News Article

Ubisoft Boss Thinks Wii U Is Cheap, But Is Still Unhappy On Pricing

Posted by Damien McFerran

No pleasing some people

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has stated that although the Wii U is cheap when compared to devices like Apple's iPad, he's not 100% happy with the price of the system.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Guillemot remarked:

I always prefer lower pricing, so I can't say I'm happy. I'm never happy when the machines are expensive. What we have to do there is remember that compared to an iPad, it's cheap. With what it brings [to the gaming table] it's cheap. But I hope they'll be able to drop their price in time.

Guillemot's comments are curious, especially when you consider that the Wii U launch price - when adjusted for inflation - is one of the cheapest console launches of recent memory.

Ubisoft is one of the Wii U's most significant launch partners, with games like ZombiU and Assassin's Creed III leading the console's third party charge in 2012.

Do you think the Wii U has been priced too highly? Or is Guillemot missing something here? Drop a comment to let us know your feelings on the topic.

[via gamesindustry.biz]

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User Comments (71)

19Robb92

#1

19Robb92 said:

"I always prefer lower pricing, so I can't say I'm happy"

So what he's saying is that he's never happy with anything when it comes down to prices..

Pretty pointless complaint then, I'd say.

dizzy_boy

#2

dizzy_boy said:

the ipad isn`t a great comparison is it
besides, with the tech that nintendo has packed into the WiiU, the launch price seems more than fair.

kkslider5552000

#3

kkslider5552000 said:

it's just the guy looking like "hey you like stuff being cheaper me too" in order to look not evil or something. Nothing important here.

Bliquid

#4

Bliquid said:

"Do you think the Wii U has been priced too highly? Or is Guillemot missing something here? Drop a comment to let us know your feelings on the topic."

Yeah, right, the CEO of the house behind Assassin's Creed, Prince of Persia, Splinter Cell, Rayman, Beyond Good and Evil is bound to understand nothing at all about the videogame industry...

RupeeClock

#5

RupeeClock said:

I feel the pricing is justified, given that the package includes a console on-par or slightly exceeding their competitors, and the GamePad itself being a unique new piece of dedicated hardware.

Ducutzu

#6

Ducutzu said:

I think that Guillemot takes into account that now, in many European countries, a PS3 or Xbox 360 cost less than half the price of Wii U. Those are strong propositions for the holiday (at least for the casual market). So the Wii U is expensive compared to a PS3 or Xbox 360... but maybe still cheaper compared to an iPad. We here ofcourse don't compare the Wii U to an iPad. But the average consumer will make that comparison.

TwilightV

#7

TwilightV said:

I think the pricing is fair.

I hope we get BG&E HD and even BG&E2 at some point.

BXXL

#9

BXXL said:

I can't say i'm happy with the way GAMES are (over) priced: Monsieur Guillemot could maybe show the example, and sell Ubisoft games for 30 euros instead of 60 euros? (/sarcasm)

I really don't get why the industry stay with that "model": selling games at a very high price (60 euros) the first year, and then make a "cheap" edition (usually 20 euros) later... if they want better global sales, just sell new games for 30 euros, once and for all, and we'll be able to buy more games, right from the start, instead of waiting for some 2nd hand copies... but what do i know, right?

Anyway, it's curious how Nintendo is always the one to blame: when the PS3 was sold 600 euros, i don't remember any editor or big 3rd party dev makin' any comment... double standard, i guess?

Wait for the prices of the PS4 and X720, and let's hear what he'll have to say THEN...

Tsuchiya

#10

Tsuchiya said:

For what Wii U is and does, the price seems more than fair to me.

Maybe he just doesn't like Apple and how they charge consumers and if so, I can't really blame him there. It's a slightly odd comparison though.

DamoAdmin

#11

Damo said:

@Ducutzu But when has new hardware EVER been the same price as the previous generation? There's always a jump in price.

Slapshot

#12

Slapshot said:

Vita is well worth its $250 asking and it's barely selling. 3DS was worth its $250 asking price and it all but needed an emergency price cut to get it selling. Why will this be any different?

