Wal-Mart's electronics department layout does not have an allotment of space to demo the Nintendo Wii for the fourth quarter. Our tipster says that after asking for greater details as to why they wouldn't be installing any Wii demo units, he was told by his manager that they had "fear of some kid getting hurt or injuring others in the process of flailing his arms around."
Although "Nintendo doesn't comment on rumors" and Wal-Mart corporate hasn't answered our query, after calling numerous Wal-Marts across the country, we have confirmed that it is true that the Wii is not part of the Q4 layout.
Did Wal-Mart executives decide that the Wii was just too dangerous to demo in its stores? Is Sony paying off the world's largest retailer in an attempt to sway consumer mind-share when shopping?
Doesn't look that way. Although Nintendo and Wal-Mart won't talk, employees from various Wal-Marts have stated that they expect to get their Wii demo units in for Q1 2007 and believe it was a timing issue. They did stress that although they will not be demoing the unit, they will certainly have the Wii for sale at launch in November.