News Article

Talking Point: Wii U Bundles Need to Suit Us All

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

One size does not fit all

After the fun and games of Wii U noise over E3, now we probably have to wait until the next Nintendo Direct broadcast for another hit. We learned a great deal about Wii U at E3, with game reveals and system demonstrations giving a broader idea of what the console will offer. Much was left to our imagination, however, such as major apps and their potential – one of which we’ll explore later this week – as well as details on how NFC will be implemented. Arguably the biggest details that are still missing, for those that have already decided that they’re interested in making the investment, are the small matters of the launch date and prices.

We already know that Wii U will hit stores ahead of Christmas, and we’re less concerned with when it arrives but how it arrives. Avoiding speculative prices, we believe that Nintendo should introduce multiple ‘tiers’ and bundles to suit everyone. Let’s break it down.

Nintendo appears to be targeting two prominent groups of gamers with Wii U, one of which is current Wii owners. In some senses, the new console is being positioned as an exciting tech upgrade of Wii: it’ll play Wii games, use Wii Remotes and that dust-covered Wii Balance Board, but also has a new controller and fancy HD graphics. For the ‘Touch Generation’ in particular, it’s a re-imagining of what came to be expected with Wii, but with the GamePad controller having a DS/3DS vibe about it.

Part of this group are many people, probably including most reading this article, who already own a Wii with enough games and accessories to justify five years of console ownership. Most of our staff (and surely many of you) have enough Wii Remotes and Nunchuks to satisfy any multiplayer requirements, with Balance Boards and Zappers also resting peacefully in cupboards.

For these gamers, it’s simple: provide a ‘basic’ model at launch. No Wii Remotes or Nunchuks included, just the console and a GamePad will suffice. In fact, if it's going to be a budget model, there's no need to even provide a sensor bar or connecting cables: if the Wii versions work, then an optional HDMI cable, bought separately, could be all that a Wii owner needs. That model may not suit those keen to trade-in an old Wii, but for those keeping the humble little box it'd save them money and cables, plus also allowing most Wii owners to still occasionally play some GameCube games, too. Is Nintendo likely to give us a cheaper option quite as bare-bones as this? Not really, but those with limited funds may like to hope so.

We said Nintendo was targeting two groups of consumers, and the second consists of those who don’t own a Wii. With consideration of the loosely-termed ‘casual’ market, the numbers are possibly quite low, as that rather generic – and not always fair – phrase became widely used because of Wii. There will still be those who have perhaps resisted buying a Nintendo console to this point who will need some Wii Remotes for those all-important multiplayer games. It’s well known that some titles, such as Rayman Legends and New Super Mario Bros. U, will heavily feature play that incorporates both the GamePad and other players on Remotes. A bundle with the Wii controllers – preferably MotionPlus versions – seems like an absolute necessity.

Part of this audience is a group of ‘core’ gamers, some of whom have based their gaming in recent years exclusively around an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. We’re not going to argue about whether Wii U will attract these consumers in this article, but a bundle that includes a Wii U Pro Controller for an extra $15-20, or a price slightly below the cost of the standalone controller, may entice them to give Wii U a try.

One thing that we’re guaranteed to see with the launch of Wii U is retailers trying to attract pre-orders with incentives such as reduced price games, key rings and, if you’re lucky, Mario plushes. As is always the case, there'll be plenty of variety and options both online and on the high street, and it's possible that Nintendo will assist retailers with some of these promotions.

Another attractive add-on that can be included in every box, and something that was offered with DSi purchases for a limited time in the UK, would be a £10/$15 eShop voucher to be redeemed in the Wii U digital store. A simple piece of card with a scratch off panel is all that’s needed – though an NFC card to ‘scan’ would be fancier — and the prospect of a free game may be incentive enough to push Wii U connectivity to the levels that Nintendo desires. Whereas the launch of eShop brought specific freebies to the table, the range of titles already announced for Wii U’s download platforms suggests that Nintendo should encourage gamers to take free credit and browse, therefore getting a taste for what the service has to offer in its own launch period.

None of these suggestions have even addressed the issue of console colours, but we’d like to see options such as these available with black and white consoles, though that’s perhaps optimistic. As long as gamers of all kinds have a purchase option that suits their needs, and doesn’t make them pay for accessories or controllers that they don’t actually need, then Wii U will have an even better chance of a successful launch.

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User Comments (67)

WiiULoveSquid

#1

WiiULoveSquid said:

Not a big deal for me. Im buying whatever comes to the Walmart and hopefully one of the games shown at E3 and take it from there.

