Nintendo promises 'reasonable' Wii U price

Company CEO Satoru Iwata says firm "won't make the same mistake" as 3DS with upcoming home console.

The Wii U will be on store shelves in about six months, and one of the largest questions surrounding its launch remains unanswered: How much will the system cost? In an interview with Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun (translated by Andriasang), Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata did not reveal a firm price for the console, due worldwide this holiday season, but said it will be sold at a "reasonable" rate.

Whatever the Wii U ends up costing will be "reasonable," Iwata says.

"We won't make the same mistake that we did with the 3DS, which was considered relatively high by consumers," he said.

The 3DS launched last March at $250, but after a sluggish start, Nintendo cut the portable's price down to $170. Regarding the future of the handheld, Iwata said, "We've fixed the 3DS profitability issue, and pledge to turn profitable by the end of this fiscal year."

Though Nintendo has kept the Wii U's official price tag under wraps, reports about its cost have come to light. In April, sources reportedly involved with manufacturing and distributing Nintendo products said the Wii U would cost no less than $300 at launch.

Earlier this month, Wedbush Securities industry analyst Michael Pachter said the Wii U must sell for under $300 at launch, noting an optimal price for the system would be $250. The industry diviner expressed uncertainty regarding the system, saying it lacks a "killer app" to help drive initial hardware sales.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

Want the latest news about Wii U?

Wii U

Wii U

Discussion

344 comments
mariomaster16
mariomaster16

I'm guessing $250-$275. And after the initial six months, a drop in price of 20-50 bucks. 

Nintendo has been smart so far, keeping their cards close to their chest. I suspect people will be pleasantly surprised when the system actually launches. Or completely let down, one of the two.

Moegitto
Moegitto

The one saving grace for the WiiU is that it also uses the Wii control media. So if you still have a wiimote or Classic Controller Pro you can use it. That withstanding, I'm calling it. The WiiU will be priced NO more than $350 USD. They have to price it there to compete, especially since Microsoft plans to release the Xbox 720 at $299.

ecurl143
ecurl143

Not only are Nintendo very sketchy (i.e. - non existent) about the specs of the WiiU but also about the price.

Basically, the two most important things the consumer really need to know.

This information should be readily available by now.

Not good.

ACWH
ACWH

Why would I buy this when I own a PS3? What's the incentive? Better graphics, sounds, or games? How expensive will it be once you buy the new Wii board, controller, fitness accessories, steering wheels etc?? Nah mate, I'll keep my money in my pocket.

Orbitz89
Orbitz89

I'm hoping for something like 249.99.. that's most likely not going to happen, but that's what i would price the thing at.

plopje123
plopje123

i would buy it any ways regarding the price

Stonecutters908
Stonecutters908

It is going to be $299.99 with Nintendo Land packed in the box.

mtait01
mtait01

Nintendo HAVE to price it reasonably or else (as was proven with the 3DS) it won't sell.

craigprime
craigprime

It seems that whenever somebody keeps something a secret these days, they are accused of something sinister or simply "not good". I personally think that Nintendo is hiding information to keep it's competitors from beating them out. And I don't see anything wrong with that.

RulerofGondor
RulerofGondor

Anything more than $299, and Nintendo is in trouble

furrynic
furrynic

Yeah how about the full System Specs Nintendo? Is this crap even worth geting or is this just a simple Ninten Wii update?

PumpkinBoogie
PumpkinBoogie

You know it's great and all it's gonna be 'reasonably priced' but still disturbs me is the fact that we don't KNOW what this 'price' is.....

 

Frankly I don't get all the secrecy on not letting people know how much this thing is gonna run them. They're saying this system is due out around the beginning of the holiday season--well I'd sure as hell hope they don't wait too late to tell people the cost, if they expect people to go out and buy it. In this economy many are watching their budgets or seeing if something can or can't fit into it (I know I am).

 

I guess I can only assume they're gonna wait until TGS (Tokyo Game Show)--which is in September--to say something about price, unless they choose another event sooner (can't remember if they're is another one, Gamecom maybe?). I won't expect them to wait any later than that.

xcollector
xcollector

This is a funny statement coming from Nintendo. MS & Sony sell their systems at a loss and recoup with software sales. Nintendo sells everything with a markup for profit and they are trying to promise a reasonable price. Its hard to believe. What they probably mean is that its a reasonable price based on the value they perceive their product to offer. 

Mayleene
Mayleene

Not only that, but Sony's bottom line is not doing well at all.  Worth 1/10th of what Samsung is worth.

 

Now who was it that said Nintendo was doomed?

fanaticsm
fanaticsm

yaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

tommynj
tommynj

Don't matter I'm sure it will be under $300 so no worries. Getting me and my nephew a Wii U! 

Vickman178
Vickman178

QUIT POSTING THAT PACHTER QUOTE IN EVERY WII U ARTICLE.

 

THAT GUY IS AN IDIOT!

