by Anton Shilov
01/31/2013 | 11:59 PM
Although sales of Nintendo Wii U are below the originally planned figures, Nintendo has no plans to cut the price of the console to boost popularity among buyers. Nintendo believes that with more games for Nintendo Wii U available on the market the console will gradually gain popularity among gamers.
“With Wii U, we have taken a rather resolute stance in pricing it below its manufacturing cost, so we are not planning to perform a markdown. I would like to make this point absolutely clear. We are putting our lessons from Nintendo 3DS to good use, as I have already publicly stated,” said Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo, during the Q3 FY2012 financial results briefing.
Nintendo Wii U was less successful in the first week of sales in all regions where it was launched last year, including Japan, Europe and the U.S. In all regions except Japan current-generation-game consoles managed to outsell Nintendo Wii U, which costs more than basic versions of Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 during the launch month, a rather unprecedented situation.
According to the head of Nintendo, the company has failed to reveal the value of the console to potential buyers, just like back in the early days of 3DS. The company will attempt to put more efforts into advertising the benefits of Wii U and working with game developers.
“It has now become clear that we have not yet fully communicated the value of our product, we will try to do so before the software lineup is enhanced and at the same time work to enrich the software lineup which could make consumers understand the appeal of Wii U,” added Mr. Iwata.
In contrast to its tradition to sell hardware with a profit, Nintendo loses money on every Wii U game console sold as its manufacturing/packaging/shipping costs currently exceed the retail price. In this case, the company is naturally reluctant to perform a price-cut as its losses may widen considerably, whereas actual benefits of better adoption may be negligible.
Nintendo Wii U is based on a custom triple IBM Power 750 "Espresso" 1.24GHz microprocessor equipped with 1GB of system memory as well as a modern custom AMD Radeon HD "Latte" graphics processing unit with high-definition graphics and video support that is equipped with 1GB of graphics memory. The consoles come with 32GB or 8GB of NAND flash storage and an optical drive to read custom 25GB discs.
The main feature of the game console is its unique Wii U GamePad 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.
In the U.S., the Wii U basic bundle is priced at $299, the premium bundle is available for $349. In Europe, the basic white version is sold for €299/£249, while the deluxe black carries €349/£299 price-tag. In Japan, the white and black Wii U cost ¥26250 and ¥31500, respectively.