Nintendo Wants to Avoid a Loss with the Launch of Wii U

Monday, June 11th, 2012

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In a recent interview with Spike, Katsuya Eguchi, Nintendo’s designer, has said that the WiiU should not be sold at launch with a loss. They’re figuring out the right price for both the consumers and Nintendo.

“We’d like to avoid taking a loss on the hardware, so we’re gonna be seriously considering how it’s priced.”

Nintendo’s former consoles like the Gamecube, which launched at the price of $199.99 and the Wii, which was launched at $250, both had success with their launch pricing. But the WiiU is launching with both the PS3 and Xbox 360 reasonably priced, so it’s possible the WiiU might not sell as much as Nintendo’s past consoles did at launch; even if the price is great for the consumer. Another possible threat could also come from Nintendo themselves; the 3DS. The 3DS will also have some highly anticipated games in its library this  holiday season when the Wii U is expected to launch, titles like Luigi’s Mansion: Dark of the Moon, Paper Mario: Sticker Stars and Epic Mickey 2: Power of Illusions. This could end up limiting the WiiU sales because people who haven’t bought a 3DS yet might buy it this holiday and won’t have enough money for both the 3DS and a WiiU.

Another thing Nintendo has to consider is the production costs of the WiiU. We don’t know how much the WiiU costs to produce, but after seeing the use of the WiiU gamepad, it looks to be using a lot of expensive technology.  The price will probably be a high one if Nintendo is going to afford it, but if they release it too low, they’ll lose a lot.

We all know the PS3 was very expensive when it first launched at $599, but the PS3 cost $800 to produce. Sony was  able to manage the losses because they were offering Blueray, something nobody else was doing, and something that everybody wanted.  But even so, Sony had their problems because of the lack of sales with the PS3. Is Nintendo’s WiiU unique enough that people will decide they have to have it and choose it over the likely cheaper alternatives of  the PS3,  the Xbox 360, and the 3Ds? Or perhaps they’ll hang on to their Wii for a while longer and wait until there is an eventual price drop on the WiiU.

For now the price is a mystery and we can only wait until Nintendo reveals it later this year.


  • If it goes above $350, I think Nintendo is pricing it too high.

  • This looks to be a repeat of the 3DS launch in terms of pricing. They never want to sell their stuff at a loss. But then, Sony and Microsoft sell their consoles at a loss and make it up with game sales, and they’re doing just fine.

    Thankfully, we’ll at least have some games at launch this time around.

    • Trey Leuenberger

      Doing just fine?  Neither of them have made any money since they launched the current generation of consoles.

    • how would you know that to be a fact?

    •  He’s probably referring to this source image, originally posted on :

    • My_name_is_Earl

      I know Sony hasn’t. They’re broke as fuck. They’ve lost 4.7 billions dollars since the PS3 has launched. I’m not sure about Microsoft though.

  • AnnGMorrone
  • Joe

    If they can assure the consumers that Wii data will be able to be transferred, they will get a lot more sales, mine included.

    • It’s already been reported that Nintendo is working on a method of transferring save data and downloadable games/content to the Wii U, so I don’t think you need to worry about that.

    • Joe

       I heard they were working on it, I’m just hoping for some confirmation. Sounds promising though

  • no one is gonna keep their wii and wait for a price drop on wiiu. simply because the wii sucks

  • I’d actually like them to take the route they did with the Ambassasdor program on the 3DS.  Price the Wii U about 100 dollars higher than they originally intended, but drop it soon after launch and give 200 dollars worth of free software to anyone who bought it at the higher price.

  • My_name_is_Earl

    $300 dollars is the perfect launch price for me. Anything higher than $400 dollars though and it’s a no deal.

    • Yeah, $300 is a good price to launch the Wii U at. Though, keep in mind that it’ll be competing against the PS3 and the 360, both of which are currently priced under $300 and have a much bigger library of games.

  • MagmarFire

    With the hardware they’re packing into this baby, I’ll be very surprised if we get it at a price significantly lower than $350.

    Necessary price concerns are necessary. ‘Course they’ll want to avoid the pitfall that Sony and Microsoft made by selling their consoles at a lower price than it takes to manufacture them.

  • the ps3 launched at $600, not $500

    • RyanOPR

      You’re right. Good catch.

  • My “money” is ready!