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Gamestop delays pre-orders for Wii and PS3.

Games retailer GameStop said today that it will not be taking PS3 and Wii pre-orders until it has a better idea of how many systems will be allocated to its stores; 1 million PS3s, 750,000 Wiis predicted for overall US launch.

ImageIn a Q&A session during GameStop's quarterly financial conference call, David Carlson, executive VP and CFO of the company explained the amount of Wii and PS3 units he expects to hit US shores for the consoles' Q4 launches.

"...We're looking at around a million units of PS3 in the US, which is somewhere around half or less than what Sony has said [would ship worldwide]," he said. "With the Wii, we're looking at around 750,000 in the US. We believe at this point, that could be a light number. It's hard to say, though. We remain conservative until they actually show up at our warehouse."

GameStop vice chairman and COO Dan DeMatteo added, "We're not going to take pre-orders until we have some more and clearer information from both Nintendo and Sony in terms of likely launch quantities for GameStop. We don't want to do what we did last year, which was to take way too many [pre-orders] on the 360, and then under-deliver. We want to get closer to keeping a promise to the consumer."

GameStop expects Nintendo to divulge Wii launch figure information sometime this month, but the company's not too sure when Sony will reveal numbers. "We'll know Nintendo's [Wii launch numbers] before Sony's," said DeMatteo.

Analysts also inquired what would happen if PS3 launch quantities fell short of expectations. "[Last year,] the 360 in short supply had an effect of freezing the market," said DeMatteo. "But if you look at it, there wasn't anything new. I mean, there weren't any new platforms out there, so the 360 was the newest thing in the last four or five years. This year, there will be a Wii and there will be a 360, so I can't believe that it will have the same kind of impact that the 360 [shortages] had."

The hardware-filled holidays could spell trouble for any manufacturer that can't meet demand. As DeMatteo said, consumers will have more options this holiday if their system of choice is sold out.

As for the rumored Microsoft Xbox 360 bundle, DeMatteo said that he hasn't heard anything about it. "I could be out of the loop, but I haven't heard of one," he said.

Posted by Ed. on August 18.

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