In a conference call discussing the continuing Wii supply constraints, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime announced that the company, in conjunction with retailer GameStop, is launching a "rain check" program that will "guarantee consumers can get a Wii after Christmas."
According to Fils-Aime, consumers who purchase an out-of-stock Wii at full price beginning December 20th will receive a rain check certificate that guarantees them a Wii system "sometime in January."
Rain-checked systems must be picked up by January 29th, and Fils-Aime noted that this program is only being offered in conjunction with GameStop, due to the retailer's extensive pre-sell program.
"They have the ability to track specific purchases and where shoppers go in terms of specific stores," Fils-Aime explained. "As you can expect, the way the system needs to work is certificates need to be matched to Wiis and individual stores, and only this retailer can do it."
Fils-Aime also said that Wii systems will be available the weekend of the 15th with retailer circulars offering them at Best Buy, Kmart, Sears, Target, Toys 'R' Us and Circuit City. Though it does not have the same promotional circular, Fils-Aime added Wal Mart will be "pushing massive amounts of Wii systems into stores week-long."
Added Fils-Aime, "As you can imagine, we’re working with all of our retailers to make sure that every last available system hits stores for the holidays. But we expect no slowdown after the of the year. There are temptations for consumers to pay more than they want to to resellers. If you can hold out a little bit longer, there will be more and more product available in January; we are not slowing down."
Concluded Fils-Aime, "When will we meet demand? There's no way to answer that question until we actually meet it."