In yet another instance of what’s sure to become an epidemic of retailers semi-arbitrarily assigning release dates and prices to Nintendo’s Wii U, the German branch of Amazon has semi-arbitrarily assigned a release date and price to Nintendo’s Wii U. The date? December 21, 2012. The price? €399.99 Euro (just over $500 US Dollars). The likelihood that either one is accurate? Vanishingly slim.
Nintendo‘s decision not to reveal a release date or a launch price for Wii U during E3 2012 left the door wide open for retailers to offer placeholder listings, and that is likely just what is happening with Amazon Germany. Last week, Amazon UK allegedly listed the system for £199.99 with a July 14, 2012, release date — obviously, that information has since been removed. The Amazon Germany page, however, is still up.
So, a $500 Wii U that releases four days before Christmas? That one pretty well shoots itself down, don’t you think?
Don’t blame Amazon — this is Nintendo’s fault. As is so often the case with Nintendo, the company has been extraordinarily coy about revealing Wii U’s price. Reggie Fils-Aime claims consumers will be “pleasantly surprised” by the figure, while Shigeru Miyamoto points out that Nintendo is “sensitive to pricing.” Meanwhile, rumors continue to fly (It’s less than $300! It’s more than $300!), and, naturally, the analysts have weighed in. If the wildly divergent estimates of the Wii U’s suggested retail price reveals anything at all, it’s this: no one — and I mean no one — outside of Nintendo knows what the system will cost, and no one inside Nintendo is ready to say. End of story.
Wii U is going to cost as much as Nintendo needs it to. It’s going to cost as much as the company thinks consumers are willing to pay. It’s going to cost enough to be profitable. Yes, Nintendo is currently selling 3DS at a loss, but that is a veritable abomination on a sterling, frankly unequaled record of hardware profitability, and given the company’s recent financial woes, the drive to get back on track must be overpowering. Time will tell, but personally, I expect Nintendo to make a profit on every Wii U it sells (and I expect the system to sell a lot). How about you?
Alright, just for fun: if the Wii U does indeed launch December 21st for $500, are you in?
The Nintendo Wii U releases this holiday season.
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