Australia running out of Wiis

Last updated 00:00 01/01/2009

The popular games console has been tipped to be one of the big sellers in Australia this Christmas, but several stores across the country have run out of stock, leaving many consumers empty-handed.

A poll of various stores around Sydney revealed most had Wii consoles in stock, but did not expect them to last toward the weekend.

A spokeswoman for the Myer retail chain said their stores were currently receiving their last delivery before Christmas, but expected them to sell quickly.

"They're selling like hotcakes," she said.

"Once the current deliveries sell, we're not receiving any more until the early New Year."

Nintendo Australia public relations coordinator Heather Murphy admits the Wii and its smaller cousin the Nintendo DS, have become victims of their own success.

"Throughout 2007, both Nintendo DS and Wii's popularity have grown exponentially," Ms Murphy said.

"The range of games for both Nintendo DS and Wii is really broad - we have games that appeal to core gamers, casual gamers, young females, even seniors are embracing both the Nintendo DS and Wii."

Ms Murphy said the company was producing more units than ever before, but admits many people may miss out on having a Wii this summer.

"We're continually putting more and more Wii systems into the pipeline, but they all sell through almost instantly," Ms Murphy said.

"Due to the high demand for both products, come Christmas time we may not be able to satisfy all consumer demand."

Many stockists are profiting from the Wii shortage, with anecdotal reports of customers buying as many as 10 units at a time and then selling them at an inflated price online.

Several listings on the online auction website eBay have attracted bids between $US400 ($NZ528) and $US500, with one listing as high as $US729 - almost double the recommended retail price of $US399.

- Reuters

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