Nintendo announced that they have no plans for a Wii U price drop and while many around the internet wonder why or how come they aren’t doing “the 3DS price-drop strategy” it’s a complicated reason that can be seen from two points. The first point is that many companies in fact sell systems at a negative before they even hit a gain and dropping the price of any item, be it a premium or not, is a big risk with low outcomes. If you make something for, say hypothetically. ten dollars wouldn’t you at least want to sell it at a higher cost? In fact, the 3DS didn’t sell for a profit till the end of 2012. showing in turn that a price cut right away doesn’t do much for a company. This in turn leads me to my second point, what purpose would the price drop do for the Wii U right now?
The Wii U Dilemma
Nintendo’s Wii U launched November 18th. 2012 meaning the system will be turning one during the Q4 rush; where we will see launches of the next Playstation and Xbox. Does this spell doom for the company known as the “Big N”? In a pessimistic view, it does. Even with the prepared launches for Donkey Kong Country Returns: Tropical Freeze, Super Mario 3D World, Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD, and current titles (or soon to be released) consisting of New Super Mario Bros. U w/ Super Luigi U, The Wonderful 101, Pikmin 3, and Game & Wario the Wii U doesn’t seem to have much to offer besides a second screen. Games like Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don’t Know, Rayman Legends and a select others may do well, sales-wise, on the Wii U but the later listed games are multiplatform games, so they will not cause consumers to go out to buy a Wii U just for them.
In fact the problem with Nintendo systems is that people: A- Want them for Nintendo First-party games (Mario, Zelda, DK, etc.) and/or B- they do not want to play 3rd-party games on them. Watch Dogs, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Assassin’s Creed IV are launching this November and I can tell you no one will buy those games for the Wii U. In fact, even with the Wii out those type of games never sold well on the Wii because people bought them on the alternative systems that are, not better but more suited towards playing them, the Xbox and Playstation.
Now this brings me to my main points. If you ask around (be it the internet or your local game store) many people “plan” on purchasing a Wii U later; meaning people still want Nintendo systems and their games. I know a few people holding out for Super Smash Bros Brawl Wii U others for Mario Kart 8 (Launch dates: 2014 and Spring 2014 respectively). The numbers don’t lie, look as Nintendo has only sold 160,000 Wii U consoles WORLDWIDE…that’s atrocious. While the company has put up a profit, thanks to the amazing console that is the 3DS, it doesn’t solve the problem that people aren’t buying Wii U’s. Right now you can buy a Wii U in a useless Basic Bundle ($300) or an obvious better deal Deluxe Bundle ($350). For future references the PS4 will cost $400 while the Xbox One will cost $500. If you were to go to a store now with all three available what would you choose? Obviously, one of the non-Nintendo ones so you can play games you already want to (although already available on the Wii U) with your friends.
Why Not Price Drop
A price drop solves everything doesn’t it? Look at the 3DS….but in reality that’s not the truth. In fact, the price drop with the 3DS was lucky because they were able to produce the 3DS for a cheaper cost, which in turn allowed them to take the risk by lowering the price (and adding an XL model helped as well). A price drop right now wouldn’t do much for the Wii U; if both sets dropped $100 right now would you rush out the door to pick it up? The answer would still be no because the quality of the current library isn’t enough to make any gamer want to buy it. RIGHT NOW isn’t much…can a price drop be applicable in the future? Possibly, that depends on Nintendo’s business strategy. Remember they sell Wii U’s at a loss and they are eating some of that money can they possibly do it some more to increase sales?
Another possibility to look into is the marketing scheme of the Wii U…well STARTING a marketing scheme. The Wii was the system of the “casual” gamer, also known as elder people or just phone gamers. Maybe that hurt Nintendo getting labeled by that market or maybe the Wii U was a poor choice for a name. As you can assume, many of this casual crowd may not even know what a Wii U is. Sounds like an upgrade of a phone or a type of attachment for the Wii U.
In fact, I was at my local Gamestop last week and someone asked to buy the controller “with the screen” because she owned a Wii. The employee had to explain that the Wii U is a completely different system and the GamePad only works for it [as well as comes for it]. Was this funny? A bit, but also sad because Nintendo has decided to not market their Wii U and left many of the Wii users (that aren’t Nintendo fans) out in the open. Name the last time you saw a Wii U commercial? I’ve only seen 3DS commercials, be it on TV or at the movies.
So if Nintendo is really worried about the Wii U maybe its time to change how they market it. Many will be begging for a price drop, myself included, others will wait it out. Some may ignore it and of course some already own it, sold on the Wii U’s potential. I personally believe that the Big N will be fine come 2014 of next year when major titles like Super Mario 3D World and Mario Kart 8 are already out on the market, leaving gamers/consumers something to bite on when they purchase a Wii U. I can see a price drop happening some time next year right before the Q4 rush or even this year, because that is when it would be most effective. This reminds me of when the 3DS first launched and had NO GAMES (Super Street Fighter IV was the biggest title) so in turn Nintendo launched the Ambassador Program as a forgiveness. While there may be a little more games out than the original 3DS launch, its still not enticing enough to make someone throw down $350 + tax for a system they may play for a little bit. When you throw down a lot of money you want to enjoy the thing purchased, not seldom use it and think it was a waste money.
Michael Troina plays games for his Youtube Channel: LegendofMikeandBill that is only if you want to watch awesome gaming videos with full walkthroughs, unboxings, and news-updates you can also catch TLMB on Facebook so make sure you like us or on WordPress!