Nintendo's Wii U Could Cost More Than $300
Nintendo (NTDOY) announced this morning that it will sell its upcoming game console, Wii U, for roughly $337 (26,250 yen) when it is released in Japan on December 8. According to IGN, the company will also sell a premium edition for $405 (31,500 yen).
The standard version comes with a white console with 8GB of flash memory, one white Game Pad (the new touch screen controller built specifically for Wii U), an AC adaptor and an HDMI cable. The premium edition comes in black and includes the same features, plus 32GB of memory, a Game Pad dock, a console stand and a two-year subscription to Nintendo Network Premium, a new rewards program.
While these prices only apply to the Japanese release, they are a strong indication of how much Wii U might cost when it is released in the United States, Europe and other parts of the world.
This marks the first time that Nintendo has offered different console packages on the day a new device is first released. Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) employed a similar strategy when it launched the Xbox 360 in 2005, selling units that ranged from $299 to $399. One year later, Sony (NYSE: SNE) did the same for its new console, PlayStation 3, which came in $499 and $599 packages.
Since that time, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has become very successful at selling different versions of its devices, including iPods, iPhones and iPads. When the iPhone was first released, it was one of the most expensive smartphones ever made, retailing for $600. Subsidies with AT&T (NYSE: T), Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and Sprint (NYSE: S) have helped bring the cost down substantially, but only for those who agree to a two-year contract.
Nintendo also announced this morning that it will sell individual Game Pads for nearly $173 (13,440 yen) in Japan. Only one Game Pad can be used, however, so it is unclear why consumers would need to buy a second unit when the Wii U is first released. Nintendo will continue to sell the cheaper Wii Remotes, (which were available for the original Wii console), to play multiplayer games on Wii U.
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