Now that you can get the uber powered Nexus 7 for $200 and an iPad Mini for $329 - I went with the $499 4th Gen iPad over the Wii U - it only makes Wii U's price seem that much more inflated.

Time will tell, but I think it's too similar to a tablet, but doesn't offer near enough to justify the cost, when you can grab a Nexus 7 and have just as much of a good time - plus everything a tablet has on offer as well.

DamoAdmin

#13

Damo said:

@Slapshot Tablet/mobile gaming doesn't offer anywhere near the same depth as traditional console gaming, though. That's the key difference.

Shining-Void

#14

Shining-Void said:

If they are already selling it at a loss, you shouldn't expect much. The Wii U is hardly more expensive than the original Wii when it came out. People should forget about a price cut for a while. Cause it's sure not happening soon.

GameLord08

#15

GameLord08 said:

@Damo: They actually do offer a depth akin to traditional gaming in many respects (the Vita is a good example of a critical sufferer), but they haven't been realised in that area yet as they should. Rather, the key word here is that tablet/mobile gaming and console gaming don't offer the same experience. In that respect, it's completely incomparable. With this weird comparison, and the ludicrous insinuation that the Wii U's price should be on par with current-gen consoles, I'm starting to question Guillemot's reasoning ability with this complaint (or apparent lack thereof).

SirSmugleaf

#17

SirSmugleaf said:

I think the pricing is too cheap! I would be quite willing to pay $500+ for a Wii U (remembering that I live in Australia, so things are more expensive here). If Nintendo made it any cheaper, it would have probably come at a cost of tech specs, which we need to be good if the Wii U wants to try to be as close as possible to the next-gen Xbox and Playstation tech specs. Well it looks like it's hard to please everyone...

GameLord08

#20

GameLord08 said:

@Tsuchiya: Yes, they do. I've had a wealth of experience with mobile/tablet gaming, and I can tell you that as a verified fact. The majority of this industry is just overwhelmingly oblivious of this. Even SEGA, Ubisoft and Square Enix have had notable success in realising this with their IP on mobile platforms, e.g. Sonic, Rayman, Final Fantasy, talk less of many others.

Slapshot

#22

Slapshot said:

@Damo The games on mobile platforms have rapidly built theirselves to the equivalent of portable gaming systems (beyond in some aspects) and with the New iPad and Nexus 7's power - what's to say that it doesn't climb ever higher?

I just think it's a major factor in Wii U's sales and not to be ignored. Fewer people are buying "gaming consoles" each year and as the mobile platforms continue to improve, I see that shift gaining steam.

There are awesome games on the mobile platforms! ARC Squadron is flipping brilliant! :)

GameLord08

#25

GameLord08 said:

@Tsuchiya: Oh, because for a platform to be considered a success, it must have Nintendo games? Wow. And all this time, I was thinking a successful gaming platform could be defined as one that had original games that successfully exploited their platform's potential using their own individuality and innovation.

Besides, I never compared mobile/tablet gaming to console gaming. I said the former is competitive in its own respect. Do interpret me correctly.

In fact, just drop it. You're barely negating me in any sense.

Burning_Spear

#27

Burning_Spear said:

They're selling the console at a loss! Maybe Guillemot wants to kick some glue back to Nintendo to pay for a price drop?

Tsuchiya

#29

Tsuchiya said:

@GameLord08

I meant by Twilight Princess games that are in depth and lengthy. To be able to sit down and been drawn in to the gameplay on a big screen with controls that fit properly. Atmospheric sound and all the other bells and whistles console gaming is just better at doing.

Time wasters and mini games fit tablets perfectly yes but the Skyrims etc of this world are just more suited to consoles/ PCs. Let us just agree to disagree, or whatever. :D

rjejr

#31

rjejr said:

I think it's fairly obvious the guy is saying he wish the console were cheaper b/c he is basically betting his entire company on it getting into peoples homes so he can sell his games. WiiUbisoft. He also says he thinks it's a fair price. I agree with him on both counts, it is a fair price, but I'll buy it when it's lower. Show me a home video game console that never dropped in price and I'll show you a system that was never worth owning in the first place.

