In an interview with the Seattle Times, Nintendo of America President Reggie-Fils Aime left open the possibility of selling Wii U consoles through cable providers.
While this might seem pretty far-fetched, it's well-known that Nintendo is hoping for big things from its Nintendo TVii service, which aims to combine Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu Plus, and TiVo all into one centralized service. And although Reggie asserts that Nintendo is a game company first and foremost, the interview touched upon the possibility of selling Wii U consoles through cable TV providers.
Seattle Times: Will you sell this system through Comcast or other TV partners?
Reggie: It's certainly possible.
Seattle Times: Why didn't you just buy TiVo and go the whole DVR route?
Reggie: That's not what we do.
This strategy, which provides a service or product for a subsidized cost by requiring owners to sign contracts, is nothing new of course. Apple has been very successful with their line of phones, which they provide for a fraction of the price if you sign a two-year contract. Granted, we haven't seen Nintendo do anything like this before, but gaming stalwart Microsoft provided a similar service with their Xbox 360, which was sold at a heavily discounted price in return for subscribing to multiple years of their Xbox Live Gold service.