Nintendo Wii U to retail for “no less than” $300

nintendo wii u to retail for no less than 300 wiiu

Nintendo has always done things a little differently than its competitors, and not just by making wacky controllers. Since entering the video game industry at the end of the 1970s, Nintendo has always made sure its hardware was profitable as soon as it went on sale. The Wii for example cost $250 when it first came out in 2006, but it cost Nintendo just $158 to make.

According to a report at Forget the Box, Wii U will be no different.

Sources close to Nintendo’s manufacturing operations, a Wii U console costs about $180 to produce. The system’s raison d’être, its touch screen controller, represents around $50 of the total cost. The controller’s parts in turn break down as such: The near-field communication technology in each controller costs around $5, the camera in the controller is $6 and the touch screen itself is around $14.

The source says that the device will retail for no less than $300, making it the most expensive Nintendo console by dollar amount ever released.

“Cutting production costs to maximize profits is Nintendo’s main concern with Wii U,” says the source, “They are cutting costs in the Wii U’s hardware to build back in confidence in investors. Nintendo wants investors to view Wii U as a less risky proposition.”

Nintendo won’t be pulling in a $120 profit on every Wii U sold of course. That estimated production cost covers just the components in the machine, not the cost of packaging, shipping, marketing costs, or the software that will be included in the system, including its operating system and the “channels” like Nintendo Video Channel that have become a fixture of the company’s machines.

Nintendo runs a serious risk releasing Wii U at $300 though. The company attempted a similar pricing structure when it released the Nintendo 3DS in 2011. IHS iSuppli pegged 3DS production costs at just over $100, but Nintendo decided to release the system at $250. The thinking was that the strength of the DS brand would get people buying up the 3DS en masse even if it did release without a Super Mario Bros. or Pokémon to lure in old customers.

In that case “cutting production costs to maximize profits” resulted in nearly catastrophic failure. Nintendo was forced to drop the price of the 3DS to $170 within four months of release due to low sales. The company’s stock in turn imploded, hitting lows not seen since the early ‘00s due to the lack of investor confidence.

Nintendo needs Wii U to be a hit. It cannot release a machine that’s comparable to 7 year-old technology like Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 at $300 because consumers simply won’t see a value proposition in the system. Games alone won’t help. It needs software and a competitive price. For the Wii, it was the combo of Wii Sports and a machine cheaper than the competition’s. Without that combination, Wii U will be dead on arrival, no matter how much Nintendo saves on production costs.

Gaming

Has it really been 17 years? The past, present, and future of the Xbox

From DirectX Box to 720, it's been a long, strange trip for Microsoft's Xbox gaming console. Here is what happened, from its odd beginnings to the rumored Scarlett console with streaming.
Deals

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for April 2019

Looking to score Nintendo's latest console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on bundles that feature must-have games like Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Zelda: Breath of…
Gaming

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.
Gaming

The best Wii games, from Super Mario Galaxy to Zelda: Skyward Sword

Nintendo shook up the gaming world with the Wii and its unique control scheme. Here are our picks for the best Wii games — just don't blame us for having too many Mario titles on the list.
Gaming

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.
Gaming

Kick off your streaming career with our complete guide to Twitch broadcasting

Streaming games on Twitch for the first time can be daunting to say the least, but with a few simple steps, it's remarkably easy to do. Here's how to do so using a PC, Mac, Xbox One, or PlayStation 4 console.
Gaming

Halo: Reach beta might be delayed, PC version needs more work

Halo: Reach is coming to Halo: The Master Chief Collection this year for both PC and Xbox One players. Invites were expected to go out toward the end of the month, but 343 Industries now says they may be delayed.
Gaming

How to share your best gaming moments on the Xbox One and its app

The current generation of consoles makes it easier than ever to share your gaming highlights with the world. Here's a quick guide on how you can record a gameplay video on Xbox One.
Gaming

Make some room in your backlog. Here are all the games to look out for in 2019

2019 is already a huge year for video games, with a large number of series getting new installments, including some that have been dormant for years. Brand new franchises are also being created.
Gaming

Castlevania Anniversary Collection offers some of the series’ rarest games

Konami is celebrating 50 years of games with collections like the Castlevania Anniversary Collection, which now includes Kid Dracula, Castlevania II, Bloodlines, and Castlevania the Adventure. Which of these are must-play titles?
Gaming

Call up Durr Burger and grab some lunch with our Fortnite weekly challenge guide

The Fortnite week 8 challenges are now available in season 8. One of the big challenges this week has players dial the Durr Burger number on the big telephone. We've got everything you need to complete this weekly challenge.
Deals

Get Kingdom Hearts 3 at its lowest price yet during Walmart’s Xbox One sale

Walmart reduced the prices on some new and popular Xbox One games. Kingdom Hearts 3 is at its lowest price yet, while Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2 get some stout discounts as well.
Gaming

Get jiggy with it and find the jigsaw pieces with our Fortnite challenge guide

For this Fortnite weekly challenge, players must search for jigsaw puzzle pieces under bridges and in caves. We've got the best locations for finding these pieces so you can complete this challenge fast.
Computing

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.