And yes, the Gamepad may cost $100 or whatever retail - but the Wiimote and nunchuck combo in the Wii cost $60 retail, and the Wii came with Wii Sports for $250. Had WiiU been $299 WITH NintendoLand I would have considered it more. The $249 PS3 comes w/ a $60 retail Dualshock 3 and the $249 Xbox comes w/ a $50 controller AND a $100 Kinect. (Both those PS3 and Xbox 360 systems will be $200 everywhere this holiday season.) The WiiU is not the first system to come boxed with an expensive controller.

R-L-A-George

#33

R-L-A-George said:

@dizzy_boy When you consider that people may compare the price of games. Thing is, ever since DS games used to rapidly go down in price and the used games industry grew. When the iPhone games came around and Wii became cheap, it added on to it. We now have a industry where usual casual customers are actually used to. So it did taint the industry a bit, where average shoppers may compare the two.(some actually gamers too.)

ajcismo

#34

ajcismo said:

Read between the lines people. Its corporate diversion. Ubisoft has the most games at launch right? A cheaper Wii U, by say, $50 or so would mean the likelihood that we as consumers would have enough of a budget to pick up an extra game besides the 1 or 2 that we'll all purchase at launch. Most likely a Ubi game. This whole watching out for the consumer angle he's playing is bs. Its basic economics.

Tsuchiya

#35

Tsuchiya said:

@LEGEND_MARIOID

Not really if you shop around. :)

You can pick one up for £248 at Amazon and Tesco and £249 in Asda.
Shopto has one for £247.85 and those are just a few out there.
Certain shops in the UK are awful at over charging. I'm pretty sure we know who those are... :p and who to avoid

triforcepower73

#37

triforcepower73 said:

He's saying he prefers lower pricing and he's also said the wii u is cheap, but then he contradicts himself by saying it's too expensive and he wishes it could be lower. Doesn't make any sense.

Sun

#40

Sun said:

The problem is that Wii U is still to prove that is superior to Xbox 360 or PS3. There are not detailed hardware specifications and the multiplatform games look worse on Wii U because they are rushed. Given all of that, do people think Wii U is expensive? Yes, they do.

Wonder_Ideal

#41

Wonder_Ideal said:

@Sun I believe that some of the previous Iwata Ask's have detailed the Wii U's hardware specs.
I think that the Wii U's price is very reasonable. However, because Nintendo is selling it at a loss, I do not believe that there will be a price drop any time soon.

Sun

#42

Sun said:

@ Ideal_Hero, you are wrong. They don't tell a thing about the CPU and GPU speed and memory. We only know that the total RAM is 2GB, the same as current smartphones (such as Nexus 4) and only 1GB for games. Maybe it would be better to know the details because they might make a difference. But we don't know them.

The problem as I said before is that we don't know the detailed (note this adjective) hardware specifications and that the multiplatform games (Xbox360-PS3-Wii U) look worse on Wii U.

OracleOfTruth

#43

OracleOfTruth said:

Also, we've got to remember that companies like Nintendo need to make a profit of their products. It's their livelihoods. Taking that into account with the fact that Nintendo is already selling Wii U at a loss, I believe the price is certainly justified.

misswliu81

#44

misswliu81 said:

i think the price of the wii U is understandable, given the tablet controller and being more powerful than the wii. as for yves, other than assassins creed, ubisoft have been released mostly shovel ware.

THENAMESNORM

#46

THENAMESNORM said:

I paid £424 for my PS3 almost 6 months after launch and I got two budget games and 2 budget blu rays with it. For £100 LESS some 5 years on I am getting a WiiU with what appears to be a blockbuster game(ZombiU) a Pro Controller and the GamePad(which will probably cost around £100 when it's released on it's own!) so although I would love it to be cheaper, I don't feel I'm being robbed.

eviLaTtenDant

#48

eviLaTtenDant said:

Personally i'd like to see the Premium Pack for 279€. (Especially now that it seems that you can't even download every game on the Basic Pack).My excitement level doesn't really justify paying any more.

Tsuchiya

#49

Tsuchiya said:

@ziLToiD

You could say that it was never the intention to have downloadable full retail games for the basic Wii U. It is the basic version after all and most probably exists for the casuals.

