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Analyst: Wii U needs to be $300 to make a profit

Video game analysts have given plenty of comments on the Wii U, some are hopeful, most are cautions, and some just like to troll Nintendo fans (See: Michael Pachter). Today Tokyo-based analyst Satoru Kikuchi, who covers Nintendo and the Japanese video game business on a regular basis, shared some thoughts on the Wii U price. According to Kikuchi, Nintendo needs to sell the Wii U at $300 in order to make a profit on the console. But that won’t necessarily translate into big sales, so Kikuchi believes that if Nintendo is to sell a lot of Wii U consoles to a wide range of consumers — from hardcore to families — it needs to be priced in the $200-range.

In a recent interview, Kikuchi said that the sales performance of the Wii U will “gauge of whether there’s still a need for consoles to exist”, and added that if the Wii U doesn’t do well, Nintendo will have to find another business model. Kikuchi also mentioned that the market is tougher these days because gamers aren’t buying many home consoles. And he’s right, to a certain extent. NPD sales data recently reported that the console market is shrinking rapidly, sales have been down more than 20% this year compared to last year. But that’s usually the case when a console generation is nearing an end, and shouldn’t have any major impact on the Wii U. At least not as much as the launch price of the console.

Wii U colors

We’ve previously heard from Japanese analysts that they are “worried about the Wii U“, and Michael Pachter, perhaps the most widely known video game analyst in the world, famously said that the Wii U won’t work and that “Nintendo just doesn’t get it“. As late as yesterday, we heard from PR reps complaining that Nintendo hasn’t generated enough hype around the Wii U. This sort of criticism is likely to go on until the console launches and Nintendo proves (or doesn’t prove) everybody wrong. Nintendo proved everyone wrong with the original Wii, and as far as we’re concerned, they’re on track to do the same with the Wii U this year. But we’re a bit biased, of course ;)

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  • WonderBolt

    Well, I’d just like to counter the decrease in sales by saying a lot of people already own this gen’s consoles or don’t play games. Wii U is looking to be one of my only gaming systems next gen.

    • AKA-Link77

      Yah . . . Tho i only owned a 7th gen console: Wii™
      Wii U™ will be my only 8th gen console too. ;)

      • AKA-Link77

        Also Nintendo® said that they are going to price Wii U™ higher than the original price of the Wii™ : $250.
        Plus, they need to make a profit. . .so $300+ is expected.

        • xdlugia

          They have announced earlier that it will be somewhere between 300$ and 600$.
          My guess is 300$ or 350$

          • AlwaysASN

            Good guess!

        • Guhtere

          Why are you putting (R)’s and tm’s in your comments?

          • Nintedward

            He is Reggie fils aime in disguise. Reggie spends ALL DAY spreading the word of nintendo on his favorite nintendo sites.

          • AKA-Link77

            Lol, i wanted to be all fancy. And of course im not Reggie.
            ^ _ ^”

  • Rasta

    I hope when the Wii U starts up that blu light lights up that would be so cool :)

    • Wii Uoops!

      Perhaps it’s a notification, like the Wii?
      Anyways, it needs to be $181 to make a profit, to say the least. Alone, it would make a profit like that, but with Nintendo spending taxes and dealing with the 3DS, then it wouldn’t.
      Just being the usual impractical self, I am.

      • D2K

        From what I’ve read the Wii U costs 180 to manufacture. Nintendo has already stated that the Wii U will sell at a profit. Seems like nowadays people take things Nintendo have already been proven as fact, say the exact opposite, and then criticize Nintendo for NOT doing it just to make a story.

    • Nintedward

      I was really dissapointed in the original wii when i discovered the awesome blue light only flickered when switched on , or pulsated when using wii connect 24 . I really hope there is an option to permanently switch/leave the blue light on . It’s the best feauture on the wii ….

      • JumpMan

        i don’t know about the “best”… but i do like it!

      • Nintedward

        WOW , I guess either nobody understand’s sarcasm or people are just butt hurt…………………………………………………. butt hurt …..

