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.


Underwater survival game ‘Subnautica’ free on Epic Games’ online store

The award-winning underwater survival game Subnautica is currently available as a free download on the Epic Games store. The Steam challenger looks to attract players with a new free game every two weeks.

The Super NES Classic is the perfect holiday gift for Nintendo lovers

Whether you're a long-time Nintendo fan looking to relive the 16-bit glory days or just doing some holiday shopping, the SNES Classic -- now in stock at multiple retailers for $80 -- might just be the perfect Christmas gift for gamers of…

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Movies & TV

Lose the torrents. Here's how to watch 'Game of Thrones' online (legally)

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on TV, but unless you're a cable subscriber, finding a way to watch isn't always easy. Check out our guide on how to watch online, whether you prefer using HBO, Hulu, or Amazon.

Kanye West wants to meet ‘Metal Gear Solid’ creator Hideo Kojima, for some reason

Rapper Kanye West wants to meet video game designer Hideo Kojima in New York. Nobody knows the reason behind the meeting, but fans are speculating that it may have something to do with Death Stranding for the PlayStation 4.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Sharing your best gameplay moments is quick and easy on the Xbox One

The current generation of consoles make 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.

‘Kingdom Hearts III’ out in the wild, director asks for support to stop spoilers

Kingdom Hearts III has been leaked, with several copies of the game out in the wild. The game's director, Tetsuya Nomura, responded to the situation, calling for help from gamers to stop spoilers from spreading online.

The DualShock 4 is one of the best controllers ever, and you can use it with a PC

Sony's new DualShock 4 controller has become a fan favorite, and some people want to use it with a PC. Here's how to connect your DualShock 4 and start using it, either with an official adapter, or unofficial software.

Project Stream testers get to keep a free copy of ‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’

Those who participated in Google's technical test of Project Stream won't be able to access the service to play Assassin's Creed Odyssey after January 15, but they'll get to keep the game on PC anyway.

Newest ‘Destiny 2’ raid already completed by two-person team

The latest raid in Destiny 2: Forsaken is Scourge of the Past, and a two-person team has already managed to complete it. The task took 15 hours of trial-and-error effort before the duo managed to take down the final boss.

The 25 best SNES games

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System might be the greatest game console ever made, but what are the best titles for the system? Here are our picks for the best SNES games, including A Link to the Past and Chrono Trigger.

Need a discounted Xbox bundle by Christmas? Walmart has you covered

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have both come and gone, but you can still save some cash on a new Xbox One bundle at Walmart. Both the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X are on sale now.