Thursday, March 01, 2012

Wii U - $349.99 with a pack-in game?

The Wii U at this point has been all about speculation. Speculation on graphics horsepower, speculation about online infrastructure, and even speculation on games for hardcore gamers. So what about speculation on price?

The price of the Wii U will be a big factor in many ways when it's released this holiday season. Nintendo released the 3DS at $249.99 in March 2011 in the United States and suffered a great deal because of - but not only - due to the price. Nintendo tried to let third party devs flourish on the 3DS without having a killer app available at launch of their own. When the third party developers failed to have a game that was a must have (Super Street Fighter IV was a good try but not enough) the sales quickly faded and something drastic had to be done (hence the famous price cut and great games later on).

Now we have the Wii U coming this year with Nintendo already going on record saying that the system will "not be cheap" but will try to find the best possible price without taking a loss or too much of a loss at the beginning. In my mind this can only mean a price that will exceed three hundred dollars. Why? Well the perception is that Nintendo makes systems that are less powerful than competitors, caters to children more than adults and doesn't care about online gaming. Taking this into consideration, Nintendo has said that it wants to truly change relations with not only third party developers but especially the consumer who wants each year's Call of Duty to have HD graphics and seamless online multiplayer gameplay. Nintendo has a lot of work to do to accomplish this and not much time to do it in. It is possible though....

                            (New Super Mario Bros. Mii as a pack-in could help sell a Wii U to anyone....)

Launching the Wii U (name change also?) at $349.99 with a killer pack-in game like, dare I say it, New Super Mario Bros. Mii would make a huge impact on sales. It would be very aggressive on Nintendo's part to pack a brand new Mario game with every Wii U sold and something that hasn't been done since the SNES Super Set. Nintendo would also at the same time market the Wii U as the most powerful home console ever released (which will be true) by getting at least one or two big name third party exclusives with amazing graphics combined with the innovations of the new controller ready for the holiday season. All this and not to mention all the great cross platform games that will be easily portable to Wii U (Resident Evil 6 is a must) and the system will more than justify the $349.99 price tag.

               (....and Resident Evil 6 could help sell Wii U to those who want Nintendo games but also M-rated games)

Consumers will buy a console at $349.99 if they see the value it represents. Nintendo has to show in the games themselves (not just specs) just how much better they can look than the current gen and how much better the interaction will be with the new touch screen controller. They also have to show all the new ideas for their online approach while proving why it's a better choice than the competition. I also find it very encouraging to hear about Crytek, DICE and EPIC Games making their engines ready for the Wii U to use to the full. Nintendo is being really good with taking feedback, updating and quickly sending out the latest dev-kits to developers to give them more time to make the most polished games they can for launch. This is all going to payoff and help Nintendo get off to the great start it needs.

The Wii U can easily be this holiday's system of choice for those who just want one Next Gen system that can play all ranges of games and not just games that Nintendo makes alone. 


Anonymous said...

wiiu easy the console choice at christmas and the christmas after when they drop the 2d mario BOMB on ms x720s first christmas and utterly destroy it

3ds moving towards 15 million psvita at 1.2 globally it has failed

Travis Hendricks said...

I don't see a New Mario Bros game being packed-in, though anything could happen. I think a compilation of Wii Battle, Wii Chase, etc would be a more likely choice, but it would also be less effective.

As for the price, I think you're right that it will be over $300 but I really think, if they can pull it off, that a $299 price would be killer for this system. But then again, I know I would pay $350 easily. But then I also said I would gladly pay $250 for the 3DS and that didn't work out too well for them.

Anonymous said...

Vita has sold roughly as bad as he Virtul boy

Metaldave said...

To Travis:

I know what you mean exactly and a new Mario game would be less likely than a Wii Sports type game. The problem with that in my mind though is that another Wii Sports pack-in will probably not be as effective as Mario (like you said).

My point is that if Nintendo really wants to go for the throat early and a full year ahead of Microsoft and Sony, packing a new Mario game with every Wii U would be amazingly aggressive and effective at helping them get a large user base and first place lead.

Anonymous said...

I disagree MetaDave, a WiiSports sequel would sell the system. I mean how many times do gaming editors/analysts need to be proven wrong when it comes to Wii Sports, Wii Play, Wii Fit and even Wii Music (it sold millions)? These games moved Wii hardware. Without question they did.

Wii Sports and Wii Sports resort are the best selling games of this generation. Beating the crap out of the best selling Call of Duty game out there (even with bundling together sales on every platform it came out on).

Now, they could release two Wii U bundles. one with Wii Sports U and the other one with a more Nintendo/core gamer game in mind. Such as Super Mario Universe (I made that one up, obviously).

However, if Nintendo wanted to win over BOTH casuals and core gamers, then New Super Mario Wii U would be a good option.