        • rafael

          A small piece of advise for you, if you wanna people to like your coments, try ending them with some line like ”Pachter wears panties” or something like that :)

        • BluChuChu

          You can’t really show sarcasm well on typed comments on the internet, since sarcasm usually is implied by tone of speech…

          • Nintedward

            Obviously the blue light on the wii is not it’s best feature , just sayin cough sarcasm cough .

        • Lord Carlisle

          I thought you were serious. Hard to tell on the Internet.

        • Gregory

          Sarcasm doesn’t really translate through text

        • elbossmx

          It’s really hard to know when you’re being sarcastic just by reading your comments. Sarcasm is noted on the tone of the voice, no tone on letters.

          • Nintedward

            In future I will shout through the internet . ”LOUD NOISES!!!!” .

        • Ibiexplorer4

          I didn’t see anything to be butthurt about on your comment.

  • Jon

    I really do think the Wii U will be a hard sell. I’m buying it and I have no doubt that I will enjoy it. I’m not the average consumer though. I really feel like the Wii U will be the next GameCube, possibly even worse.

    • Metroidvania

      You forget. If something like an IPad can sell in the masses it does. Anything can.

    • Nintedward

      Hater’s gunna hate at the end of the day , I personally think the wiiu is a guaranteed recipe for success . Everything a Wii does in true HD with an awesome touchscreen built into the controler ???? SOLD!!!

      NSMBU , Wii fit U @ launch ……. Wii fit U should move over 15-20 million copies in the wiiu’s life time, maybe even more . same with NSMBU.

      I can almost 100% tell you , the wiiu will anihilate the gamecube , possibly the wii and all of it’s competition……

    • revolution5268

      there was a reason why gamecube did not sell that much, but wii u seems to have promise that wii and gamecube did not have in the first place.

      • just nintendo

        I hope wii U will sell a lot of if they have miyamoto best game maker in history rhey will sell wii U more than at least 100 million and Just NINTENDo;-):-P:-):-DB-)

    • xdlugia

      Next GameCube? Awesome! The GameCube is my favourite console of all time! :D

      • deSSy2724

        miniDVD 1.8 GB KILLED GameCube….. hardware and effiicient archictecture was a plus for GC (good for development).

      • Nintedward

        The N64 would like a word with you sir XD ….. GC was amazing!!

      • Yan

        mine too, i thought i was the only one! After so many years i still play twilight princess, wind waker, pikmin, eternal darkness and the best RE game ever made, RE remake!

  • Shankovich

    Honestly, I hope it will be at least. It’s the only way the hardware can be justified to be significantly better than the 360 or PS3. Don’t forget that even though the PS3 and 360 are around there price wise, it doesn’t mean that the Wii U will be around their power because of that, because you can’t make hardware upgrades to a console once it’s out (I mean like changing the clock rates, features on-chip, etc). But then the Wii U has the tablet production cost on it too…so, yea, I hope it’s at least 300$. I also hope Nintendo favored a hefty GPU over CPU; game devs need to take advantage of OpenGL and not rely on the CPU so much, much like Dice did with BF3, and look how that turned out :D. You can play on max settings on a core 2 duo with a GTX 680 hahaha.

    • Paul

      not forgetting that the ps3 and xbox 360 come with harddrives over 200gb unless you dont count the xbox 360 s 4gb

      im hoping the price is somewere between £200 – £250

    • rafael

      Evem if its priced at $400, haters will still say that its less powerful than current gen because its the gamepad that makes it expensive hehe

      Just felt like sharing this happy thought with you about our near future enduring haters…

    • deSSy2724

      Same frame rate on low and high settings on BF3……honestly, im not kidding!

  • BUCK_SHOT_BOBBY

    It has been years since a new console, Nintendo timing is just right. Probably will not sale as much as the Wii but the WiiU will be sold out in the states as soon as it drops. Can’t wait for Nintendo to truly be Next gen with the WiiU HD FTW!

  • Shankovich

    Sorry for the double post, but this “decrease in sales”, of which the article Kyo is referring to, was aimed at mostly the US, where frankly a lot of people don’t have the money to spend on games period. So many people are missing this point.

    It’s not that consoles are dying. Almost everyone has a cell phone, hence the “gaming” there. Once economic conditions improve, I’m sure this “consoles are dying” debate will end with consoles in consumer’s living rooms.

