Iwata: Wii U Basic model sales show price isn't the issue

"The only solution is to provide the mass-market with many quality software titles"

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has dismissed growing suggestions that an official Wii U price drop is paramount if the company wants to reverse the console's fortunes.

Speaking to CVG contributor Steve Boxer, Iwata insisted that a lack of software, not pricing, was the real issue behind Wii U's lost momentum.

His theory is that the Basic model, which can be found at $100 and £100 cheaper then the Premium model, would not be selling worst of all if price was the real problem.

"If the price is actually an issue [with Wii U], then there is some contradiction between the current sales balance between the Basic and Premium versions of the Wii U," Iwata said.

"The basic version should have sold a lot, but the fact of the matter is that people are buying more of the premium version. So the issue is not there."

Iwata, spaeking at GDC in 2009
Image: Vincent Diamante

Following a relatively successful launch in November 2012, Nintendo has watched its Wii U system sales sink to new depths, the most recent result showing that the corporation sold just 160,000 consoles globally in the three months between April and July.

Some retail chains have voiced their desire for an official Wii U RRP cut, and even taken their own measures to unofficially slash the Wii U price. Other retailers have ceased stocking the cheaper Basic model, while Asda has suspended all Wii U units from stores.

Iwata believes that a strong line-up of key game releases is paramount.

"I understand that the real issue is the lack of software, and the only solution is to provide the mass-market with a number of quality software titles."

Supporting this theory is the increasing commercial momentum of the Nintendo 3DS; a handheld system with its own launch issues that is now outselling all other games consoles across the UK, US and Japan.

Nintendo used a price cut to turn around the early-life sales slump of the 3DS, slashing almost a third off its asking price (from $249 to $169.99 in the US).

Iwata previously poured cold water on hopes for an official price cut by revealing that each Wii U console still sells at a loss.