Hokori

#50

Hokori said:

This is how I see iPads, the best iPad game is equal to the worst to average game on consoles

Phle

#51

Phle said:

I honestly don't think the Wii U is expensive.

Nintendo has given it a fair price tag. It's about half the price of an iPhone 5 and in about 12 months there will probably be a replacement, called something like iPhone 5S on the market. I'm not expecting a replacement for the Wii U for at least two years, probably even longer if the system sells well and continue to get good games on a regular basis.

If the system were any cheaper, people might have doubted the quality because of the strangely low launch price compared to other consoles and their price tags at launch. People are used to the fact that cool electronic devices like smartphones, gaming consoles, laptops & computers and web tablets are expensive, and the coolest ones are super expensive.

Slapshot

#52

Slapshot said:

@HarmoKnight That's because your not playing the right games. Here's a hint - you've got to pay money for the good games, and they usually cost more than $0.99.

PinkSpider

#53

PinkSpider said:

Sorry @slapshot i agree with @HarmoKnight mobile phone gaming is fun for 5 mins then you realise the controls suck so bad. And the games aren't made with much love most of them are just the same recycled s##t with a different name.
The only decent games are quick burst games like angry birds and hidden object games, you can't replicate console quality games on a phone full stop.

Blue-Thunder

#56

Blue-Thunder said:

I think it's to expensive, but this is business and Nintendo are going to milk the early adopters because that's business. Also I don't think Yves Guillemot is going to have to wait to long before there is a price cut, it'll be less than a year.

AVahne

#57

AVahne said:

Thinking that he's just looking at the entire game market as a whole. Even though the Wii U is likely to be much more powerful than the 7th gen consoles, people in this economy may just look at the older consoles and see a better value in the base model packages. Especially if they just want to play any kind of games in HD on the TV.

PinkSpider

#58

PinkSpider said:

Im curious as to how its to expensive,

In comparison (im using uk prices)

A brand new I Pad £500.00
A top of the range mobile phone between £300 and £500
''A 6 YEAR OLD'' X Box 360 and PS3 £179.99 to £199.99
''A BRAND NEW'' Premium Wii U will set you back £279.99

So honestly it really isn't that expensive in comparison

Hokori

#59

Hokori said:

@Slapshot LOL thats what I said :D THE BEST IPAD GAMES ARE EQUAL TO THE AVERAGE CONSOLE GAMES, and that right there is me being generous to iPad

ei8htbit

#60

ei8htbit said:

@LEGEND_MARIOID
Wowzers! you're right!! By the time you run the math on those crazy magical nuggets of weight you use as currency in the UK, the British consumer spends quite a few more hours of sweaty hard labour in order to play the Wii U and enjoy at their leisure.

Now before everyone chimes in with the values of currency in the context of the market in which they reside, I did some quick American Fox News style investigating and did a 5 minute search on the web to put it in perspective (at least against North America). So it's legit. kind of.

According to the OECD Better Life Index (oecdbetterlifeindex.org) here is what the average person earns each year in their respective countries (adjusted to USD for comparison):
US = $37,708 USD /year
CANADA = $27,138 USD/year
UK = $26,552 USD/year

Cost of Wii U Deluxe Bundle (the only bundle anyone should consider purchasing)
US = $349.99 USD
CANADA = $349.99 USD ($349.99 CAD)
UK = $476.10 USD (299.99 GBP)

Now, for everyone keeping score, here are the relative differences against those lucky Yankees who make more and pay less for everything.

Canadians earn 28% LESS than Americans and are paying the SAME relative price for the Wii U (Deluxe)
Britons earn 29% LESS than Americans and are paying 26% MORE than the relative price of the Wii U (Deluxe).

Is it irresponsible logic to suggest in that case that it is 55% MORE expensive for UK residents to AFFORD a Wii U Deluxe bundle compared to Americans?

**it should be noted that the American average income includes a decent portion of some of the world's wealthiest people - the top 20% earn 8x more than the lowest 20% so grains of salt and all that..

