Boston (ChatterShmatter) – Nintendo is preparing as a company to once again show why they are the leaders of the gaming industry, as they gear up to release the successor to the highly-popular Nintendo Wii, the Nintendo Wii U. Nintendo has many hurdles it is facing though with the Wii U, and we have highlighted our top five reasons why we believe Nintendo has to keep the price point below $300 at launch for it to truly be a success right out of the gate.
5. Recent History
In recent years, the gaming industry has shown that consoles are having a hard time coming out of the gate when the price point is at too steep of a level. Sure, they garner sales from the hardcore early-adopters, but not the mass market. Recent history has shown that the Sony PS3 struggled at its price point of $600 out of the gate, the Nintendo 3DS struggled with its high price point, and most recently, the Sony PS Vita struggled due to its price point in Japan. Gamers want to purchase new consoles, but they are clearly not willing to, at a mass market level, spend more than what they deem reasonable for the new hardware.
4. Mass Market Appeal
Nintendo enjoyed so much success with the Nintendo Wii due to the fact that it was a mass-market product that launched with a price point of $250. This allowed both hardcore and casual gamers to jump on the release of the console right at launch. A price point of $300 at launch for the Nintendo Wii U ould allow Nintendo to accomplish this yet again, as they would be able to truly make the Wii U an impulse purchase in a sense and what that is attainable by the mass consumer come the next holiday shopping season.
3. Extra Costs
Nintendo has stated that the Wii U tablet controller is going to be pricey, and one would have to guess that by pricey, they mean most likely around $100. There are going to be many gamers out there who want to pick up more than one controller at launch, and asking them to spend an extra $100 on top of the price of the console makes it that much more important to keep the cost of the console itself low.
2. Head Start
Nintendo will be jumping the gun on both Microsoft and Sony in terms of starting the next-generation of consoles. The key for Nintendo long-term is to build up as large of an installed user-base as possible with the Wii U. This will ensure the long-term success of the Wii U, allowing it to be more appealing to third-party developers and publishers, as well as the consumer due to its popularity. Failing to get a big enough head start will allow the Xbox 360 and PS3 successors to surpass it quickly, as they will both likely be technologically superior from a hardware standpoint.
1. The App Store Factor
Nintendo has not hid the fact that they are launching a full-fledged app store with the Nintendo Wii U. Nintendo sees profits in this type of digital store, but these profits will only be seen if they have users on there purchasing items. These additional profits will allow Nintendo to keep the price of the Wii U console itself low, as they will be making more money on the back-end after purchase. To grow this app store, they need users, and keeping the launch price below $300 will ensure that.
What are your thoughts, what price point should Nintendo launch the Wii U at and why?