Thursday, January 31, 2013

Nintendo "resolute" on Wii U price despite waning sales

Nintendo "resolute" on Wii U price despite waning sales

Despite the Wii U's lower than expected sales, Nintendo has declared it is not considering a price cut anytime soon.

The firm recently updated its sales expectations for the new game console, scaling back from a goal of 5.5 million Wii U sales to 4 million sales by March 2013.

The poor system sales led many analysts to predict that Nintendo would soon cut the Wii U's price to give its console install base a jump start.

"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," Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said in a briefing with investors. "I would like to make this point absolutely clear."

Iwata adde d, "However, given that 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."

Short-term loss and long-term gain

By comparison, when the Nintendo 3DS was met with lower than expected sales a price drop followed only six months after launch.

Iwata says the company has learned its lessons from the 3DS price cut, the primary lesson being to have a consistent supply of game releases.

While Nintendo is successfully applying that lesson to the 3DS, and has seen an 11 percent increase in system sales as a result, the company's Wii U release calendar is not as solidly laid out.

In the immediate future, there are no Nintendo published games scheduled for Wii U before the end of this fiscal quarter in March.

The next quarter could start t o see a turn around with Nintendo publishing Lego City: Undercover and Pikmin 3, though the latter of which is still without a final release date.

Looking further down the road, new entries in major franchises like Mario, Mario Kart, and Zelda, along with a remake of The Legend of Zelda: Wind Wakerwere recently announced, though only the last of those is confirmed to release before the end of 2013.

Nintendo currently is not ready to commit to a price drop for the Wii U. However, unless its release schedule fills out more in the coming months, that position could easily be reconsidered in time for the holidays. Especially if the rumors of new game consoles from Microsoft and Sony this year pan out to be true.

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