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Nintendo will be offering up nothing but disappointment to tens of thousands of kids this holiday season.

The red-hot video game company, whose stock has more than doubled this year on the runaway strength of the Wii game console, said it cannot keep up with demand and that U.S. consumers should expect shortages this holiday season.

Reggie Fils-Aime, the president of Nintendo of America, didn't give any precise reasons for the snafu, and George Harrison, the company's marketing chief, said Nintendo was making the Wii consoles as fast as they can.

"The challenge is in demand, not supply," he told The Post.

The $250 Wii, introduced Nov. 19, 2006, also was in short supply last holiday season.

Since then, U.S. consumers have bought five million of the 11 million Wii consoles sold worldwide.

"I think there is a real possibility [the shortages] started as good marketing but turned into an ugly reality," said Ricardo Torres, editorial director of GameSpot.com.

That ugly reality could cost the company millions.

The typical Wii user buys about three games at about $40 a pop, according to the statistical site GameMetrics. That means for every 20,000 Wiis not sold because of the shortage, Nintendo is losing about $7.4 million in revenue.

Just last month the Wii became the best-selling console over Microsoft's popular XBox 360 and Sony's ailing PlayStation 3, pulling a virtual hat trick by making the Wii the must-have device in North America, Europe and Japan.

In July, Sony slashed the price of its lower-tier PlayStation 3 to $499 but it wasn't enough to gain ground on the Wii. And Microsoft's XBox 360 is scrambling to have a proper encore to its best-selling "Halo 3." "Microsoft appears to have an edge with 'Halo,' but who's not going to have it by Christmas?" Torres said.

from: nypost.com

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