 

Any one of us here could predict something and call ourselves "analysts" seriously who the hell pays this guy to say this garbage anyways?SERIOUSLY WHO PAYS HIM TO GIVE HIS OPINIONS?

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

I'd honestly only buy this console for Pikmin.. because I love it.

 

The tablet controller though still remains one major turn off :(

superbuuman
superbuuman

Just announce the price already Nintendo!. :P

ChunkyDrawers
ChunkyDrawers

Judging by their embarrassing E3 presentation I would expect no more than $179.99

Triton
Triton

Sounds like when my customers want a quote and ask for a "good price", I usually say good price  for you or good price for me? Maybe now I will tell them they will get a "reasonable price"  Hope history won't repeat it self with big N this time. Hope they get it right and it sells. It just won't be in my future.

lj4dog
lj4dog

Nintendo usually comes in low and drop price faster then the others. I'm thinking $350 the first 6 months or year then $275. Microsoft $400 between $500; Sony between $500 and a small child.

Gazz64
Gazz64

 @ecurl143

 Would be nice, but the information would be embargoed under pain of death!! if Sony or MS got hold of the info they could use it to bury Nintendo in the next gen, the guy who leaked the pic of the final configuration of the controller was lucky to only loose his job.

Moegitto
Moegitto

 @craigprime There are no competitors to beat out. Both Sony and Microsoft said they won't even reveal their next systems until E3 2013. Nintendo just has to make enough profits and adjustments to make full use of that 6 month lead properly and not drop the ball. The WiiU is the N64 of the current generation, tons of potential but it's ultimately up to the developers if they make it successful or not.

Willy105
Willy105

 @craigprime They are going to copy them anyway, they might as well leave something for their fans to look forward to instead of leaving it all a secret.

RAHBRT
RAHBRT

 @PumpkinBoogie

 Maybe they're being tight lipped on the price to prevent Microsoft or Sony from doing a price drop(again) on their current consoles to compete with the WiiU launch. That's something I would do because more than likely, people who really want to buy the WiiU, will buy it regardless just like the people who bought the PS3, or the 3DS at launch.

superbuuman
superbuuman

 @xcollector MS & Sony has other avenues for income, Nintendo doesn't...so of course they have to make sure their consoles makes profit. Of course if going to be what they perceive their product's worth & also how much the market will handle. If the price were left to consumers they'd be bankrupt already so would MS/Sony.

RAHBRT
RAHBRT

It's hardly fair to make an argument based on the company because Sony sells TV's PC's, Home Audio centers, In car stereos, speakers, MP3 players, and the PS3. Nintendo only makes video game consoles/games. If the Playstation brand was its own company I don't think the figures would be that bad if even bad at all.

 

FYI my PS3 collects dust in my living room.(I'm not biased to Sony's well being)

hitman047m4
hitman047m4

 @Vickman178 The reason Gamespot keep linking Pachter's  article (from the same editor if you might notice) is because they do not have anything else to report; so, it is normal to see fillers in articles like this. It is a way of trying to help the lack of information in this article with other information that might or might not have anything to do with the topic at hand.

 

In my opinion, I find that reiterating news like that (Patcher's prediction), will reinforce on consumers' mind what the WiiU retail price should be. Think of it like this: "the more you repeat something (a lie or not), the more people will believe it".

 

This can potentially create huge sales problems for Nintendo (and any company) regarding the unsure/undecided consumers that expect the price to be lower or equal than $250. On top of that, there is already a heavy negative sentiment against this console, from media, developers and gamers (fanboys or not), that do not help at all since this console has not even come out yet.

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

 @warhawk-geeby Then just play with the Pro controller - I'm sure Nintendo made Pikmin 3 compatible with that controller.

rarson
rarson

 @lj4dog

 

There is no way in hell that they'll sell it for over $300. $300 is the mass-market price point. Nintendo knows this. They tried to sell the 3DS at $250 and it wasn't selling well enough, so they dropped it. Trying to sell the Wii U above $300 would be making the same mistake.

BosoxJoe5
BosoxJoe5

 @RAHBRT You realize that when the PS3 was first released it put all of Sony in the red. They fired everyone associated with the PS3 including Ken Kutaragi. It lost Sony ton of dough. It would probably would have been killed if it did not serve as a vehicle to beat Toshiba and HDDVD.

Mayleene
Mayleene

 @RAHBRT But when you news like this it makes the whole of Sony look like it's in disarray.  Maybe what they need to do is change branding or something:

 

The questions for management at a Tokyo convention hall this week were familiar ones, but only growing harsher. How is Sony Corp. going to regain its past glory? Is Sony finished? When is the red ink ever going to stop?

 

One man got up and began shouting. One by one, shareholders demanded to know why management didn't have more fresh faces, asked if the quality of Sony products was dropping, and even wondered whether Sony faced the risk of total collapse.

ChunkyDrawers
ChunkyDrawers

 @Maxwell6464 You're right, because if I was I would listen to gamers and not have to be embarrassed like Reggie about the presentation.

hitman047m4
hitman047m4

 @Maxwell6464 I was actually going to ignore @ChunkyDrawers  comment since it was extremely ignorant; but he is just repeating the same propaganda that has brainwashed the gaming community into believing that Nintendo should be the cheapest console out there..... yep even if it is a next generation console.

