"The Consumers Are Going To Decide"
With the Wii U's European price point confirmed at £250/£300/£330 depending on the edition you want, Nintendo Of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime has spoken out to suggest that the American $299 RRP for the basic edition represents "really strong value" for the consumer.
Well, it does, seeing as it equates to £185 at the current exchange rate - which is 25% cheaper even after US sales tax. Along with explaining the bottom line, Reggie also warns us not to expect a price cut any time soon.
Rip-off Britain strikes again.
“The way that we approach consumer value is we want to make sure we give the consumer a lot for what they pay,” Reggie told GI.biz, “and when you look at that basic model you get the innovation in the GamePad – and all of the gaming options that presents – you get Miiverse in terms of a gaming community, you get Nintendo TVii, you get video chat…all of that is included in the base proposition. We think $299 is a really strong value, and it’s a value that’s going to be strong for a long time.”
"In the end, the consumers are going to decide. So I'll share this data with you. We've announced the price and we have a number of retailers taking pre-orders and the feedback that I'm getting from retailers is extremely strong in terms of pre-sales and consumer excitement at the store. In the end, I care about those people. I care about the consumer who's putting money down on a pre-order and whether or not we're presenting a great value to them. Based on some of the reports I'm getting, the answer is yes."
Considering that US Wii U consoles come with the free TVii service, it's hard not to feel just a little aggravated by these disparate figures Then again, most of us stopped caring about exchange rates yonks ago to avoid constantly breaking down into floods of tears - and personally, I reckon that £300 for the premium pack is actually quite competitive (it's not exactly recession-friendly, mind).
The 3DS received a slightly embarrassing though thoroughly welcome price cut within the first year of launch, but Reggie believes that this isn't on the cards for the Wii U.
"We don’t believe in pricing a product and then having to reduce the price some short time later, he explained. "When we had to do that for 3DS, it was a very painful proposition for us.”
So there. As Reggie said: "in the end, the consumers are going to decide." What have you decided?