No Price Drop for Wii U Ignores Reality


Nintendo can be as kooky as it wants with Mario, but it shouldn’t remain cuckoo about the Wii U’s price. According to an interview with Nintendo executive Scott Moffitt in VentureBeat, Nintendo is not planning to lower the price of the Wii U. A real shame. Nintendo could have capitalized on the stupid energy it created at E3 with a $50 price drop to go along with Cat Mario and Mario Kart As F-Zero and Wipeout.

As I said in a previous article, Nintendo isn’t really competing with Sony or Microsoft in a console war. But Moffitt tells VentureBeat that the Wii U’s current price represents a “great value with the announcements from our competitors.” This statement misses the point: you’re catering to people interested in Nintendo games, not people interested in buying an Xbox One or PS4. And if Nintendo fans haven’t bought the Wii U in droves yet, there must some question about the system’s value.

Don’t get me wrong. Titles like Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8 will sell systems. (I would say the same thing about Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze if I were living in the early 1990s before 3-D camera angles were common.) But think about how many more consoles Nintendo could sell with a price drop. In the VentureBeat interview, Moffitt suggests the Wii U will follow the path of the 3DS, a system that once had relatively low hardware sales. But again, a point is missed. The 3DS didn’t become a sensation because of new good games alone. The handheld’s perceived value skyrocketed with a price drop. Price drop + new good games = a deal that’s hard to refuse.

Moffitt is banking on a string of new first-party Wii U titles to pull the system out of its funk. But let’s assume there are savvy gamers who might want to try those titles but aren’t sure they want to spend $350 for the Deluxe system (let’s face it, the puny 8GB Basic bundle doesn’t appeal to people who want a decent amount of storage space). The Deluxe Wii U is only $50 less than a PS4, a system with more power, space, and third-party support. From the perspective of an interested but savvy consumer, the Deluxe Wii U needs to be at least $300 to make sense.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo changes its mind about the price drop. If not after games like Pikmin 3 fail to sell enough systems, then after the holidays, which will bring good sales but might fail to meet great expectations. Read Charles Dickens, Nintendo.




  1. I would say the same thing about Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze if I were living in the early 1990s before 3-D camera angles were common.

    DKR outsold the prime games ALL TOGETHER, million seller

    so please your a moron

    • Jed Pressgrove

      Metroid Prime has never been called a system seller, though, and the first two games were originally released on the GameCube anyway. Donkey Kong Country Returns is not even one of the top 10 best-selling Wii games. I predict Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, and the new Smash Bros. will outsell Donkey Kong Country: Stuck in the 1990s.

  2. Except it’s NOT ignoring reality. People can go on and on about the PS4 and Xbone, but recently I began thinking. Yeah, the Wii U is selling for $350 at its most expensive. But what does it have that its competitors don’t? First off it can use ALL the accessories that the Wii used, minus the Gamecube controllers (and even then a third party adapter has rectified that), thus meaning people don’t have to buy BRAND NEW controllers unlike the PS4 and Xbone. Sure, there is the Wii U Pro Controller, but it’s not a requirement to play games. Then there’s the fact that online multiplayer is free, unlike the Xbone and PS4 which require subscription services. And then there’s backwards compatibility issues, the PS4 and Xbone not having those (well, the PS4 KINDA does) while the Wii U can play all your Wii, Wiiware, and Virtual Console games.

    And then there are the games. What unique games are coming out for the PS4 and Xbone that REQUIRE those systems? For the former it’s Driveclub, Killzone, and Knack. For the latter it’s Ryse, Dead Rising 3, Forza 5,a new Kinect Sports, and Killer Instinct. The Wii U will have Pikmin 3, Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze, Super Mario 3D World, The Wonderful 101, Sonic Lost World, Scribblenauts Unmasked, Wii Party U, Wii Fit U, Wind Waker HD, and Game & Wario, not to mention Nintendoland which is a packin with the Wii U and New Super Mario Bros. U.

    So while at FIRST the PS4 might seem like a better deal, the numbers and features to say otherwise once you get down to it. It’s rather interesting when you think about it

  3. Probably didn’t want blow all their load in one go. Where do you go after a 50 dollar price drop? They’re probably gonna come out swinging with a price drop and bundles the other 2 could dream of putting out when the gloves come off.

  4. Obviously if they admitted they need a price cut before they enacted said cut they would stop selling systems coz everyone would wait.

    Fact is that Nintendo consoles are the only place to get Nintendo games. The PS4/Xbox One will be in short supply this holiday so Nintendo doesn’t have to worry about the Wii U being $50 cheaper (which BTW, the 8GB is $100 cheaper though they may be removing it from stores) because the max the PS4 could even sell this holiday is what, 1 million consoles? My point is it will hit a ceiling and sell out at some point throughout Nov/Dec so they don’t have to worry about being outsold on a normal, non-holiday basis until early 2014. Even the PS3 and 360 will probably outsell the Wii U, PS4, Xbox One this holiday.

    I’m guessing a $50 cut could happen in August around Pikmin 3 or in October around Wind Waker. The yen is getting weaker so they may be able to do it now. But picking on them for “ignoring reality” by saying their Wii U doesn’t need a price cut now is a little bit silly since obviously they wouldn’t admit it months before said cut happens.

    • Jed Pressgrove

      Hey kevin,

      I didn’t say Nintendo should announce a price cut months before it happens. I’m saying it should have cut the price at E3. More people would be buying the system now if that happened, I believe, and give the company serious momentum ahead of time. This scenario would align the Wii U with the pattern of the 3DS, perhaps. However, you might have a point about the incentive for Nintendo playing a waiting game.

  5. Dalton Miller

    I think you are 100% correct. Nintendo not competing with the new systems, means the Wii U is being marketed as a companion system, meant to be purchased in addition to one of the others, much like the original Wii. If the big N wants to make this strategy work, that price has to be $250/300 for the respective models.

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