 

Unless Iwata hire some Oompa-Loompa to build the console for free, then I guess Nintendo can sell the WiiU for $179.99 and even lower.

PumpkinBoogie
PumpkinBoogie

 @rarson Agreed. Even more so when you consider both the 360 & PS3 are well below that price point. It'd be quite frankly a suicide move on Nintendo's part, unless that $350 price was for a bundle deal.

 

Otherwise I don't see them aiming that high.

lj4dog
lj4dog

 @warhawk-geeby Lol, right get find me one.

 @rarson You maybe right but it just what i think my best guess. The cheapest tablet  out their is what? $200-300 (don't know don't care for tablets) then the system has to be at lest $200-250. Combine the two and at best your looking at $275 and thats coming in low as  Nintendo normally does they hope for a huge installs-base which they usually get because of nostalgia.

 

Don't mean to off bashing Nintendo if I do.

hitman047m4
hitman047m4

 @GreyVoice  I don't play MW3, or have middle school friends. ;) :).About Youtube, maybe you should be the one trolling on it, since you are doing a good job of labelling others.

hitman047m4
hitman047m4

@WolfGrey

So, according to you (if I am not misunderstanding you) is that the 3DS cost $100 to manufacture? Maybe all of the components of the 3DS will cost around $100.... and I say maybe because I could not find anywhere how much the components will cost. Moreover, you still have not added many other expenses: such as taxes, interests rates, plus manufacturing cost, etc.

 

Take a look at why Sony has not decided to cut the price of the Vita. Because, there is a high chance that $250 is 20% or higher than the actual cost of the device (assuming that currently they are not selling it at a loss or even), so reducing the price will mean that they have to find a break even number or go below that.... like the 3DS did.

 

Here are some of the many reports around the web that have confirmed that the 3DS it is actually selling at a loss (or even if you ask me) after the price cut. And I believe, this is the first time that Nintendo has sold a new console at a loss.

 

http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/26/nintendo-confirms-that-its-selling-3ds-at-a-loss-expects-that/

 

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/36170/Report_Nintendo_Now_Incurring_Loss_On_Every_3DS_Sold.php

 

http://andriasang.com/comxaf/3ds_losses/

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2012/04/26/nintendo-reports-461-2m-in-losses-is-selling-3ds-below-cost/

 

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

 @hitman047m4 Yet the 3DS was priced at 250 with a 150 dollar profit margin.Honestly they could sell the WiiU cheap easy with how they make the stuff.

hitman047m4
hitman047m4

 @ChunkyDrawers Also, no offence, but you just named 2 out of the 30+ games that are going to be part of the launch window.

hitman047m4
hitman047m4

 @ChunkyDrawers The only point that I will agree with you is how tight Nintendo have kept the information about the WiiU in secret.

 

This is an old video, and I do not think it is bias at all, although it is a complete assumption so far from pieces of information from all over the web:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcnsG11MRE8

 

So you think that they should sell lower than what the Wii and older consoles have sold when they launched? Think about what you are saying.... take a moment and understand why Nintendo next console (or any other next console) would be priced higher than $250.00.

 

No offence, but you have no idea how hard it is to put a console together (and neither do I)..... and I am not talking about a super PC; I am talking about a dedicated gaming console.

 

Do you really think that MS, Sony and Nintendo just snap their fingers and a new console is created? Even if it is outdated technology (all 3 companies fall into this), there is a lot of expenses to cover such as: design, architecture analysis, software creation for it, manufacturing, dev kits manufacturing (several iterations of it) etc, etc, etc. Do you really think that they magically make that number up?

 

If you ask me I do not care about specs; IMO, it is necessary for the better of the games, but unfortunately it has been blown out of proportion; and many people, developers, journalist, gamers, etc, do not understand that if the consoles have the same spec as the PCs of today, then the gamers will have to pay a huge amount of money (yes more than when the PS3 came out x 3).... and not only that, manufacturing companies will have to keep up with new tech every year, and making new iterations of the console constantly.

ChunkyDrawers
ChunkyDrawers

 @hitman047m4 Doesn't matter what they do. They've showed nothing to back up their claim on it been more powerful then the current system. So judging by what they've shown, what they claim it can do and their history, it works out to a fair $179.99-229.99. Anything above that is gouging a bunch of suckers unless they start to show something. You can't sell it with Pikmin and childish theme park games.

ChunkyDrawers
ChunkyDrawers

 @lj4dog Yes I know, I bought it on release day and still have it. But I was in high school then. Looking back now, what a waste of money, should've waited for a price drop.

lj4dog
lj4dog

 @hitman047m4 Damn back in the day Nintendo 64 was $250, how I know that? It was the last Nintendo system i bought out side of the Gameboy Color 

 

Dude should be hit with a stick for saying $180.