Nintex

#2

Nintex said:

I agree different bundles would attract certain consumers, but for me I really don't care. I'm already sold on getting one on launch. Just waiting on the official launch day specifics.

BenAV

#3

BenAV said:

Bundles would be great, but I have a feeling that it's not going to happen.I'm not too fussed though, as long as they don't put unnecessary things in like extra Wii Remotes because I don't need though.If it's just the system, a GamePad and NintendoLand then I'm happy.A HDMI cable and Pro controller would be great too but that's not going to happen (at least the Pro controller) and I'm prepared to buy them separately.

Whatever we're going to get, I just want them to hurry up and announce it so I can finish paying for it already. :P

Also, although I already own a Wii, I'd still like new cables.
I might end up with my Wii U and Wii plugged into different TVs so I need two sets of cables for that.

Smitherenez

#4

Smitherenez said:

Why is Nintendo not telling us about their plans? We just want to know when and how much, so that we are able to get our wallets ready. But I do have to admit: these ideas do sound great! I would get the wii-owner version :)

spidey1010

#5

spidey1010 said:

Not to be a Negative Nancy, but I highly doubt Nintendo will do multiple, price-differing bundles.
It's not their style at all. They want the buying experience to be simple.
My prediction?
They'll have one product.
To entice the casual gamers, they'll say, "Here's everything you need to enjoy our latest offering."
The launch Wii U product will include Wii U console, Wii U gamepad, and Nintendoland, with some cheap video cables- probably component, maybe composite if they're feeling really cheap.
Then they'll simply let the harder-core gamers decide what extras they want: those gamers will have to buy separate HDMI cables, more remotes, etc.

Does it favor the casual gamer? Yes.
But it also favors those who already own a Wii, seeing as how it offers no extras that people already own. It's the barebones kit, but it panders to the widest audience: casuals and previous customers.

warioswoods

#6

warioswoods said:

I'm hoping that this great idea of a "basic" model (no Wiimotes, sensor bar, etc) comes to fruition given the fact that so many consumers already own Wii remotes and peripherals. Nearly everyone on the planet has these items by now.

Iwata gave me a bit of hope in his Analyst Q&A:

"There are 190 million Wii Remotes out in the marketplace around the world. As Reggie pointed out in our presentation at E3 yesterday, there are also quite a large number of Wii Balance Boards. We look at both of those as important assets that we would like to continue to leverage."

DestinyMan

#7

DestinyMan said:

As someone with a Wii and all of its basic parts, I can see how a bare-bones package with just the Wii U console and gamepad could work. The odds of such a thing happening might be thin, but it would be nice.

It's a wonder you didn't mention Nintendo Land being a bundled-in game. It can be like the Wii Sports of the Wii U, only deeper.

ThomasBW84Admin

#8

ThomasBW84 said:

@NintyFan Let's remember that Nintendo Land being bundled in for 'free', Wii Sports style, is far from confirmed. It's easy to get in a mindset that it will be, but James rightly reminded me that, actually, there's a chance it won't be. We'll have to wait and see, so the focus here was on options for actual hardware to accommodate those who need various control options and those that don't.

I'll be very frustrated, personally, if I end up buying a bundle that includes any Wii Remote/Nunchuk accessories. In fact this is the first time, that I can think of, that a new Nintendo console will actually need controllers from its last console (even if it's for multiplayer purposes). Precedent goes out the window, and I truly believe that a console for less cost with just a GamePad and console should be released.

Kirk

#9

Kirk said:

I'm pretty sure a Wii U, available in both black and white at launch, with both New Super Mario Bros U and NintendoLand in the box (even if both or one of them have to be digital versions), for a price of around £179.00, would suit most people.

Give people a voucher for an extra Wiimote or Pro Controller if they want but I don't think those will be in the box, although you never can tell with Nintendo's whole approach to this "asymmetric gameplay" Shebang.

I certainly don't wanna pay for any more blimmin Wiimotes/Nunchucks and although I wouldn't care if there was an alternative SKU for people who did want them I just think that kind of stuff at launch is only going to confuse some people.

Edit: Actually, now that someone just reminded me that NintendoLand uses Motion Plus in some games, and I think it's going to be packed-in with the system, maybe they will actually include a Wiimote in the box, if only to ensure everyone can play all the NintendoLand games day one (and it automatically means you've got the ability to play a simple multi-player game too).

So convoluted, Nintendo, I tells ya.

GamecubeMan

#10

GamecubeMan said:

I just want the Wii U its self, the tablet, a bundled game, componet cables and maybe a Wii motion plus remote. Hopefully Nintendo will have an ambassadors program for the WII U and that will count as an "extra" in my book.

warioswoods

#11

warioswoods said:

I just hope there isn't too much confusion over Motion Plus this generation. As far as I can tell, parts of NintendoLand require it (the Zelda game at the very least), and there may be quite a few people out there who try to use their classic Wii Remote to no avail.

