Reasonable Wii U price in line with PS3, PS Vita

By Alan Ng - Sep 5, 2012

Just days after we heard of a potential November 18 release date for the Nintendo Wii U, yet more juicy rumors have surfaced, this time giving us the latest lowdown on a potential price for the system.

If you have been keeping up with all of the rumors, you’ll know that many release dates have been touted for Nintendo’s elusive Wii U console, but very little details on how much the new tech will actually cost. Gamers have been worried that Nintendo is going to overprice the console as a direct result of being ‘first’, to the next-gen party, but you’ll be very pleased with the latest price tag that has been flying around during the last few days.

Video Product Distributors are a company that supply stock to other companies such as Amazon. According to information posted by the company, the Nintendo Wii U is going to come in with a retail price of $249 and will also be available in two other varieties, as noted by GoNintendo.

Their listings also indicate that the Wii U will be available for $299 and $349 as well, so we’re guessing these increased prices relate to accessories and software that will be bundled with the system. $249 for the base console though is very reasonable indeed for a so called ‘next-gen’ console and don’t forget that this is the exact price as a new PS3 or PS Vita handheld right now.

A lot of you were expecting the new console to come in at over $300, so this is great news all round if true – are we right? Anything over $300 would have been debatable, but $250 is surely worth a re-think now if you were previously uninterested. Additionally, the same source has the console down for a launch on November 11, rather than November 18 which was the last rumored launch date.

Will you buy the Wii U if Nintendo confirm the $250 price tag? A 160GB PS3, a WiFi Vita, or a brand spanking new Wii U console – we think we know what we would buy.

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Also See: Black Friday Deals for Nintendo DS XL, 3DS, and 2DS

  • Three things I seriously, seriously doubt here:

    1. I seriously doubt Nintendo will break the Wii U into different models, such as a base model and a premium model.

    If anything, Nintendo would instead produce a standard model, and then later a slimmer or otherwise outwardly-modified-but-not-stronger version of the Wii U.

    2. I seriously doubt the Wii U will be as low as $249.99 USD, given that Nintendo stated several times that the Wii U will cost more than their previous consoles, and the original Wii launched at $249.99, and given that Wii U is aiming to offer more than what Wii did.

    One has to consider that the Wii U is not only several times stronger than the original Wii hardware (comparatively), but its GamePad controller will contribute considerably more to the console’s cost than what the Wii Remote contributed to the Wii, and the Wii U is apparently going to be donning some “entertainment hub” feature.

    Throw in the fact that this console will be backwards-compatible with the complete Wii line of products, and you then have to consider that, along with the core gamers they vow to make a better effort to regain, they also still want those many people who enjoyed Wii as a more casual gaming hub, which will mean they’ll have to make Wii U more important to those casual gamers than just for gaming. Nintendo apparently is working with some major cable and digital movie service providers, allowing online services on the TV, and will even allow the Wii U GamePad to be used as a form of universal TV remote, because they know that a casual gaming family will be looking to turn a Wii U into an entertainment hub. Even Microsoft is catching wind of that direction with their “Smart Glass” idea.

    Wii U is shooting at the hip of the growing trend of the HDTV being turned into an online entertainment hub. With their social-centric features such as video chat and Miiverse, to their emphasis on being able to play games while the TV’s occupied and being able to browse the web in-game all on the GamePad, to their donning some features that might make them direct rivals with Roku and Smart TVs, it’s clear that Nintendo’s not just thinking “console gaming,” but more the “hub console.”

    With that said, they feel can be confident in asking for more the the Wii U than with their previous generations of consoles. The Wii U will probably be priced at $349.99 rather than $249.99, with the possible price of $299.99 being the least, and I just don’t see Nintendo asking for $399.99 for the Wii U.

    3. I seriously, seriously doubt that Nintendo will want to make the same early mistake they made with Wii U by pricing the unit too high at launch–in fact, they’ve right out said as much.

    They’ll want to get the pricing done right, where the cost of the unit isn’t too high for holiday shoppers, and yet not too low to where they’re not shorting themselves of gaining potentially more profits should Wii U prove as wildly popular as their last three gaming systems (the phenomenally-popular Wii, the 2nd-best-selling gaming system ever called Nintendo DS, and now the super-successful Nintendo 3DS).

