News Article

Reggie: $299 Is Strong Value, And Is Going To Be For a Long Time

Posted by Damien McFerran

Nintendo of America's president talks Wii U pricing and the impact of the 3DS cut

Unless you're living under a rock, you'll know that yesterday Nintendo confirmed the global pricing for its new Wii U console. In North America, the Basic set will retail for $299.99 and the Deluxe for $349.99.

Speaking to GI.biz, Reggie Fils-Aime outlined his company's stance on pricing:

The way that we approach consumer value is we want to make sure we give the consumer a lot for what they pay, and when you look at that basic model you get the innovation in the GamePad – and all of the gaming options that presents – you get Miiverse in terms of a gaming community, you get Nintendo TVii, you get video chat…all of that is included in the base proposition. We think $299 is a really strong value, and it’s a value that’s going to be strong for a long time.

He also revealed that the 3DS price cut - which was required to lift flagging sales and has consequently put the handheld in a very strong position globally - isn't something Nintendo want to have to repeat.

We don’t believe in pricing a product and then having to reduce the price some short time later. When we had to do that for 3DS, it was a very painful proposition for us. And what we did with the Wii at $249 and leaving it there for, I think, about three and a half years is very much consistent with our pricing philosophy.

In terms of profitability...we believe in making money on our hardware, even if it’s small amounts of money at the start. We don’t believe in losing a lot of money on hardware. I brought up 3DS – after the price cut, we were losing money on 3DS hardware and that’s what led to our posting our first operating loss ever as a public company.

[via vg247.com, gamesindustry.biz]

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User Comments (40)

RantingThespian

#1

RantingThespian said:

It's a reasonable price, I think. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Playstation 4 or Xbox 420 going for that much or more.

1wiierdguy

#3

1wiierdguy said:

For once us Aussies don't get screwed. The Wii U is priced very competitively down here! :)

fchinaski

#4

fchinaski said:

It is a fair price. I also like the idea of two bundles, basic and deluxe. It gives more people the chance to get the console at launch without having to pay more for things that are not essential for the experience. Smart move.

sillygostly

#5

sillygostly said:

I'm really happy with the Australian Wii U price. Heck, the basic package is priced more cheaply than the original Wii was at launch ($349 vs. $399), and shares its price with the 3DS' launch price.

I understand why a lot of things tend to cost more here, but the relatively small mark-up of the Wii U is something that I can live with. I'm more than happy to pay $430 for the premium package (though it is more than likely that retailers will competitively price it a little lower than the recommended retail price).

What I am concerned about though is the price of games, the price of an additional gamepad and the outrageous price of Wii Remotes/Nunchucks (as I hope to ditch my existing remotes in favour of the Wii Remote Plus). A Wii Remote + Nunchuck combo here costs $88. For barely $50 more, one could buy a Wii console with the remote+nunchuck and Mario Kart Wii at that price.

kyuubikid213

#6

kyuubikid213 said:

I'm excited the price is as low as it is. Considering it's only $50 more than when the Wii came out and also when the 3DS originally came out. And it's only $100 more than the XL. Normally there's a larger gap between prices like these, especially when we're talking about a system that's going to "change the way we play next."

luminalace

#7

luminalace said:

Yeah the Australian price is cheaper than I expected and much cheaper than the EB Games pre-order price of $599! In fact a tool at EB Games in Melbourne was telling me that he had inside knowledge that the console will be $599. $429 (c'mon who will buy the 8GB unit) with Nintendoland is $70 cheaper than I expected and I would have paid that price without a game!

Well done Nintendo Australia!

ajcismo

#8

ajcismo said:

Did my down payment and preorder at Gamestop last night. The manager was telling me that nobody is going with the $299 model, its been nothing but the Deluxe version being sold. Which, he said, the numbers were far more than what they had originally projected for sales. And with something like 50 games projected from launch to 3/13, Nintendo is looking like they got a winner, and I'm looking really poor.

rjejr

#9

rjejr said:

It's probably a fair value, but the $249 Wii was competing against the $400 Xbox360 and $600 Ps3. The $299 WiiU and $349 WiiU have a $249 PS3 and $199 Xbox360 to contend with, so while people are trying to decide which WiiU to get they may decide on another cheaper system entirely. And, oh yeah, we had that whole "great recession" thing since the Wii came out. Plus the Wii Sports newness made everybody want one. Now they all have Wiis and tablets so nothing new for the casual players.
They can keep that price and sell out before the holidays this year no doubt dut to limited supplies but the Ps4 Xbox720 prices will dictate future price drops.