RaylaxStaff

#12

Raylax said:

@Kirk: A Wii U with gamepad and two games will be considerably more than £179.99, I fear :P

Mk_II

#13

Mk_II said:

OTOH: if they offer too many choices, consumers (and retailers!) will be confused as to what to buy.

tat2

#14

tat2 said:

I still don't get why so many presume that there will be a bundle that includes Wii Remotes, it seems very unlikely to me. Games that need them might be sold with them included in a slightly higher price. Wii U will have a basic launch and bundles start to appear when the next Xbox an PS are close to a release.

And there won't be an eShop card included. There might be some free software in the eShop, but it's very possible that Nintendo counts on the Miiverse to get high connectivity rates.

19Robb92

#16

19Robb92 said:

Just give me a NintendoLand bundle and I'll be fine.

I'm already interested in the other games and will buy the ones I want anyway. NintendoLand, however, is a game I'm not willing to buy at retail anyway, so the only chance of me getting that is if it's bundled with the system.

Nintendoro

#18

Nintendoro said:

I always pay highest price for bundles with most items included. It would make sense to make few bundles for a start: Pro bundle in black or white (with HDMI cable, AV cable, console, Gamepad, Pro controller, Nintendoland all in one), Core bundle in white or black (with AV cable, Gamepad, console). Perhaps Family and Sport bundles too. Gamers needs are different and as much as some of them are paying less for less, the others pay more for most. I personally would pay a higher price for as much in the bundle as Nintendo can squeeze in the box.

Kirk

#21

Kirk said:

@Nintendoro

Confusing much?

Even just reading your post I was like, WTF?

How do you think the average consumer is going to navigate their way around that mess.

One SKU, get it right, done.

hydeks

#22

hydeks said:

I would like to see them release two bundles: White Wii and Nintendo Land for casual gamers, black wii with new super mario bros u or zombi u (either is cool)

I figured this is kinda wishful thinking though :P

Lew3107

#24

Lew3107 said:

@Kirk If you seriously believe that we could get NintendoLand, NSMBU, a console AND a gamepad for just £179, not to be mean, but you're crazy! A solitary PS3 at GAME still costs £199, and considering the Wii U is more powerful, the controller is more expensive, plus two games, you're looking to pay at least £249 for that particular bundle, if not more.
Personally, I don't think Nintendo will give that much in the default package anyway, maybe as an add-on bundle like they do with Mario Kart, etc. I think it'll be the standard console, gamepad, NintendoLand & cables for at least £229.

Kirk

#25

Kirk said:

PS3 is a full blown CD/DVD/Blue-Ray player out the box and has a 160GB hard drive too.

If Nintendo goes over £199 with a limited console that's not even that much more powerful than a PS3 (and no one can convincingly show otherwise at this point in time) it's in trouble imo.

Nintendo managed to release the Wii at £179.99. I'd like them to do the same with Wii U. I personally wouldn't go above £199 and if anyone else would, not to be mean, but I think they are the crazy ones.

Lew3107

#27

Lew3107 said:

Yeah, I agree, a Wii U alone will maybe go for £199. But with games and stuff it has to be over 200. Anything under that is probably a loss and Nintendo say they don't wanna sell at a loss. Imho it doesn't matter what bundles there are because personally I already have over 10 games I want.

Kirk

#28

Kirk said:

@Lew3107

There's absolutely nothing at all to justify charging £199 for a standalone Wii U imo. It's basically an Xbox 360 with a new controller (to be blunt).

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Microsoft-Xbox-360-4GB-Console/dp/B003UTUBQG/ref=zg_bs_676520011_2

If Nintendo goes above £199 then it's in trouble imo.

For £199 I'd certainly expect to see the console, the GamePad and two games, NSMBU and NintendoLand (even if both or one of those are digital versions).

I'd ideally like that at £179.99 but that's just what I'd like.

edcomics

#29

edcomics said:

I doubt Nintendo will risk confusing customers with different WiiU packages at launch. You know, people who don't visit gaming websites or read gaming magazines on a regular basis, if at all. Understanding which package you want actually requires research and decision-making, and I think a lot of people just want a simple decision such as "Should I buy a WiiU or not?" without having to ask "If I do buy it, which version should I buy?"

