If you want a new video game for the holidays, you may have fewer shopping days left than you think.
Though two weekends remain till Christmas, observers expect the already-slim odds of finding a Sony PlayStation 3 or Nintendo Wii to fall precipitously after this weekend.
Many stores, including Toys R Us and Circuit City, will promise in Sunday ad circulars to have the Wii in stock, making that day perhaps the last best chance for fans, says Andy Estes, whose Nearby Networks firm runs the PS3seeker.com and Wiiseeker sites. "We believe there are going to be Wiis held and released Dec. 17 and that will be the last shipment before Christmas," he says. "We think there might be a PS3 shipment about the same time."
Neither retailers nor manufacturers will specify when shipments are due. However, Toys R Us spokeswoman Kathleen Waugh says the chain expects an additional shipment of each system after this weekend. Sony and Nintendo also say shipments will continue through the holidays.
Still, retailers are expected to be "trapping inventory" for shoppers Sunday, says American Technology Research analyst P.J. McNealy. "That realistically will be the last big shopping day of the year. I expect people to start camping out on Saturday again."