Superstar game industry analyst Michael Pachter told the LA Times that Nintendo's smaller North American supply
of Wii Fit
units can be blamed, just like everything else that has anything to do with business, on the value of the dollar. "The shortage demonstrates one consequence of the weak dollar. We're seeing companies ignore their largest market simply because they can make a greater profit elsewhere." Then -- seemingly to make sure blogs quoted him -- Pachter added, "They know that Americans will be just as fat a few months from now." The article states that about 500,000 Wii Fit
s were shipped to the U.S., versus "as many as 2 million" to Europe.
We think that if the disparity is indeed strategic, it has less to do with the decreasing value of the dollar, and more to do with two other trends: Nintendo of Europe's increased friendliness toward nontraditional "expanded audience" games, and European gamers' acceptance of exorbitant game prices. It's not so much that $90 is low
for Wii Fit
-- it's that they can get away with
selling it for $140 in Europe.