Nintendo slashes Wii U price by $50

Aug. 28, 2013 | 10:44 a.m.
Nintendo is launching "Super Mario 3D World" this holiday season. (Nintendo)

Nintendo is launching “Super Mario 3D World” this holiday season. (Nintendo)

Nintendo is hoping a cheaper price and well-known video game characters such as Mario and Zelda will convince shoppers to buy a Wii U this holiday season. The slow-selling system will receive a $50 price cut effective Sept. 20, a discount that comes about two months before the release of new consoles from Microsoft and Sony.

What is now known as the “deluxe” edition of the Wii U will soon retail for $299.99, down from its current $349.99. Since its release last holiday season, the deluxe edition of the Wii U has come packaged with a copy of the game “Nintendo Land” as well as a relatively robust 32 gigabytes of storage.

Both will be included at the reduced price of $299.99.

A more bare-bones version of the Wii U, one without the copy of “Nintendo Land” and just 8 gigabytes of storage, has been reported by other news outlets to be discontinued, but a Nintendo spokeswoman said in an emailed response that the company has “nothing to announce” on the 8-gigabyte edition.

The Wii U, Nintendo’s high-definition follow-up to its 2006 blockbuster console the Wii, has struggled since its November release. Nintendo unveiled in its latest July earnings report that the Wii U continues to have a “negative impact on Nintendo’s profits,” with only 3.6 million units sold worldwide since launch.

Earlier reports suggested that Nintendo had hoped to have sold upwards of 5 million Wii U consoles by this point. The company in the report laid the blame for the sluggish start on the release of “few” first-party titles for the console.

New games have been slow to materialize for the Wii U, and many of the titles promised near launch have been delayed. Only now has Nintendo begun to line up a consistent slate of games for Wii U owners.

The acclaimed “Pikmin 3” was released in August, and on the horizon is the unique superhero title “The Wonderful 101” (Sept. 15); a reboot of “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD” (Sept. 20); and new takes on old franchises with “Super Mario 3D World” (Nov. 22) and “Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze” (Dec. 6).

The lower-priced Wii U is timed to take advantage of the launch of “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD.” Nintendo will release a limited-edition “Zelda”-branded Wii U, which will include the “Wind Waker” game as well as a GamePad controller adorned with gold lettering, a gold crest from the kingdom in the game and gold symbols, among other “Zelda” accouterments.

Nintendo in 2011 faced a similar slow launch with its handheld system the 3DS. The device was released in March of that year and initially retailed for $249.99. Four months later Nintendo slashed the price of the handheld to $169.99.

The 3DS has long since rebounded and hit a stride in 2013. Games such as “Fire Emblem: Awakening” and “Animal Crossing: New Leaf” make use of the system’s one-of-kind control scheme and have helped propel the system to tally two consecutive months as the leading platform in hardware sales, according to the NPD Group.

In an effort to maintain the momentum of the 3DS, Nintendo on Wednesday also unveiled a more budget-friendly handheld that it is calling the Nintendo 2DS. The system will play all 3DS games but will lack the 3D functionality of the latter.

The 2DS will be released Oct. 12 and will retail for $129.99.

— Todd Martens | @toddmartens


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11 Responses to Nintendo slashes Wii U price by $50

  1. xDSx says:

    2DS = Garbage

    Nintendo = Kiddy Consoles

  2. Robert says:

    First!I think with there games coming next month they would have survived without the price cut, but this should insure very good sales for XMAS.

  3. mike says:

    N64 4lyfe!!!

  4. Antonio says:

    Sorry but you need to be crazy to buy a vodeo game at the price of 299.99 let alone 349.99. No video game in the world should cost more than 100.00 and that is top price. No wonder why they are not selling what they expect to sell.

    • Atrell says:

      Antonio in no way do i mean to insult you but i do not know what console you know of that is 100.00 in today's market… the PS4 and Xbox one which are releasing this year start sales out at no less then 400.00 unless you were confused about the Wii U being an actual gaming title?

    • Noah says:

      Um, you know it's a console right… 100 dollars cheaper than the ps4, and 200 dollars cheaper than xbox one.

      • Rich says:

        Screw all three systems they all have bugs right away in them they say they wont and by the time they wont it will be cheaper stay with your PS3, XBOX 360, and the Nintendo 64

      • Bret says:

        The recently released Ouya is $100 but it sucks :D

    • Junior says:

      Apparently you have zero knowledge of how expensive it is for developers to conceive, develop, and release a console. Consoles could sell for double or triple the price legitly.

  5. thurman trowbridge says:

    IT'S still to high, thank you for lowering the price but i can live what out it. $ 299.99 will buy alot food

  6. Michael Ramage says:

    I have always enjoyed Nintendo, however due to the games not really expanding and maturing along with the initial launch audience as Playstation and others have I can see this company as struggling. Other consoles have maintained children appropriate games as well as incorporate mature audience games as where Nintendo seems to avoid this. I feel it would be a fun experience to play a gritty, dark, and "old school" Zelda game with all the glitter included. I feel the consoles are limited, and the game selection and intended audience hurts this product that essentially made gaming what it is today. The concept of free moving gaming can be used far better for a much wider audience if the option is available in games such as Grand Theft Auto for Nintendo Wii with a steering mechanism, or have the "option" to use a hand-held controller or paddle to fight off hordes of zombies with a shovel, or save the princess as Link with a 2-hand sword which all can be expanded. I also believe it would benefit some people to actually move while gaming.

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