Nintendo dropping the price of its home console ahead of the Xbox One and PS4 launches.
Nintendo’s struggling Wii U home console, which has plummeted at retail following a lukewarm launch, will drop its price by $50, and will now retail for $299 for the Deluxe model straight. It is our understanding that the Basic 8GB model has been discontinued altogether; instead, two different SKUs at 32 GB (one bundled with Nintendo Land, the other a special themed Wii U bundled with Wind Waker HD) will now both be available for $300.
Both consoles include 32GB of memory, but the Zelda edition will also include a voucher to download a copy of the much lauded Zelda celebratory series book, Hyrule Historia.
Speaking about the price cut, Reggie Fils-Aime mentioned trying to create (and sustain) momentum for the console.
“Obviously we want to drive Wii U momentum,” Fils-Aime said. “We’ve been very clear that software is what drives hardware. And we feel very good about the line-up of software for Wii U. Taking the added step to improve the value just reinforces our commitment to make sure that Wii U has a strong holiday this year and is set up to be a strong platform into the future.”
He admitted the Wii U’s sales failure, especially relative to the lightning in a bottle success of the Wii.
“All you need to do is look at the numbers,” Fils-Aime said. “At this point in time the Wii install base was beginning to approach three million—this is U.S. numbers—and as we sit here today, the Wii U installed base is at about 1.5 million. So clearly the sales pace is different. But I will also tell you that the focus on making sure that this holiday—its second holiday—is really strong is actually quite consistent with the way we’ve always thought about our hardware launches.”
Speaking of the strong content, Fils-Aime is certainly making a compelling point Even as the PS4 and Xbox One are launching, the Wii U seems to finally be picking up pace, with games like Pikmin 3, The Wonderful 101, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, and Super Mario 3D World coming from the Big N itself, in addition to third party projects like Sonic: Lost Worlds, Scribblenauts Unmasked, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Rayman Legends, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Batman: Arkham Origins, Watch Dogs, and Call of Duty: Ghost. It’s a hefty and impressive lineup that hopefully manages to turn things around for the fledgling console.
The Wii U will be going up against Microsoft’s Xbox One, launching in November and retailing for $499, and Sony’s PlayStation 4, launching November 15 and retailing for $399. The pricecut should make the console a significantly more attractive proposition, especially for families.