LavaTwilight

#30

LavaTwilight said:

What I got from most of those posts are, yeah we can dream!
Being in the UK we tend to get a lot of bundle offers but those are ran by the stores as opposed to Nintendo themselves!
I've always said there are three things Nintendo need to do to ensure I make a purchase on day one! Reasonable price, Pikmin 3, and transferal of VC and WW games / points.
I don't fancy 'losing' £300 worth of points due to Nintendo not willing to make some format where I can move them to the WiiU. So what will it be, a purchase of a WiiU from me and I keep the points or I keep the points and go without a WiiU? Nintendo, it's your call!

TheN64Dude

#31

TheN64Dude said:

I suggest 300$ for Wii U with 2 Gamepads and both Nintendo Land & New Super Mario Bros. U as pack-in titles.

kyuubikid213

#32

kyuubikid213 said:

Wii U should come with the GamePad, the console, manuals, necessary cables, and Nintendo Land. This would be an instant buy for me and possibly many others. It will also give people a game WITH the system that shows it's more than "an underpowered PS3" or "a 360 with a different controller."

MikeyMikeMike

#33

MikeyMikeMike said:

Definitely hoping on a bare bones version. Many people myself included have spent significant $ on extra Wii controllers of different kinds and would definitely not be interested in paying extra for things I don't need. 1 console & 1 gamepad pelase...

TimboBaggins

#34

TimboBaggins said:

Nintendo is about keeping it simple for their customers. They will release one version for everyone. I think they would be crazy to sell a version of the system without the cables, that would be stupid, even though I already own a WIi. The Pro controller was designed to appeal to core gamers, it won't be included. My guess- gamepad, manuals/cables, system. No hdmi cable, maybe av or component. If we are lucky, maybe nintendoland.

Stix_Remix

#36

Stix_Remix said:

I'm curious how they will bundle the console, especially since I already have four Wii remotes. Technically, I have six (four regular, two motion+).

I'm really hoping Nintendo won't be giving me yet another remote.

Csaw

#37

Csaw said:

@Kirk well then why don't you just say that you're not getting a wiiu at launch cuz there is no way it's going to be priced at that.

Kirk

#38

Kirk said:

@Csaw

Well let's see what value proposition they do offer at launch, shall we, and then I'll decide...

Pokefanmum82

#40

Pokefanmum82 said:

I'm getting it regardless of what comes in the bundle. I won't buy Nintendoland if it isn't in the box.

darkgamer001

#41

darkgamer001 said:

They should offer a basic bundle of the white WiiU model, and the black WiiU with a Pro controller packaged in. Kind of like a 'casual' bundle and a 'core gamer' bundle. Note that I don't really like the use of these terms, but this might work in terms of marketing

Koos

#42

Koos said:

Wii remotes have to be included. The asynchronous game play and everything is critical. I'm sure it will be included in every purchase

iphys

#43

iphys said:

Yikes, I never even considered the prospect that it would come with a Wiimote or nunchuk — hope not, as I already have more of those things than I'll ever need. Surely releasing the system with just the GamePad is no more horrific than releasing the Wii with a single Wiimote and nunchuk — people always knew they'd have to buy extra controllers for more than one person to play. I do think it should come with all the console hookups though, just because it creates an imbalance in the Universe if you release consoles without them and then people want to split up their consoles down the line.

Savino

#46

Savino said:

Keep it simple for me!
I have enough wii "parafernália" to fill up all games requirements!

TruenoGT

#47

TruenoGT said:

I think they have to include a remote and nunchuk simply to set the standard equipment that all WiiU owners will have. Developers will primarily target the lowest common denominator and if a remote and nunchuk are not included, then most developers will not support them. I certainly don't need another set, but if they don't include them, game variety will suffer, so I'm hoping they do.

UnseatingKDawg

#48

UnseatingKDawg said:

Different price bundles? Not a bad idea at all. Works for me since I fit the 5 year library description (even though I've had one for only 3 years). This unfortunately seems untrue. But it's not out of the realm of possibility; after all, the original NES had different packages.

janettocrossing

#49

janettocrossing said:

I think it should be bundled with Nintendo Land... And it better come out by Christmas cuz that's what i want for Christmas. If not then i'll just get a PS Vita and wait 'til my B-Day to get this one...

WaxxyOne

#50

WaxxyOne said:

I don't see Nintendo offering any model without something as crucial as the sensor bar. Even though it's true there are many Wii owners out there with one, the fact that it's necessary to run one of the major features of a Wiimote means it must be included with the system. Nintendo does not want to deal with new customers who didn't know they had to get the model with a sensor bar and then have a bad experience trying to use their brand new system without the proper equipment.

