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Nintendo Almost Gave Up On Wii U GamePad Due To High Production Costs

Posted on June 14, 2012 AT 11:48am

Nintendo’s Wii U console hasn’t exactly been an easy sell for the gaming industry or potential customers—and according to Satoru Iwata, the company almost gave up on the idea themselves. For better or for worse, though, Nintendo is heading full steam into backing the Wii U as their main weapon against Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen consoles.

The Telegraph caught up with Iwata during E3 to talk about the process of getting the Wii U out of the planning stages and into the retail market. Notably, Nintendo’s president said that figuring out the costs was the biggest problem:

“Sometime during that final discussion we almost gave up on the idea of the additional screen,” says Iwata. “This was due to our concern over the expected high cost, it may not have been feasible to create this and sell it at a reasonable price point for the consumers.”

Iwata also pointed out that Sony and Microsoft are catching onto Nintendo’s gimmick a lot quicker than last time, when both companies mimicked the motion control features of the Wii to produce the PlayStation Move and Xbox 360 Kinect.

Specially, the Telegraphy highlighted Microsoft’s Xbox SmartGlass and the PlayStation Vita’s “Cross Play” features, the latter of which essentially performs an exact mechanic of the Wii U GamePad by letting customers play a PS3 title on a PS3 Vita, and vice-versa. However, the key difference is that you have to own both versions of the game in some cases—although that could eventually become a free feature supported with PlayStation Plus accounts on the PlayStation network.

At the very least, Iwata did admit that whatever the price of the Nintendo Wii U turns out to be, they can’t handle a price drop the same way they did with the 3DS, Nintendo’s last major console release:

“The most important thing for me, is that we should never repeat what happened last year with the 3DS. We haven’t made the announcement yet, but what we have to do is do our best so that we don’t have to mark down the price soon after the launch of the Wii U, like we did with the 3DS.

So when the final launch price for the Nintendo Wii U is announced, don’t expect it drop any time soon. Generally, most gaming outlets and analysts feel like $300 is the highest that most people will be willing to pay, and the eventual next-generation consoles from Sony and Microsoft will likely be priced well above that mark.

Source: The Telegraph UK

McKinley Noble, Contributing Editor
McKinley Noble has been writing about video games for seven years as a blogger and journalist, with each job adding to his painstakingly alphabetized collection of retro gaming memorabilia. When not cracking jokes about the gaming industry, he's a talking encyclopedia when it comes to mixed martial arts and anything MMA related. Follow him on Twitter: @KenTheGreat1. Meet the rest of the crew.

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