in... limited editions are limited.  More on the news at 6.



Lol seriously

And clearly anyone who thinks that needs only a few counter examples to be swayed right? Like Mario Party 10 or MegaMan Legacy for 3ds.

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Jan 19, 2017 at 10:52:15 AM
darkchylde28 (10)
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Originally posted by: jonebone
Originally posted by: avatar!
 
Another upset fan... and his points are truly spot on. Let's talk about their limited editions. Nintendo has purposely made such items a scalper's paradise, and there is no excuse for this. NONE.
This just in... limited editions are limited.  More on the news at 6.

Yeah, limited editions are limited, but used to be, "back in the day," you know, less than 10 years ago, the number of limited editions would actually be dictated by the number of preorders for that edition.  With something that's obviously going to be this in demand, I totally get fans' absolute frustration at Nintendo essentially courting the scalper market over fans.  Some might say that "true fans" would be waiting with baited breath to try and jam into whatever 15-30 second windows appear to do what they had to to get such things, but guess what?  Tons of "true fans" are responsible adults now, with kids to take care of, jobs to go to, shit to get done, who don't have time to play "whack a mole" on the vague hope that they might get something that's tailor made to their taste.

I wasn't impressed with the Switch presentation, the games coming out, etc., so this particular event doesn't affect me.  But I totally get why people are pissed off.  Stop acting like they don't have any right to be.  These things haven't been mass produced yet (or shouldn't have been, anyway--they wouldn't have been just a few years ago), so there's no reason other than Nintendo trying to artificially drum up hype and demand to do this.  Limited edition does mean limited--but it doesn't mean a specific number, so there's no reason for fans willing to pony up money up front, before manufacturing of all these things should have ever begun, shouldn't be able to get one.  After the launch date?  Sure, no more available, let the scalpers have at it.  Beforehand?  I'm left in solidarity with fans shaking their heads in disgust.

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Need Stadium Events + Panesian titles, 6-in-1's, Menace Beach, Moon Ranger & Secret Scout to complete my licensed/unlicensed sets.

If you've got any of the above for sale, hit me up!


Edited: 01/19/2017 at 10:53 AM by darkchylde28

Jan 19, 2017 at 11:33:17 AM
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Originally posted by: rlh
Take Apple, they release new hardware all the time and they have to gauge demand before they manufacture product. However, they get it pretty close to right every single time. Yes their products may sell out on first day, but they always have enough to meet the demand usually within the first couple of weeks. Think about that-- a multibillion dollar company, no trillion dollar company, can have a near perfect product launch launch.
That's because Apple sells to the same people every single time, and they release products more frequently than Nintendo does. When you have that kind of reliability in your fanbase (way more reliable than Nintendo), you can't help but to know exactly how much you need to make.

Nintendo fans are not as numerous as you would think. Their reliable fanbase all got Wii Us, a few more people took the plunge, and that was it.

Jan 19, 2017 at 11:41:30 AM
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Originally posted by: Gentlegamer

I think Nintendo is a fundamentally conservative company and would rather be back ordered than back stocked.

It's as simple as that.
Ding Ding!

Is nintendo even as close to as big a company as Microsoft and Sony? Could they absorb the hit they would take if they overproduced the switch and it failed?

 

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Jan 19, 2017 at 11:52:47 AM
arch_8ngel (68)
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Originally posted by: darkchylde28

  But I totally get why people are pissed off.  Stop acting like they don't have any right to be. 
They "have the right" to do all sorts of things.

Doesn't prevent some of the more extreme complainers from looking silly or childish in the process.



 

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Edited: 01/19/2017 at 03:13 PM by arch_8ngel