I've seen lots of reports on the net talking about this issue, but when you see it firsthand, it's very surprising. This weekend I went shopping and saw some interesting things firsthand on the condition of the Wii and PS3 shortages. First off, the PS3 really is easy to find, at least here in central Florida. I went into a Best Buy and a Target and both of them had 2 units on the shelf. The shelf space was limited to two units, so it's possible that more may have been in the back. Circuit City also had PS3 units available, but they didn't have any physically on the shelf. Instead, they posted a sign saying they had them, so you had to see an employee to get one.
I was also in couple EBGames / Gamestop stores, but unless you ask an employee or see a console unit behind the counter it's impossible to know what they have. I did see a PS3 in a bag behind the counter, but with all the empty game and system boxes they have floating around, and usually seen months in advance of a release, who the hell knows what they really have?
None of those stores had a Wii or even a component to a Wii controller. In the EBGames store, a guy grabbed a Wii box only to find it was an empty display box. He grumbled and walked away (and rightfully so, seriously, what is the deal with those stores and their misleading empty display boxes?). Later at Best Buy an obese middle-age woman was asking an employee about getting a Wii and even offered to pay now, but he said they couldn't help her like that. In no store did I see someone attempt to purchase a PS3, but saw two people attempting to buy a Wii, and a failed attempt to buy a DS-Lite too.
Unless Sony has dramatically improved their supply chain since the end of the Christmas shpping season, Sony has a problem. Microsoft's original xbox didn't have nearly the fanbase of the PS2, yet the 360 remained unavailable for months after the New Year. It seems to me that Sony has managed to managed to sell a unit to all their hardcore fans and are now Sony's struggling to sell to the mass market. The reverse is true for Nintendo. Unless Nintendo's supply process has dramatically worsened since Christmas, Nintendo is on an incredible roll. It seems that high demand for their system continues to exist, and that will eventually translate into better 3rd party support for us.