Amazon jump gun on Wii U release date and price

By Alan Ng - Jun 20, 2012

It is fair to say that Nintendo did a pretty good job of re-introducing the Wii U console for the second time at E3 2012. We were impressed with what we saw from the company at the event, although one notable absentee was a lack of pricing information.

The Nintendo Wii U is the first ‘next-gen’ console to arrive before Sony and Microsoft’s efforts and all eyes are on what Nintendo put out as a price marker for their Wii U – almost as an indication to what the PS4 and Xbox 720 may cost.

We have had all sorts of pricing speculation over the last few months, some crazy, some recently very reasonable. Amazon Germany are the latest retailer to press the panic button so to speak and their details are somewhat different to other price leaks, as they have also decided to list a specific release date.

Obviously this isn’t an indication that this will be the official date, but Amazon seem to think that the Nintendo Wii U will be available on December 21st 2012. According to their listing which is still available for viewing, the console will cost €399 as well, which just for comparison purposes translates to around $507 USD and just over £320.

Nintendo said that we would be pleasantly surprised with the pricing, but that would seem a little on the expensive side in our opinion and we’re sure a lot of you will agree. We’re hoping that this has just been posted in error or as a placeholder, as consumers are not going to pay over $500 for this.

$300 – $350 is a lot more on the acceptable side of things, so let’s hope that Nintendo gives out the official price during GamesCom. Just to reiterate, this is Amazon we’re talking about, who are notorious for jumping the gun very early. Would you be willing to pay Amazon’s price for the Nintendo Wii U, or are Nintendo having a laugh if this is accurate?

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  • $500 is a steep price for the Wii U technology, although there would be some that would pay it like myself. Historically, every Nintendo console since the Nintendo 64 has had a price tag of $249.99 MSRP at launch.  But also historically their handhelds have gone for $149 or less at launch until the 3DS, and it suffered from slow sales with its $249.99 launch price.  So a $350 launch price wouldn’t be unreasonable, but Nintendo should at least initially sell them for a loss to reach this price or even a $299 or lower price to keep system and software sales up.  Over time the tech to make the system will go down and software sales can sustain the short term loss.  It’s what Microsoft did with the XBox for several years.  But Nintendo until last year with the 3DS has insisted on being profitable on every hardware sale.  I fully expect the Wii U to release with a $249 – $349 price tag and $60 for an extra Wii U gamepad.