Nintendo didn’t seem to be in any hurry to slash the price of the ailing Wii U console – and now we have confirmation that it isn’t going to happen. Company president Satoru Iwata has gone on record to argue that the price of the Wii U isn’t the problem, but rather the lack of top-end games on the market for the console have impacted sales in a big way.
He thinks that sizeable numbers are ready and waiting to splash their cash on a full-price Wii U console, just as soon as the right games hit the market.
“If the price is actually an issue then there is some contradiction between the current sales balance between the Basic and Premium versions of the Wii U,” Iwata told CVG in an interview,
“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 of price is not there.”
To say that Wii U sales have been below expectations would be something of an understatement. During the second quarter of the year, a depressing 160,000 Wii U consoles were sold on a global basis. And while Iwata remains adamant that this disastrously small number comes down to the games, others argue that the price of the Wii U remains too high.
As it stands, the Wii U basic sells for $300 and the Deluxe version $350. Price cuts have been thrown at the console from various retailers in a desperate attempt to get the things off the shelves, but Nintendo has so far ruled out an official price cut.
The basis of Iwata’s argument is that if consumers really thought the price was too high, the more expensive Wii U Deluxe wouldn’t be the bigger seller of the two.
“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,” he added.
His logic in terms of which model consumers are choosing may be questionable, but what cannot be ignored or denied is the distinct lack of any big name games arriving during the first six months of the year. Third-parties have unanimously favoured the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, while Nintendo itself only brought to titles to launch.
As such, the arrival of the games that by right should have launched alongside the Wii U last year could potentially spur the console’s renaissance and bring Nintendo the success it feels it is capable of. And to give credit where due, games like The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8 are about as strong as it gets.