Zaphod_Beeblebrox

#61

Zaphod_Beeblebrox said:

If Yves Guillemot is unhappy about the Wii U price, why doesn't he offer to subsidize it for Nintendo? That should shut him up.

theblackdragonAdmin

#62

theblackdragon said:

i thought in the EU, retailers set the price of the system and not Nintendo? there was that big anti-trust lawsuit and stuff where they were fined. if he thinks the system costs too little, he should get on the retailers for it — and if you guys think the system costs too much there, the retailers are to blame, not Nintendo proper.

ei8htbit

#63

ei8htbit said:

Considering Nintendo is already selling these to retailers at a loss I wouldn't be surprised if retailers actually make less than $10USD markup on each unit based on the MSRP. I don't know how much blame can be put on the retailer, we all have free choice in a free market to determine true value.

Ren

#66

Ren said:

Not very expensive, but it will still have a hard time after launch without a price drop or some more solid Nintendo games coming soon. I'm not in love with Tablet games either but they do play a part in whether or not people will buy ANOTHER home console. Why do people forget the OTHER things that phones and tablets do that are a much bigger priority to most people. Then they also play some very fun games (maybe not deep, complex games but it doesn't matter, and they are getting close). When you already have 1 or even 2 consoles and your next purchase is up for question lots of people will now go for the machine that can do more than just play games and movies. solid browsers, email, calls, maps, language learning, writing, magazines, books, etc, etc. This is a serious "value proposition". The addition of even OK games makes it the immediate choice for many looking for a new digital device. Consoles are now just another "digital Device", and true or not, many people still regard them as Game machines only.

Henmii

#67

Henmii said:

I guess this is the first time that Guillemot isn't 100% happy, regarding the Wii u!

Zombie_Barioth

#68

Zombie_Barioth said:

Its not expensive for what it offers, but then only those of use here really understand it. For most people who are just looking for a shiny new toy there are a lot more options for spending $300-$350, being so close to Black Friday doesn't help. With deals like $200 PS3s and $150 Xbox360s a lot of people will see that as a better deal, and thats not even counting other devices.

ei8htbit

#69

ei8htbit said:

Not to sound elitist, but $300 (or £250) is not a lot of money at all to anyone who doesn't rely on their parents for income. It's expensive for a meal, sure, but that only lasts you one night. Expensive for a pair of jeans maybe, but those might help you get lucky. My point is that the Wii U isn't a pack of gum, it's an EFFING HD Gaming machine that comes packed with a wireless streaming video player for chrissakes!! £250 is less than the cost of the phone you are reading this page on right now, and all that's really good for is calling mum and playing Angry Birds.
There is absolutely no reason why anyone living above the poverty line** can't save up for this system in the 2-3 months leading up to it's launch since it was officially dated without affecting their quality of life and certainly not going into debt. That's about £20 a week (or two hours of part time, minimum wage work). If you can't set that aside, how do you justify paying £60 for a full retail game? While we're on that comparison, if you figure the lifespan of the console is 4 - 5 years than you are only paying £60 a year (the cost of one game) to own the thing. How in the hell is that too expensive?? Hell, 10 Million subscribers to World of Warcraft can justify spending almost $160 a year just to play the same never-ending horribly boring and crap game(wink) for years on end. In fact if WoW was a console with a 5-year lifespan it would cost $800 for the subscription alone..
Please children, be big boys and girls and wait for Christmas like the rest of us had to from the non self-entitled generation. Otherwise don't complain about paying anything less than $500 for a game console (because your parents are most likely the ones paying for it anyways).

**those living below poverty line probably have more important priorities than investing in a Wii U and there is certainly nothing wrong with that, in fact I wish them well and hope they get what they need**

Hokori

#70

Hokori said:

@ei8htbit Thank you, I've been getting allowance from my parents for years and got all my WiiU money form graduation, but now I have a job and can make enough for a WiiU in a few weeks

ZombieToast

#71

ZombieToast said:

I might believe the guy if his company wasn't selling their game's "limited" edition for a ridiculous amount of money and then making portions of the game only available to people who buy it from a certain store. And, of course, each store gets a different portion so you either had to have preordered from each one or spent way too much money on eBay. And if you didn't get it for PS3, there's a portion of gameplay that you just flat-out can't have at all. Right...this guy really prefers lower prices...because it's easier to milk your customers that way.

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