In regards to the mini-games that were seen at last E3 (Wii Battle, Wii Chase) these games could actually be included as built-in software on the WiiU tablet itself. Sorta like how on the 3DS you got Face Raiders, Find Mii, etc.

Metaldave said...

You make some good points, but I just don't think more Wii Sports will do the trick.

I believe people might look at Wii U with another Wii sports type game and think that they can just play the same thing on the regular Wii, why pay $350 more? I think people are ready for a new console but also something different to go with it. Just showing the new controller on the cover of the box with a new Wii Sports is not going to cut it.

Anonymous said...

ps vita first week only 1/4 sales of original psp and has been killed by DS 3DS first week sales......its a total disaster..

Anonymous said...

I dunno Dave, it seems to be you're seriously underestimating the allure of Wii Sports among casuals. Not even on the Kinect could they keep away from such games.

If Nintendo advertised the Wii U with the official sequel of Wii Sports, while showing the game running with enhanced graphics and in HD while promoting the use of unique/innovative features not found on the original Wii or X360, then I bet the farm that a lot of people (millions, no kidding, millions) would perk up and take notice. Especially if the online system employed is a lot better than on the Wii (no doubt it will).

Imagine playing baseball on the Wii U, where one player uses the wiimote to "hit the ball" while the other player uses the tablet to pitch, move around his players all around the field, etc. Similar thing while playing American Football. Now that's a game that is not included in the previous versions. But that could benefit greatly from using the tablet.

However, if Nintendo ignores that crowd and tries to go after core gamers, they're pretty much looking into emulating the success they had with GameCube. Every game console out there NEEDS casuals to make it big. PS1, PS2, Wii, X360.

Look at Sony this gen. They ignored casuals out of the game and went after cores exclusively. Now they're in the situation where they have to take both the Wii's and 360's table-scraps.

Even in Japan where the machine dominates, it only took the 3DS within a year to seriously close the gap between it (5 million units sold) and the PS3 (7 million units sold since 2006. This shows how badly Sony's strategy of going mostly after cores has worked out for them. And as we know, Sony is in the red financially speaking. Its not a good strategy for Nintendo to emulate these days. I don't care what some core gamers say on forums. They're the minority in the gaming world. Casuals are king in it.

It was because casuals supported the Wii for years that You and I got to play core games such as Zelda, Metroid, Donkey Kong, etc. on Wii. Thanks to their support. Because if it was only up to us and our limited support (look at how much we supported titles such as No More Heroes, Red Steel 2, etc.), the Wii would've died off ages ago.

Think about it... Wii U will need casuals on its side from the get go. Or else it will die off.

Metaldave said...

Very nice post, feel free to add your name next time.

I agree that casuals are definitely still a huge part of Nintendo's strategy for now and in the future. No doubt that Wii Sports 3 could be a huge system seller to the casuals.

However, Mario sells to casuals and hardcore gamers alike. Nintendo could still pack-in New Super Mario Bros. Mii and sell a game like Wii Sports 3 at retail price separate. Casual gaming is huge these days and I know Nintendo will still focus on that a lot, but it still needs to focus on the hardcore gamer who wants Resident Evil 6 and Black Ops 2.

Packing the system with Mario would get the ball rolling big time with both crowds in my opinion. As far fetched as it may seem.....

You may very well be right though and Wii Sports would be a very safe bet, but a little too obvious if you ask me. Nintendo basically needs to show the balance of Wii U to everyone in a simple way. Advertising, price and game selection will be the key as they always are in system launches.

Wii Sports was a huge hit and sold a ton of Wii's.....but as many statistics showed, when the casuals got tired of Wii Sports they eventually switched to the Xbox 360 sadly.

Hopefully that will change big time with the Wii U since third party devs will have no reason not to bring the big guns this time around and Nintendo will just continue being Nintendo with their games. That first few months during launch is so very important though and Nintendo knows that they need to grab people's attention and I still think that just another Wii Sports pack-in will not be enough....

Feel free to share more of your thoughts ,I enjoy the conversations.

Anonymous said...

I think WiiU sports/Lego city stories as pakage 1

WiiU sports/Ninja Gaiden Razors Edge pakage 2

Anonymous said...

Actually they can't pack a Wii sports game with the system. Wii sports uses the Wii mote for a major proportion of games, the act of body movment you can do like, bowling or baseball uses the old Wii controller. While yes everything could be done to some degree with the new controller, Nintendo isn't going to pack a Wii mote and a new controller and system and a game. So how would you play golf like they showed you in the intro? They going to make you buy an old Wii mote with a new system because the new controller is not enough?

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that they'll pack it with Pikmin 3. It is a confirmed launch game being developed by Mr Miyamoto himself.