    With these reasons, plus just a gut feeling that’s never been wrong about Nintendo console launches before, I have a feeling that everyone who wants a Wii U can expect to pay $349.99 at the most, which I think is probably the best launch price for the Wii U this holiday season. Though, if Nintendo wants to give us a surprise price and play it safer, though, I’d say that one might even be looking at price of $299.99. To be honest, I’m actually expecting Nintendo to play it smart and go for that latter option of $299.99.

  • Personally I won’t be buying any next gen console. I’ll just game on my PC. 😛

    • I play PC as well as console games, and as much as I love PC gaming, it just doesn’t have enough exclusives (and I don’t count Diablo III as a worthy-enough exclusive). I think there’s plenty of room for enjoy both domains of gaming, and they both have their pros and cons.

      Sadly, I think all the alarming rate of pirating has scared most major developers away from PC gaming for good–though, I think indie developers are beginning to pick up the slack just fine. Though, even indie games are heading to consoles more these days. It’s getting harder for PC gamers to get any love from developers.

      Also, even as a PC gamer, the GamePad controller uniquely appeals to me for possibly being better suited for RTSes and MMOs than even keyboard-and-mouse. To be honest, I abhor keyboard-and-mouse for most games–I think it reigns supreme for FPSs, but flat-out suck for everything else. And I like the ideal of being about to sit on the couch while I play games, instead of my computer desk.

      I like gaming on anything as long as it’s an engaging experience, and as much as some people will disagree with me, I think Wii U has at least the potential for some very interesting games not possible with even PC (not comfortably, anyways). I already saw one–Project P-100. I’m planning to buy a Wii U just for that Viewtiful Joe-meets-Pikmin game alone.

  • if the rumors are true about the next xbox not being able to play used games, and given sony’s track record, ill probably get the wii u. hopefully 3rd party support will be stellar this round (wishful thinking i know…..)

    • Well, at least Project P-100 on Wii U looks quite awesome for a launch title, Assassin’s Creed 3 will look and play best on Wii U, and Trine 2 is getting some exclusive content for the Wii U edition. There’s at least three third-party games that are rather interesting. But yeah, I hope more comes, though.

  • Arikasowab0

    Not going to bother with another Nintendo console… £200-£249 was the price of a 3DS when I bought it and that turned out to be a totally foolish purchase… especially considering it costed Nintendo less than £100 per 3DS and that the 3D gave me headaches… they should have just remade a DS with a ton more of processing power and a much better screen… All they managed to do was to catch up with the over 6-year old PSP.
    I much prefer consoles in which the company can’t afford to lower the price and stuff as much technology into their device as possible… e.g. Sony’s PS Vita. At least I know that I’m getting a good quality piece of kit. Admittedly there aren’t that many games out there yet for it, but with ASC3 and Little Big Planet around the corner I don’t mind waiting.
    With reports that the Wii U is only slightly better than the PS3 in terms of graphics… (after around 7 years, Nintendo have finally made a console more powerful, Duh?!) I’m going to wait for the PS4 which it simply won’t be able to compete with.

    • Kablamoo

      “200-£249” where the hell did you buy the 3DS from…?

      You can Turn the 3D off and still enjoy great GFX…

      To be fair you sounds like a Sony fan, so cool… if you’re happy to WAIT for software to arrive on that great piece of kit you have, then that’s cool… I personally like to play the consoles I buy.

      • Enema

        What GFX? The only thing the 3ds has going for it is the game lineup and the 3d gimmick. I personally enjoyed all the Mario games (MK7, super Mario 3d, new smb2) but when it comes to games like resident evil or mgs the 3ds just can’t power decent graphics. The 3ds is fine for the cartoony graphics we’ve all come to love from nintendo, but when im worried about GFX on a handheld I’ll pick up my vita.
        Also if I’m really worried about graphics I will head to my PC where I can ultra a tri screen monitor setup.

  • lumpy182

    Yeah we’ll get shafted in the UK again. If that $249 translates to anything over £199 then I may hesitate at launch.

    Although, maybe Amazon UK’s original pre-order price of £199 (which was swiftly removed) was spot on??

  • Joe

    I bet if it’s $249 in US it’ll be £249 in UK because we always get screwed with price conversions,doesn’t matter to me really though I’m waiting for the PS4

    • Kablamoo

      Do people seriously just own one console? I always end up getting all the consoles eventually…. never the perfect selection of games on any one system. PS3 was the last console I bought, and PS4 will be the same simply because the exclusives they had were… meh…