With the launch of Wii U creeping ever closer, key details of price and release date are still under wraps, leading to the usual range of predictions and guesses. We've seen speculative prices ranging from £199 on Amazon UK — since removed — to €399 on Amazon Germany, though the latter has since dropped its figure to €349. We can guess at how much the system is costing Nintendo to build, the impact of the GamePad on cost and so on, but we've heard few predictions that can legitimately claim to be accurate.

While Nintendo is yet to break cover, trade-site MCV UK has spoken to its sources and major retail figures about the system and its potential cost and, encouragingly, a senior publisher confidently told it that the price “will definitely be less than £249”. Meanwhile, some senior buyers have spoken on the record about their hopes for Wii U and the steps Nintendo needs to take, including The Hut Group’s Sarah Jasper.

The software looks fantastic, but Nintendo needs to press its messaging hard to ensure the public know this isn’t just an add-on for the Wii. Some don’t realise it’s a standalone machine.

Hopefully, lessons have been learned from 3DS and pricing sits between £200 to £250. Then we’re onto a sure success.

There's also agreement that a strong and substantial range of launch games are available, with HMV games buyer Nick Ashley also hoping for plenty of content in the box.

We’d be keen to see Nintendo Land bundled as this will really show off Wii U’s functionality, and concentrating on the key Nintendo franchises helps to keep everyone involved.

New Super Mario Bros U, Pikmin 3 and Wii Fit U at launch would provide an excellent foundation for Wii U’s success.

Some of those comments may be stating the obvious, but at least retailers are keen to push Wii U in order to boost business in the Holiday period. If MCV's source is right about the console being under £249, then that would be positive news.

[via mcvuk.com]