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.
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