NintyMan

#10

NintyMan said:

The Deluxe package is a great deal, since Nintendo Land by itself would be $50 and not only do you get that with the Deluxe package, but the console, GamePad, and Nintendo Network Preminum for only $50 more than the $300 white Wii U. I wouldn't be surprised if the Deluxe is pre-ordered more.

Moshugan

#11

Moshugan said:

I agree with him on $299. But I fear it will be over 300€ here in Europe (especially Finland, where everything electronics is extra expensive!).
Still, I'm going to support Nintendo from the start like always.

weirdproq

#12

weirdproq said:

The Xbox 360 was around $299 when it came out. I think the PS3 was even more. I think $299 is fair pricing for the Wii U.

hydeks

#13

hydeks said:

I like the Wii U, but as a person with a PS3, I can't see myself buying this system. It's too expensive compared to PS3 and 360, and it's basicly the same graphics capabilities and everything :P Maybe when Wii U gets some more games a year or so later, but right now, the PS3 is the system to have in my opinion.

@weirdproq 360 was $399/299, and the PS3 was $599/499, and the Wii U is basicly on par with the PS3. So the Wii U is a good price, but I still feel Nintendo is pulling an Apple and over pricing things yet again.

BXXL

#14

BXXL said:

They won't be able to sustain that kind of price that long: Wii was like a cultural phenomenon, and created such a demand that they could have sold it even at a higher price during its first two years...

But since then, the market has changed, and also, there has been the 3DS "pricing disaster"... that's the main reason why i don't want the Wii U at launch: cos' the 250 euros i've paid for the 3DS are still a very fresh and very painful memory... and i know i'm not the only one...

Also, the free-to-play model is on the rise, and i understand why Nintendo wants to stick with their old good business model: but we, as consumers, need to put some pressure on them, make them understand some things need to change, as we can't be treated like milkin' cows for ever and ever...

If you add the pressure created by all the other gaming companies out there, Sony, Microsoft, Apple, Steam, whatever, i'm quite sure we'll see that price goin' down at the start of 2014, and the same could apply to the pricing of their games, now $60 instead of $50, even downloaded...

That "business model" needs to change, otherwise Nintendo will (once again) only sell consoles to their most dedicated fans, while the mainstream market will move elsewhere... and they'll very deeply and sadly regret it...

MayhemStaff

#15

Mayhem said:

And everyone keeps forgetting that the US prices are without sales tax (the same as UK VAT), and the tax in the US is less than half the tax levelled in Europe on sold items (usually running 6-8%).

Xerxes

#16

Xerxes said:

@Mayhem Uhh... no its not, In my state the tax is 8.25% I almost have to pay a tenth of the price extra, so no, the U.S. is not better off in taxes.

Kirk

#17

Kirk said:

I don't think it is "Strong Value" at all, Reggie.

I can get a roughly equivalent powered Xbox 360 (certainly most people will never notice any difference in the graphics) with a bigger hard-drive, a bundled game (and a much much larger game library in general at this point in time), a Kinect sensor, all of the same types of multi-media services and features and more besides (I can actually play DVDs on my Xbox 360 for example), and it still costs less than this.

Compared to that how exactly is the Wii U "Strong Value", Reggie?

Also, let's just see how Microsoft and Sony react in terms of possible additional price cuts on their hardware...

If that should happen the Wii U becomes even less attractive compared to the competition.

AVahne

#18

AVahne said:

Extremely great price! I'll be getting the premium bundle. And for people who think Wii u is not more powerful than PS3, sure it may supposedly not be as powerful as PS4, but it will destroy PS3 graphics-wise.

aaronsullivan

#19

aaronsullivan said:

@Kirk
What kind of touch screen comes with the XBox 360 bundle? How many Mario, Zelda, Metroid games are planned for the XBox 360? Super Smash Bros. coming to it? Can your XBox 360 turn on your TV and control a Tivo? Can you hook up any hard drive you want to it?

I'm very curious how much more money Microsoft and Sony will want to bleed with the next generation of consoles. If they go "big" and the economy doesn't take a bit of an upturn in the next year or so, I bet you see significant delays. If they "go small" it will make the Wii U an even greater perceived value.

Still, I see why people would choose the other platforms and that's okay. I know for me and mine, this is EXACTLY where it should be. I'd have been delighted if it was lower, and been considering things if it was higher. As it is, it's a no brainer for me.

