As we reported a month or so ago, Nintendo recently increased the price of Wiis to retailers by up to £20, reflecting the increasing strength of the Yen versus pound sterling. At the time it was unsure whether or not retailers would pass the price increase to customers, but now we’ve seen the first signs that the cost to consumers will rise.
Anyone who bought a Wii console from UK high street retailer Gamestation over the Easter weekend may have taken one look at their receipt and noticed something different: the price. Although the advertised price of a Wii bundle is still £179.99, the till receipt now shows £199.99 next to the Wii console, a clear indication of the impending price rise.
As if that weren't enough to turn your stomach, Nintendo have also hinted that the price of their first-party games could increase too, meaning it's not just newcomers to the Wii scene who end up out of pocket - core gamers might also end up shelling out more for those shiny first-party games. Although most Nintendo titles launch at £34.99 these days, sooner or later you could see £39.99 or even the dreaded £44.99 stickers on those lovely white boxes.
There's no word on whether the increase could hit third-party publishers, but considering that multiformat games are often comparable prices on all formats - Sonic Unleashed launched at £39.99 on Wii and 360, for example - any further hikes from Nintendo could price the smaller publishers out of the Wii market.
So there you have it. Although the Wii is still available to buy at £179.99 brand new at the time of writing, there’s no telling on when the price increase will be made official, but one thing’s for sure: it is coming.