by Anton Shilov
04/09/2012 | 05:49 PM
Sources familiar with Nintendo's product plans told reporters that bill of materials of Nintendo Wii U video game system with tablet-like controller may be as high as $180, but it is possible that the game console may be priced at $300 in retail when it becomes available later in 2012. Apparently, Nintendo has again chosen inexpensive hardware components and will be able to earn money by selling consoles, something Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. are unable to do.
"Cutting production costs to maximize profits is Nintendo’s main concern with the Wii U. They are cutting costs in the Wii U’s hardware to build back confidence in investors. Nintendo wants investors to view Wii U as a less risky proposition," a source closely involved with manufacturing and distributing of Nintendo products told Forget The Box web-site.
The console with its innovative controller itself is believed to cost around $180 to manufacture, whereas the controller’s total bill of materials and components cost no more than $50. As it appears, Nintendo has decided not only to use relatively inexpensive microprocessor and graphics processor, but also made sure that over time the cost of total bill of materials will drop significantly, which will let the company to earn money by selling consoles, something not common on this market.
“Nintendo chose an economical GPU and CPU that could keep up with the performance of today’s current consoles, but keep hardware costs down to maximize profits. Nintendo got a bargain price on the custom GPU and CPU that the Wii U uses. There is a bigger focus on downloadable content, applications, video content, digital distribution, and services to create a stream of revenue. Investors will be ecstatic with the news,” the source reportedly told the web-site.
Nintendo Wii U combines motion-sensing game play with the ability to support high-definition graphics and generally performance demanding games that can run on consoles like Microsoft Xbox 360 or Sony PlayStation 3. The system itself is based on a custom IBM Power microprocessor as well as a modern custom AMD Radeon HD graphics processing unit with high-definition graphics and video support. The main feature of the code-named Cafe game console is its unique controller with 6.2" touch-screen that also features an accelerometer and a gyroscope, a rumble feature, an inward-facing camera, a microphone and speakers that can be used to play both classic Gamecube/Wii games as well as specially designed titles that take advantage of the screen. Each Wii U console will be partnered with a new controller and can also use up to four additional Wii Remote or Wii Remote Plus controllers. The system is also backward compatible and can play all Wii games and use all Wii accessories. According to unofficial information, Wii U will be released on November 18, 2012.