I think Nintendo fans are going to go for the Deluxe, for sure. Nintendo Land will reportedly be $60. Anyone interested in it is going to go Deluxe. The other one is there for those that want something else specific and are tight on money and need to be convinced of the value of the Deluxe AFTER being intrigued by the $300 price.

Kirk

#20

Kirk said:

@aaronsullivan

What kind of Kinect sensor comes with Wii U bundle? How many Halo games are planned for Wii U? What about Gears of War, Borderlands, Grand Theft Auto, Sleeping Dogs, Elder Scrolls, Dishonored, Far Cry, XCOM, Crysis, Metal Gear, Dead Space, BioShock, Fallout, Forza, Fable, Battlefield, Rage, Red Dead Redmption, The Orange Box, Star Wars 1313, Watch Dogs... Does the Wii U have a huge library of already brilliant games across the entire range or genres? How absolutely guaranteed is continued and complete AAA third party support on the Wii U? Can you use the Wii U to play DVDs? Does the Wii U have Xbox Live? Does the Wii U have an already established massive online community? Can you use Smart Glass on the Wii U? Does the Wii U cost under £200?

Etc etc etc....

Kirk

#21

Kirk said:

@Koto

Just no.

It's more powerful than both the Xbox 360 and PS3 graphics wise, just like the Wii was more powerful than the original Xbox in many areas too, but it won't "destroy" the PS3 graphically in the slightest.

By the time the Wii U dies you'll still be seeing games on both Xbox 360 and PS3 that most people wouldn't be able to tell apart in pretty much any area.

The Wii U is going to be a decent enough system, with some very nice looking games no doubt, but imo it's not going to stand head and shoulders above either the Xbox 360 or PS3 and regardless it's just too expensive for what it is and the games need to drop in price dramatically, especially the digital versions.

Robo-goose

#22

Robo-goose said:

The games need to drop in price dramatically? That can be applied to any AAA game, dude. $60 is a lot to pay for a single video game, and people are all ready going around acting as if it's unheard of because they forget that developing HD games is very expensive, and they forget (attention span of a goldfish)that the Wii U supports HD graphics. What will you say when NextBox games cost $70? It'd better be something similar.

OptometristLime

#23

OptometristLime said:

A wild troll has appeared!

Kinect is seriously being compared to the utility of a touchpad? Kinect is for hand-waving and yelling yourself hoarse trying to open your DVD drive. It's a gimmick.

Sure the XBOX looks attractive, to a gamer who already owns an XBOX! Casuals, Nintendo fans, and people on the cusp of new entertainment possibilities are the audience for Wii U. Not people who have been living in their refrigerator for 5 years and suddenly want to play Halo.

MegaAdam

#25

MegaAdam said:

It's a fair price, and not surprising given the tablet, but probably about $50 more than what it needs to be to really take off.

Burning_Spear

#26

Burning_Spear said:

@ Kirk

The flip side to your argument is why would I buy an aging console nearing the end of its lifespan when I can pay another $50 for a brand-new one and be set for the next five to six years? It's all personal preference, of course. IMO, the deluxe package is at least a fair deal, if not a good one.

rjejr

#27

rjejr said:

Jumpin' into the PS3/Xbox360/WiiU argument of the few above -

I don't know much about the Xbox 360 and I've heard bad things about the Kinect, but yes it can easily be marketed like a WiiU to both casuals and hardcore for the same price $299. W/ Kinect and Surface on the horizon WiiU is NOT a clear winner in either price or content.

I have had a PS3 for 3 years - and a Wii since launch - and the WiiU has nothing on the PS3. I haven't seen a videogame yet that looks better than the PS3. Not one. And the PS3 is still the only system with a blu-ray player - which is hard to find for less than $100 - and the upconverting DVD player works great, and I don't even have a remote. And a base 160GB HDD - which I easily upgraded recently to 500GB for about $45 (before the floods - thanks NewEgg). And last year Sony had a $199 holiday bundle w/ 2 games (LBP, R&C) so I'm expecting more this year. And Sony has Move and Wonderbooks coming out. And people will buy Harry Potter dog poop so that will sell. So WiiU has nothing over a PS3, not price, not hardware, not content. I'ld recommend to anybody who doesn't already have 1 to buy 1.

