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Wii U: What's the price of success?

Daily Digest: Five leading games analysts industry weigh up the facts

One of the most important consoles in Nintendo's garlanded history is mere weeks away from launch, and tomorrow the final pieces of the puzzle will come together.

Across Japan, Europe and the US, Nintendo will host three separate press conferences to reveal the Wii U release dates and price and we'll be providing up to date coverage.

With the new system almost certain to compete at Christmas, the Wii U price is considered the most crucial element in Nintendo's launch plan.

CVG spoke to five leading consultants and analysts in the games industry to examine which price point Nintendo can afford to take, and the pressures that will determine the company's decisions


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"Closer to $249"

by N'Gai Croal, Consultant, Hit detection

My feeling is that Nintendo is in an interesting position with regards to pricing, and it's a position which is also challenging.

Theoretically, with a year-long head-start against the new hardware from their competitors [Microsoft and Sony], Nintendo could theoretically price the Wii U somewhere that's a little high for them, somewhere between $299 and $349. But that may not happen due to other reasons.

The fact is, Nintendo is probably going to be supply constrained at launch, even though they don't appear to be going into this launch with the same amount of hype as the original Wii.

I think that there was more scepticism about the Wii U coming out of E3 than there about the original Wii. I recall one CNN report that presumed that the Wii U was a tablet add-on, which shows there is a real messaging challenge for Nintendo.

The device does work really well, but the question remains: Has Nintendo sufficiently informed consumers so they can take a chance on going above their more traditional $249 price point?

There's also Sony and Microsoft to bear in mind, who still have room to make hardware price cuts on the PS3 and Xbox 360. I think there is also a question of whether the Wii U can differentiate itself from the current gen machines in terms of hardware power, and that will also have an affect on the RRP.

My guess is, coming off the back of the experience Nintendo had with the 3DS - when it decided it needed to slash the price fairly quickly - I think we'll see the Wii U priced somewhere closer to $249 just so the perception out of the gate is as positive as possible.

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