    • Solboogie

      Good point, we are in a recession. Americans and many around the world are experiencing declining economies. Maybe that might have something to do with the decreased sales? 12.5 million Americans out of work as of Aug. 2012. Even in these times surprisingly the gaming industry still did well. Other industries are also hurting and in decline as well.

      Wii U will survive from word of mouth. It will do well and revive the gaming industry even if its a pace that differs from what analyst, forecasters, and we predict.

      • BluChuChu

        It could also be a possibility that anyone who wants a console already has one. Sales have gone down, but honestly, thats just obvious as a generation comes to a close.

        It should also be noted that many consoles were given away in the US in past years. My family won two contests over the past two years. The prize? An Xbox360 with Kinect. Made two excellent Christmas presents for relatives.

  • DK

    Im confused on how he got 200 and 300 for that. That means he knows how expensive it is to make the wii u?

    If it takes 150 to make, they’ll profit more per unit at 300, I guess.. I’m not sure how he got those numbers

    • 007 1/2

      i am positive that it costs 180 to make i think i heard that on this site.

      • Nintedward

        You’re in dreamland…. The 3ds XL cost’s $200 …… the wiiu will be around $280 for the bare bones SKU , maybe $250 if you are lucky…..

        • Mac

          he was talking bout the manufacturing cost not the cost it will be when released. it dont cost much 2 manufacture but they have to sell it for at least twice it’s manufacturing cost to make a hefty profit

        • Shankovich

          To
          Make
          It

          Not sell it -___-

          • Nintedward

            Apologies…..

        • Alienfish

          You also make the mistake of comparing a handheld device with different technology to a console. console parts are cheaper because they are larger, and therefore easier to manufacture. Also I’d bet those 3D screens don’t come cheap.

          • Nintedward

            True , but it’s a bit contradictory for Nintendo to sell a handheld for than their home console , you know ??? Kind of off putting for the buyer….

          • Alienfish

            @Nintedward
            What are you talking about? They aren’t going to sell their new handheld for more than their new home console and besides, it’s a different experience playing on a handheld than on a console. Get a grip man, you’re losing it.

        • Nintedward

          yep it says make in 007’s comment , silly me :) ………. still though , considering the 3ds XL is $200 i am pretty sure that means the wiiu will be at the very cheapest $250……

    • Gavin

      Well say they sell 6 million units at $150 they make $900M but if they sell at the $300 mark they only sell 2.5 million units therefore making $750M
      Ofcourse there are a lot of other things to consider but thats the basic idea :P

  • alex

    300 will be good and am 100% sure tha is the price unlless nintendo really have 3 sku for budles wich it will be 249..299…and 349

    • AKA-Link77

      I highly doubt a 250$ console 100% cuz Nintendo® said they will price it higher than the original Wii™ launch price: $250. Plus they need a profit. . . so $300+ is exepected.

  • 3dsguy

    3ds is around the 20 million mark i estimate 50 million wii u within 4 years only time will tell of course. long live nintendo

    • 007 1/2

      that would be nice but i doubt it.

      • D2K

        The 3DS is already selling at a faster pace than the original DS did. The Nintendo DS is the second best-selling console of all time with 153-million consoles sold. So it is not at all a stretch to say that the 3DS can do a third of that even in this economy.

  • Nintendude

    Fine by me.

  • Yamiryuu Zero

    Of course sales are going down. Why should I buy a Wii today if the Wii U is coming in a few months? And for the other companies, well, let’s think like this: millions of gamers already bought the consoles. It’s not an spendable product, you won’t go to a gaming store to buy another PS3 after it expires. As soon as the Wii U launches, we’ll see a rise in the gaming market again, following it’s natural flow.
    As for Pachter, see if I care.

  • Metroidvania

    The drop in sales for consoles is a moot point. Its the end of this generation. Everyone who wants one has one, and everyone whos looking into buying a console is probably waiting for next gen hardware to come out.

    As for the price at which the console needs to sell to profit. Also a moot point. I doubt anyone outside of Nintendo knows the production costs. Not to dock the analyst’s credibility, but what they do is guess work. So I wouldnt take that as official.