So no Reggie, it's not a "Great value", it's a "fair value", but probably won't last into holiday 2013. I'll buy 1 as soon as a "great value" shows up. I'm thinking free Nintendo Land w/ basic white purchase for Easter advertising at either Best Buy or Toys R Us. Competition is good.

sc100

#28

sc100 said:

@rjejr

Regarding "the WiiU has nothing on the PS3", it all depends on the kinds of games you like. Regardless of the specs a system has you have to like the games being made on the system and most of the big games on the PS3 and 360 just aren't my kinds of games. I really like most of what Nintendo makes however so that's why I buy Nintendo systems. So for me, the Wii U is definitely a greater value than the PS3, especially as more games come out for the Wii U over the next few years.

arrmixer

#29

arrmixer said:

Well I personally think the value is there would I rather have it be cheaper... of course but I'm fine with it...

I personally think every gamer has their ninch and usually sticks to it.. it was back with sega and nintendo and it is to this day...

I'll just stick with nintendo like I have for 25 years... I'm pretty sure xbox and sony got good products but I'm not interested... my preference is nintendo :)

Judah_83

#30

Judah_83 said:

@rjejr

The Wii U will be just fine. If you don't prefer it then don't buy it. Personally I would rather a cheaper console with an option to expand memory as you see fit as opposed to shelling out major $$$$ for something built in. You're already gonna see a steep price bc of the gamepad alone. Also most of those ps3 games shld be making their way to WiiU as third party ports or exclusives altogether (bayonetta 2). So lets see how things play out before jumping to conclusions.

LittleIrves

#32

LittleIrves said:

What I'm most jealous of the PS3 library for is their downloadable space. Really hope Wii U eShop gets some awesome indie devs on board (a good sign already that Chasing Aurora, Runner 2, Trine 2, Cloudberry Kingdom, etc. are coming) 'cause Sony has some amazing exclusive PSN stuff that's trying new things, pushing the industry conventions (Journey, Unfinished Swan, Papa y Yo). If they release a new rumoured Slimmer version at a reasonable price, I could very well find myself getting it just for the download games, much like I own a 360 and play mostly XBLA stuff.
Oh right, value... um, 300/350 seems high but for all that you're getting, sure!

Token_Girl

#33

Token_Girl said:

It will be interesting to me to see how invasive the ads will be. While I agree that Ninty needs to do more to highlight eshop games (and the Miiverse seems like a fun way to do it on your home screen - especially if they taylor the games the Miis are talking about to ones you are likely to be interested in (they can base that on your shop purchases or Club Nintendo registrations). The way PS3 shows new stuff too is fine - very noninvasive. Buying an XBox is like buying the free version of an app on the app store compared to the PS3 or (hopefully) WiiU's paid version. Ads everywhere. Plus, you have to buy Xbox Gold to use paid subscription service like Netflix. It's got a low price tag in the store - but if you want to actually use it for what it's for, it's not the best deal over time.

If I'm paying more for a console with similar power - I do NOT want to be plastered with invasive ads. I hope Ninty strikes this balance right.

tl;dr If the advertising model is noninvasive, I think the price is fine.

KAHN

#34

KAHN said:

"He also revealed that the 3DS price cut - which was required to lift flagging sales and has consequently put the handheld in a very strong position globally -isn't something Nintendo want to have to repeat"

found an error!

grimbldoo

#35

grimbldoo said:

Three years at the very least, it will drop $50, not for need of sales, but because they will be stable enough to do so.

stinssd

#36

stinssd said:

Damien, you wrote, "Nintendo want to have to repeat." I believe you mean, "Nintendo wants to have to repeat."

dimi

#37

dimi said:

"In terms of profitability...we believe in making money on our hardware". Google Nexus is losing money with every unit sold. Microsoft Surface (notebook/tablet hybrid) will cost something like..200 dollars and you can even use xbox360 controller on it. No they are not game consoles but they look more beautiful than wii u gamepad.
Nintendo is making tons of money from software...and they can afford a year of two of losing money on their consoles. In less than a year Wii U will be at 3ds price but maybe it will be too late till then.

Traxx

#39

Traxx said:

There is no value in the 299 bundle comapred to the 349. Can't belive they dont pack in nintendoland in the basic bundle, since thats the casual bundle...

Henmii

#40

Henmii said:

They potentially could make a huge misstake! If they released it in September and the sales bombed, they could lower the price just in time for christmas! Now that they release it in November, if it bombs the Holiday sales are screwed.

I guess Nintendo has A LOT of fate in this one! I wonder what will happen!

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