Last week at E3, Nintendo showed off a number of new games for the Wii U, but one announcement was sorely missing from the show: a Wii U price cut.
In an interview with VentureBeat Nintendo marketing executive Scott Moffit said the company has no plans to cut the price of the Wii U at the moment. He reiterated a point that Nintendo made in the past, claiming the Wii U is “a great value.” At E3, he points out, Nintendo went from having the most expensive console to the least expensive current-generation console.
While the Wii U is $50 cheaper than the PlayStation 4, there isn’t much incentive to buy Nintendo’s first HD console over Sony’s new console later this year. Earlier in the interview, Moffit used the “content is king” idiom to justify the Wii U, saying that it’s the only console where gamers can play Nintendo games like the upcoming Super Smash Bros. and Super Mario 3D World.
According to CNet, the latest report of video game sales from NPD shows the Wii U was the second best-selling console of May 2013, falling behind the Xbox 360. Microsoft sold 114,000 Xbox 360 units last month, while Nintendo sold less than that seven months after launch. Selling less than an eight-year-old console doesn’t bode well for Nintendo.
The Wii was successful early on because it had Wii Sports which appealed to almost everyone. For many first-time gamers the Wii was simply a device they used to play tennis using the novel new motion controllers. Or it was a device that helped them exercise with Wii Fit.
The Wii U lacks that hook, and at $300 and $350 it’s hard to imagine those first Wii gamers moving onto the new console, if they even know what the difference is.
With some new games on the horizon and the Xbox One and PS4 out in the open, Nintendo may sell more Wii U consoles, but right now, it doesn’t look good.