If there’s one thing to be said about Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime it’s that when he speaks the fans are usually listening. Such is the case with some comments Fils-Aime made about the Wii U’s potential pricing.
While there are still many particulares concerning the Wii U that have yet to be addressed, including a final design for the console, a lot of its overall appeal hinges on that price. Unfortunately, Reggie’s comments don’t outright point to what pricing category Nintendo is pursuing, but what he does say could hint at where the company may be leaning, and that might have some gamers scratching their heads.
On the other hand, Reggie’s comments do firmly cement the Wii U as a serious contender in the next console generation cycle, at least as far as the price is concerned. Here's what Fils-Aime had to say:
"The consumer buying Wii hardware today is going to be a different consumer than the one who will be buying Wii U in the future…We haven’t announced pricing for Wii U, but you can definitely expect that pricing is going to be different and that the games are going to be different.”
What I take Reggie’s comments to mean is that Wii U will be a more competitively priced next generation console than the Wii was. Nintendo took a risk in pricing the Wii at $249, a risk that ended up paying off because of the console’s casual appeal.
But the Wii U will be a completely different entity. As indicated by Nintendo’s press conference during E3, they are hoping to win back the hardcore gamers through HD graphics, new control mechanics, and their classic library of titles. With that in mind, Nintendo is going to need to charge the consumer a bit more to break even, or at least that’s what we hope.
All I can say is that Nintendo better weigh their options for pricing much better than they did with the 3DS, which saw a price drop within the first six months of release. Hopefully, this year’s E3, or even sooner, will see the official unveiling of the console, a launch line-up, and a price point.
What do you think would be a competitive price point for the Wii U? Do you think that if its price matched the Xbox 720 and PS4’s that gamers would be less interested?