Nintendo: we still sell the Wii U at a loss

Despite increasing pressure to improve sales and boost its financial performance, Nintendo might prove unwilling to cut the price on its Wii U anytime soon.

(Credit: Nintendo)

Speaking to in an interview published on Wednesday, a Nintendo representative confirmed that the company continues to sell its latest console at a loss. Nintendo didn't say exactly how much it's losing on each unit sold, but the company has been one of the few firms historically to profit on new console launches each generation. The Wii U, however, stands in stark contrast to that.

The console, which launched with two versions — a Basic set for AU$348 and a Deluxe set for AU$428 — has been collecting dust on store shelves over the last several months. Nintendo announced last week that it sold just 160,000 Wii U units worldwide during the previous quarter. Those poor sales figures prompted increasing calls for the company to cut the price on its Wii U.

Of course, that's nothing new for Nintendo. After the console posted a tough fourth quarter of 2012, Nintendo chief Satoru Iwata was asked about calls for a price cut in an interview with the Associated Press. At that time, he seemed convinced that price wasn't an issue, telling the AP that "we are already offering [the Wii U] at a good price".

Nintendo seems committed to that line of thinking. In its quarterly filing last week, the company blamed the Wii U's disappointing sales on "the release of few key first-party titles", as well as its poor job at "communicating the compelling nature of our hardware and software".

Still, a price cut might be just what Nintendo needs to boost the Wii U's popularity. The console will soon face off against the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4. And although those consoles will be more expensive than the Wii U, they also promise better graphical performance and enhanced online services. In order for the Wii U to stand out, it might just need to distance itself on the pricing front.


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CurnsyC posted a comment   

Once the big games like Mario kart and smash bros come out I reckon the console will start selling much better. Its weird though I have one and actually quite enjoy it


RichardE1 posted a reply   

I have similar frustrations. I was kinda scared into being an early adopter when WiiConnect24 was discontinued, and GameStop didn't transfer my games, but I've slowly been discovering games I enjoy playing on it. If I weren't doing a lot of college homework, I'd be spending more time with it (also the Autumn TV premieres don't help either).

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