Nintendo has allocated one million Wii units for the North American launch, Ron Bertram, Nintendo of Canada's vice-president and general manager, told Mackenzie Investments:
"We're looking at a million for North America at launch. (...) If we get what we're supposed to get, this will be our most plentiful launch in the 15 years I've been at Nintendo. All signs are actually extremely positive."
Wii will outsell PS3 in the launch window
The one million Wii consoles compare with 400.000 PS3 units Sony promised to make available at launch in that region (in the article, Bertram erroneously mentions only 300.000). So if you play the numbers game (and knowing that launch shipments always sell out within days), this pretty much guarantees that Wii will sell more units than PS3 in the launch window.
The same will be true of the other territories. In Japan, Sony will only launch with 100.000 units, while Nintendo is almost certain to have a multitude of that number available. And in Europe, PS3 won´t be available until March next year.
So, as long as the initial demand that exists for any console at launch is sustained, Wii will outsell PS3. It really is as simple as that. Nintendo simply has far bigger shipments for their launch in every one of the three territories.
Level playing field no earlier than March
The question is, of course, what the picture will look like once both consoles become readily available and consumers have got a real choice of picking up either the one or the other. Only then will a level playing field emerge. PS3 may start to outsell Wii and could easily catch up a lead of, say, one or two million consoles (which seems realistic, looking at these figures).
Yet there are further questions here: When will that point be reached? And what may have happened until then? First, Sony most likely won´t reach that point until after March, since most consoles manufactured between Christmas and then will be allocated to support the European launch. And here is the biggest question of them all: will Nintendo´s headstart - until there is a level playing field - be enough to convince publishers that Wii will continue to sell?
Xbox360 may become Wii´s real competitor
In my mind, beating the notoriuosly difficult to manufacture PS3 is no great acclaim in the launch window. This will happen. Publishers know this. The answer to the big question has more to do with the Xbox360 than the PS3. Microsoft have had their console available for a year now, so they have already created a level playing field for themselves. If Wii can catch up with the Xbox360, then publishers will be greatly impressed, I am sure, and may start to switch their allegiances as they stand now.
However, this is, again, a simple numbers game. Microsoft has sold around five million Xbox360 consoles. And it will take Nintendo at least until March at the very earliest to catch up with that number. If Microsoft actually do reduce their prices, this will become so much harder to achieve.
I am sure that we will not start to see a winner emerge until well after March. Until then, the preliminary winner is Microsoft.
EDIT I have rounded up other sites´ commentary on this topic for you.
While a plentiful supply is good news for people that want to wait til the last minute without paying top dollar on eBay, leftover units on November 20th may give the Wii negative light after the scarce 360s of Holiday 2005 and the near certain PS3 sellout (due to very limited supply).
It would actually be nice to be able to stroll into a store and pick one of these things up without a pre-order, and a million units at launch would be a big step in that direction. No one wants to repeat the Xbox 360 launch shortages that plagued gamers last year.
As many know, it’s one thing to have a million consoles, but another thing to actually sell a million consoles. While the 400,000 PS3s will most likely sell out to the loyal Sony fans on the first day of launch, Nintendo might have difficulties convincing the general gamers to get a Wii at launch.
The confident statement from Bertram echoes UK general manager David Yarnton's belief in a strong launch for the Wii in Europe, who stated last week that he expected to see "more stock than we've ever had."
EuroGamer & Games Industry
Comparatively, Sony holds the record of the largest North American console launch with 500,000 PlayStation 2 units sold on October 26, 2000. The PlayStation 2 also suffered shortages due to hardware difficulties, graphics synthesizer hardware to be precise, in a backorder that lasted until 2001.
One million. This figure might be the magic number, the allocation so that gamers can obtain one within reasonable difficulty, and yet still be in enough short supply to ensure the image of "must-have" hot holiday item. Our
fangshearts tingle in anticipation.
Nintendo Wii Fanboy
Source: Mackenzie Investments
Thanks to: DigitalBattle, Joystiq