    Nintendo keeps whats in its consoles to itself, and if someones that obsessed they open it up, and then post it on the net for the small % of people who actually care.

    I truly think the Wii U will be the next SNES, but hey I could be wrong too. Ill just keep hoping!

    • BluChuChu

      Your comment is freaking glorious. All true points, every single one of them. You would be a much better analyst than half of the current people. But it’s likely that intelligent folk such as yourself will go after a REAL job, not one where you guess how much money asians are going to make.

  • Nintendo Power

    300$ dollers? willing to pay.Anybody willing to pay 300$ Dollers?

    • Grodus

      Your grammer need to get gooder. Their terrible!

      • Nintendo Power

        Your terrible Grodus…also that’s not how you spell you grammar. You lost at your own game

        • Death

          You’re*
          Haha troll fail b**ch.

          • Nintendo Power

            @Death that was by mistake You son of a BITCH

          • Death

            Really? Forgetting an apostrophe and spelling it a completely different way was an accident?

    • steven

      I would easily pay that. Hell, if the $349 SKU is real and it comes with a game and a pro controller or something like that, I’d easily pay that.

  • SteampunkJedi

    Well, if what this analyst says is true, then $250 is perfect. ;) I’m sure the price is set now, so whatever any analyst says at this point will not cause any change.
    Unlike games, I think most gamers only buy one console per generation (or two or three.) So the decline in sales could be expected. I desperately want a Wii U, and hope that console gaming won’t die out any time soon. I doubt it will, and have faith in Nintendo.

  • revolution5268

    you can’t g wrong with $300.

    • revolution5268

      *you can’t go wrong with $300.

      my bad

    • Alienfish

      You could use it as toilet paper, that would be going wrong with $300.

  • SH*TBLOCK

    They aren’t buying the same models because most hardcore gamer’s have them already and/or know that the next gen versions like WiiU, PS4, and Xbox720 are coming out soon. Of course a lose of units are being sold for the Wii, PS3, and Xbox360. This is nothing new, it has happened with the last year of every console when the next year a new console was coming, and anyone with logic can make this conclusion.

    The only thing that is right on is that many new gamer’s have fell in love with games from these recent years on the social media and smaller app games that you can buy on your tablets or smart cell phones. I don’t think that will translate to any real amount of gamer’s shifting to only playing those games though. In fact I think a lot of those gamer’s have shifted from like games like “Angry Birds” to playing games on the Wii from my personal experiences with friends and family. I would bet the more gamers that play games will probably get and buy the next gen consoles as well because they will like playing the bigger and fuller games that can be found on them. I don’t see any real gamer on any console saying I don’t want to buy the next console from their favorite console maker either. Why would any of us say no to a better version and even better games.

    These articles are just made to make us talk, which had worked of course. The WiiU will sell, the PS4 and Xbox720 will sell too. I personally believe that money is getting tight for everybody and many won’t be able to pick up every and any console they want in this next round. So what ever is your fav brand will be the one that you get, period. I do think the WiiU will out sell the others because of all of;
    1) Nintendo’s classic games and exclusives.

    2) Add in the fact that with the WiiU most 3rd party games will come to it this time around and they will be the same game as on the others, in HD, and with the DLC now.

    3) Plus you can play a lot of the games with your entire family, and Nintendo has games for every member of your family. The WiiU is truly a all in one console.

    This means the WiiU will be friendly for everyone, and every type of gamer can play on it. Logically no one can tell me or truly say that the WiiU won’t sell well. Those reasons will force many gaming dads to buy the WiiU and then only buy it because they can play the same COD or Assassin’s Creed game on it…

  • TriMonsterSlay

    Remember when short sighted analyst’s, developers, and press members were all raving about how social gaming, and cloud were the future?

    Then Zynga, and OnLive happened. I dont think too many people are saying that anymore.

    I wouldnt worry about any of this.

  • totesawks

    Seriously. I am getting the console purely for Zelda and smash bros.
    However, being in Australia, we are bent over sideways, I’d imagine the cost will be $400 over here.

    • Ziul

      $400? Man, you have no ideia what is live in Brazil. Sadly, i can wait the WiiU come here costing around R$1600,00 (~$800) easy! And wanna know what? For sure i will buy it! If i’ll get it from EUA or pay this absurd, but i will get it!