Rapadash6

#51

Rapadash6 said:

Nintendo should make two bundles:

One including a white Wii U, Gamepad, Wii Remote and Nunchuk and Nintendo Land for $300

The other being a black Wii U, Gamepad, Pro Controller and New Super Mario Bros. U for $300.

Both games would of course be sold seperately for those who want a particular color system and the opposite game.

Burning_Spear

#52

Burning_Spear said:

Rather than a bundle, I'd prefer some kind of commemorative edition. How about a limited-edition console that comes with a set of Nintendo NFC figurines? GIve me an incentive NOT to wait for the black console!

rjejr

#53

rjejr said:

I like the idea of 2 bundles - a basic, which as others have said MUST include all necessary cables to perform out of the box (to think they would't include a sensor bar or tv connection is just plain moronic) and a "gamer" bundle w/ the Pro controller, a game, HDMI and a bigger SD card (like Microsoft and to a lessor extent Sony did last generation). But Nintendo WON'T offer the gamer bundle. What makes anybody think they would? MS and Sony have had about 10 iterations each of their current consoles, Nintendo 2, and they don't even advertise that they dropped Gamecube BC probably b/c it's insulting to drop something like that. Hell I'm surprised nobody has sued Nintendo over it yet.
1 color, 1 system, 1 price. Take it or leave it.

luminalace

#54

luminalace said:

I have enough Wii Remotes & Nunchuks already so I want the bare bones package. I live alone so Asymetrical gameplay is not the priority. I want NSMU and the rest will lilely be 3rd party titles.

bahooney

#56

bahooney said:

Too bad NOA is probably too lazy to realize the potential here. Definitely don't need anymore Wiimotes cluttering up the place!

GamerZack87

#58

GamerZack87 said:

I'm more concerned about whether-or-not Nintendo will introduce a Wii Remote with a rechargeable battery. If they're marketing the GamePad and the revamped controller as being rechargeable, then surely they don't want people to have to keep shelling-out for AAs every time the little red battery indicator appears on their TV screen. :p

Hetsumani

#59

Hetsumani said:

They are going to bundle NintendoLand with the console, if not it's not going to sell unless it came bundled with a GamePad.

Jono97

#60

Jono97 said:

Unfortunately, the possibilities of me getting the Wii U is pretty low. My mum barley knows anything about video games and I haven't finished all my wii games(Supermario galaxy 2 and Donky Kong). This is unfortunate while I actually have this sense of wanting the Wii U.

Luffymcduck

#62

Luffymcduck said:

Nintendo Land must be part of the bundle. I´m not buying that one separately, there are much more interesting looking games for my wallet.

PoorVGameNerd

#63

PoorVGameNerd said:

While it might seem far fetched for Nintendo to offer different bundles, consider this: when the NES was released in NA, there were not two, not three, but four different bundles at launch. Given the company's current obsession with their past, they could very well take a page out of their '85 playbook.

MegaAdam

#64

MegaAdam said:

Two bundles is actually kind of brilliant. I could see the no-frills console+ gamepad version going for $300, while a bundle that also included a RemotePlus, a nunchuk, a Pro Controller, and an HDMI cable and maybe a game or something for $400.

Those dual bundles may in fact be the ideal launch configuration. Hmm. Good thinking, guys.

ThomasBW84Admin

#65

ThomasBW84 said:

Looking at it now, the comment in the article about saving money by leaving out the Wii cables and sensor bars is a bit fantastical, I'll admit. It's fun to think such an option could exist, and I still hope for a budget model, even if it has cables :)

shadowfinger3

#66

shadowfinger3 said:

I agree with ur points but I also have my own ideas. first of, nintendo should not bundle this with wii motes ... the system and game pad should be enough with the cables n a pack in game.(either nintendoland or super mario bro U) The system should launch in black first then white comes after. ninty should lower the price on the wii motes and other accessories for those who want those extra stuff. and finally if nintendo plans on releasing this over $299 my wildest wish is dat they bundle this with 2 games (mario u & ninendoland). take the loss on software rather than on the hardware. I believe this would def fly of the shelves, plus if the games r preloaded or can be downloaded they would not have manufacturing losses plus they can make downloadable content to help with those loses such as extra levels. I remember my first nintendo system I got bundled with duck hunt and mario .. I would love to see ninty do this again ..also this bundle could be only for a yr then bundle it with something else ala sony ... overall keep the system price low n have good content from the get go then u can have my money ... and for the love of good please make a duck hunt game in nintendo land in the near future ^_^ ..

Malkeor

#67

Malkeor said:

I think including too much in a bundle is certainly asking for too much.
Though I respect options, a standard pack and a more expensive premium pack that is more expensive but collectively less expensive than buying each item individually.

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