The price I’m taking is from the US confirmed price for the black Wii U: $350.
I am not counting the cheaper 8gb white model because Nintendo as with other companies, release a lesser SKU to try and highlight the more expensive SKU’s value. For example, why buy the white Wii U for $300, when, for $50 dollars extra, you can have the better model. It’s a simple marketing trick that has been used for a while now.
Lets breakdown the cost. Bear in mind these figures are not 100% accurate.
$100 dollars for the controller
$250 for the actual console
The black $350 Wii U
As of today, the 250gb Xbox 360 will set you back $250 and the 160gb Ps3, another $250.
Now considering the Wii U is slightly more powerful, you can see that the actual price isn’t that dear. The console itself is would cost the same as the 360 and Ps3, if it not for their tablet. Nintendo have timed it perfectly. They can benefit from having the most powerful console for at least a year.
The problem arises when Sony and Microsoft release their new consoles. These consoles will have been announced by this time next year and will be considerably more powerful than the Wii U. Obviously, the price point for these will be higher than $250, try $400-500 for both. The Wii U will be out-dated by then, but as seen with the original Wii, the technology doesn’t have to be the best, as long as it captures the users imagination, in the Wii’s case, the motion controller.. Nintendo have tried to do this with the new tablet but in my opinion this is not enough.
The price point for me, is perfect. The Wii U will sell well for at least a year. It may start to struggle as the other next-gen consoles come out, but they will be positioned as the cheaper less sophisticated console.This worked for the Wii and it may just work for the Wii U. The tablet is seen as Nintendo’s game changer, but I am not convinced it is as game changing as motion control was. Microsoft have already showed a similar concept with Smartglass and Sony with the Vita. However, Nintendo know from the Wii, that a gimmick like this will not create long lasting sales. That is why they will try to do one more thing.
Nintendo will try and entice back the hardcore gamer that felt ignored with the Wii U and this will be the key in justifying the price. If this occurs, Nintendo might strike a perfect balance of innovation, hardcore games and a enticing price.