      • Yamiryuu Zero

        R$1600,00? It must be nice to dream… Remember the launching price for the PS3? More than R$3000,00 (around US$1500,00). I bet the Wli U will be the same price here, specially because of the new technology. I swear I’ll buy the Wii U in Japan if I manage to get a job there this year (I’ll pay 1/4 of the price I’d pay here)!

      • Zelda HD

        At that price you could almost personally fly to the US and buy a console before flying back. That is absurd. Hopefully people stop voting for Republicans in the US and the world economy can be more fair again. Sorry Brazilians I agree with you!!!

        • Ibiexplorer4

          I don’t think the US government have much influence in another country in another continent. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

          • Zelda HD

            It’s called foreign policy. The US exploits the resources of other countries which is why they have so much money while other countries are starving. This is a really in depth topic and I really don’t want to have to go into it so let’s just agree $800 for a game console is too much regardless of the reason.

  • PachanoP

    why don’t we wait ’till September 13 and listen what Nintendo says?

  • dojo

    hahaha im not sure all this is right 300 is the price most expect and im already helping nintendo iv been spreading the word i think nintendo will do just fine its a damn powerful company

  • Lusunup

    Is baised a word?

    • Kyron

      …not if you spell it like that.

  • Braulio500

    You know…
    Sometimes, Michael Patcher reminds me of Anton Ego from Ratatouille .-.

  • Grodus

    He’s jelous, because somebody (anybody) won’t let him get a Wii U. :)

    But really, it can probably profit at $200 and sell at $300, so… yeah.

  • Jeovany

    I hope the wii u is at least 350 because for the wii u to be more powerful than the xbox 360 and ps3 and cost the same amount ss logical impossible. If it does cost the same 300 hundred 300 or even worse less than that then I’m sure its probably not going to be a good console

    • Yamiryuu Zero

      Higher prices don’t mean better quality, it only means the company wants more of your wallet’s insides.

  • pman

    300 ? works for me. Im sure what ever the price, it will be fair.

  • NoPUNintendo

    Off topic, but if they make a Wii U just like the one in the article(duel colors), I would buy it at first glance.

    • Metroidvania

      Haha itd make a neat Batman Arkham City bundle. It’d the the Two Face Wii U.

  • Super Paper Rye

    I’m sure it’ll be around the 250-300 price range.
    Because I heard from multiple sites that the Wii U took 100 dollars to make, then the only way they can make a profit is if they make a 150 dollar profit, or a 200 dollar profit.
    I’m hoping for 250 though ;)

    • Paul

      sorry but if it included a harddrive then sure £300 would be perfect but because it only has 8gb internal flash drive id say its worth under £250 as over that is pushing the console from nintendo and could make nintendo think again and lower the price again

  • Kahhhhyle

    I forsee a 300$ price. Maybe those multiple tiers? I really don’t want an external hard drive so if Nintendo sells one for 300-350 with one built in I’d buy it… I that said he is right Nintendo will have a tough time selling this to the masses at anything more then 250

    • Nko Sekirei

      not for people who have jobs like me i get my paycheck every 2 weeks and make over 300 dollars

  • Amtoj

    $200 to sell? Major loss. $300? Epic sales. $400? Don’t copy Sony’s marketing plans Ninty, they ain’t good.

    • Nko Sekirei

      the only reason wii u wont hit 400 or higher is due to it wont have blu ray dvd player built in cause wii u is strictly a gaming machine not a movie player

  • Dr. Device

    *had a thought of what life would be like w/o home consoles*
    Dear mother of god…
    *shiver*

    • Kyron

      That was my reaction too. I love Tv gaming.
      Its been around before I was born and ever since I touched that N64 controller for the first time, I was instantly hooked. Too many great childhood memories.

      Heck, that reason alone is enough to warrant a Wii U console purchase. Let’s keep REAL gaming alive, not these cheap smarthphone knock-offs.

  • The Plague

    I am ready to buy it at any price. The games I will play and the fun I will have with this machine will be so sweet!

  • prolifik_2424

    one more day then we will see!!!

