Liveblogging the Reggie Talk

giantreggieface.jpgOK, the call with Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime is set to start any second now. I'll be trying to liveblog what he has to say and the questions and answers as it happens on the jump.

The invitation said that Fils-Aime would be discussing the "overwhelming demand for the Wii" and Wii supplies through the holidays and beyond. I suspect he will also be talking about the increase in production and distribution we mentioned earlier today.Alrighty, I've dropped into the call. Waiting for it to start.

And it's started with Fils-Aime starting off the talk.

"The purpose of this call is to add some perspective to what continues to be an overwhelming demand for Wii."

He's outlining the effort they've put into meeting demand including a new rain check program. If a consumer goes into a Gamestop on Dec. 20 or Dec. 21 and make a full payment they will receive a Wii rain check certificate (while supplies last) which guarantees a Wii by the end of January. Fils-Aime has also confirmed that six national retailers, including Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart, will be releasing large supplies of Wii this weekend.

Fils-Aime says that with the rain check program GameStop has "many tens of thousands of rain checks available across their roughly 3,000 points of distribution." And calls it a great way for consumers to put something under the tree that guarantees they will have a Wii in January.

Reggie says that there is no hard date for when or if they will cut back or increase the current, and recently increased, production rate for the Wii.

MTV's Stephen Totilo asked Reggie if there is any thought about manufacturing Wii in the United States to cut down on the delay caused by the need to ship the finished product from Asia to the States. The short answer? No.

Rain check program is exclusive to GameStop because, Reggie says, the tools they've created for their pre-sale programs allow them to track specific sales trends and where consumers shop. "Only this retailer has the ability to handle this complicated a program."

On the quality of third-party games for the Wii: "On any system you will have a range of quality. Publishers are working extremely hard to take advantage of the Wii and it's unique abilities. Those publishers who do a great job enjoy fantastic sales. As publishers understand how to take advantage of the unique aspects of the remote you will see better and better games. We already have a certification program and publishers need to conform with a number of key aspects to get certified. What we don't do is have some sort of filter for quality, because quality is so subjective. Nintendo is working hand in glove with publishers to share with them our level of expertise with the technology." On possible DS shortages: "We do not have reported shortages of DS. As we get to the 24 of December inventory will be quite tight, there may be spot shortages at some retailers, but consumers should be able to find them."

On voice chat and VC online play: "We do not anticipate making online gameplay for Virtual Console games. In terms of voice chat... certainly our system has the capability for online voice chat, what it comes down to is finalising the peripheral... I would not be surprised to see that capability come to this system."

Finally someone asked if Nintendo is airfreighting Wii from the far east to the U.S. Reggis said they are "doing some unique things that are proprietary. We are expediting product to the Americas."

And that wraps up the call.


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