Although the Nintendo Wii U may not be as cheap as some people were hoping, it’s not going to get any less expensive for a while. In fact, the price on both models won’t drop for three years.
That’s the word from Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime, who outlined his company’s philosophy behind price drops to GamesIndustry, and why slashing the price for the 3DS was an unusually huge mistake:
That gets into another one of our pricing philosophies; we don’t believe in pricing a product and then having to reduce the price some short time later. When we had to do that for 3DS, it was a very painful proposition for us. And what we did with the Wii at $249 and leaving it there for, I think, about three and a half years is very much consistent with our pricing philosophy.
Typically, console makers usually lose money on their products, with the most pointed example being the PlayStation 3, which reportedly cost the company $800 to build at launch.
But with the Wii U priced at $299 and $349, the only question is how much the main console and the touchscreen controller costs to manufacture and mass-produce. Current rumors say 180 bucks, which would be impressive.
That’s where Reggie’s talk about making money on hardware comes in, as Nintendo usually has relatively inexpensive systems that don’t require a crippling amount of production costs. After all, they were said to make $6 on every Nintendo Wii sold, and considering the huge install base, it’s no wonder they had such great financial reports.