  • GirlGamer

    1 more day!!! Will it be 300 0r 210

  • EPICGAMER111

    I Hope The Price Is $200 – $250

  • Bravyoura

    $300 sounds fine to me I live in the UK current exchange plus the £20 Nintendo added with the Wii means we could be paying as little as £210 which sounds great value to me I just hope their arn’t the crippling shortages we had with the Wii, in the UK it was 6 months before I got mine.

  • Behind you

    I hope the price is 299 cos I’ve been saving up since last year at e3 when it was announced and I’m gonna have just enough money to get it and nsmbu
    Ps BEHIND YOU

  • eyesac

    Lawlz.

    Hehe.

  • Lazara The Last

    I know it would fit better the day before launch, but I’m gonna say it anyway:
    Dawn of the Final Day!

    • rafael

      Does it mean that tomorrow we will get back to the first day that nintendo started unveilling the wii-u ? O.o

      • Death

        Only if they fail and don’t announce it…. ;D

        We could always save right here…

  • Jake

    Console sale are down because the Xbox 360 and PS3 are old and stale in tech terms. New consoles will sell if they have great games for them. If they were upgradable like a PC they would not seem old.

  • D2K

    I can’t wait until tomorrow when Nintendo shuts all this BS down. So sick of the speculation. So sick of the hate.

    • Ibiexplorer4

      Don’t get your expectations so high. You might be disappointed.

      And before anyone thinks about thumbs downing(is that even a word) this comment, keep in mind we don’t know what Nintendo will say regarding the Wii U so just calm down, take a step back, and wait.

  • metroidfusion2

    Ome more day and the wii u will crap on this gen and next gen I can already see it and so many people need to do there research but all or almost all will be revealed

  • Nko Sekirei

    I rather pay 350 for the system i think thats more of a reasonable price due to that the wii u is more powerful then ps3 and 360 based on many thrid party developers have said and backing the wii u with many hard core titles coming for wii u

  • nintendofreak

    y do we even talk about d price n stuff when dere is only less dan 24 hours left to find out?

  • Colton

    Thing is, the Wii U is launching in times that people aren’t as willing to spend money on games probably. I mean, when food prices are expected to go up a lot, who really wants to spend over $300 on a video game console?

    The same’s going to apply to the other companies mind you.

    • Metroidvania

      Yeah, but look at what people pay for an IPad. They sell too, and you could get a Laptop that does more, is more reliable, and is half the price.

      If the Wii U is a lucrative product. It will sell. The rumoured $250-$300-$350 price ranges are near perfect for consumers in different brackets.

      I live in a pretty shitty area. Jobs suck, prices suck everything sucks. I honestly think this “economy” business is a scapegoat. From what ive seen, and from who I know. It hasnt stopped anyone from buying expensive Smartphones, PCs, Laptops, TVs, you name it.

      The one thing the console market does have. That these others dont have anywhere as much of is loyalty. Brand loyalty is HUGE in console gaming. While markets like app games fluctuate because they’re disposable, and the market is insatiable.

      Sure one app might sell a billion copys, but thats a one hit luck. The average app market doesnt pay attention because of that massive lack of loyalty. The market is also over saturated with 1000’s of games that are exactly the same. With a low quality experience. Something that caused the video game crash in the 80’s. Now front runner. Zynga has had a first hand taste in how insatiable this market is. Sure you might get lucky, and you might make a quick buck, but good luck doing it again, and good luck sustaining that market.

      The console market however is more consistent, and reliable.

  • Saucy17

    you can watch netflix and hulu on you wiiu controller, plus listen too music

  • Madmagican

    My limit’s $350, but I guess we’ll see what happens in 20 hours……… *makes hopeful face*

  • Saucy17

    You know, when we all cheer on our favorite companies, and get super excited, it makes me mad when i see people barge into our domain(WiiUDaily.com) and talk their uninformed crap just cause their fanboys of ps3 and/or xbox360, but it makes me so happy when i see all the great things that stuns them, and have their jaws dropping

  • Nintendonoob

    I hope that the Wii U can play songs while playing games… Damn when I am playing Zelda Wii U I will put on “Not Afraid” while fighting Ganondorf… Damn that will be the day… XD

  • somebody

    i agree about the price