Analyst: Wii U Overpriced, Will Get A Price Slash
So about those Wii U details. Forget the specs and focus on the cost – $299.99 for the ‘basic’, and $349.99 for the deluxe. This is, I admit, far less pricey than I expected. It isn’t Wii cheap, but recall that the basic (‘core’) version of the Xbox 360, which didn’t even have HDMI capabilities, launched in 2006 for $299.00, and the Premium (with 20GB hard drive) cost $400. Inflation has bumped money values down slightly, making the Wii’s launch price, on the surface, seem like kind of a bargain.
But is it? It’s true that this looks cheap, but the economy is absolutely terrible right now, and people don’t have the same appetite, not to mention the finances, for a new device that costs hundreds of dollars, that they did back when the 7th generation started. And that, among other reasons, is why Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter thinks they’re charing too much, and that a price drop is inevitable.
“We think that Wii U’s price points are appropriate given likely demand from Nintendo’s core fanbase,” he said in a research note, “but believe that pricing will be too high to sustain demand given current competition from other consoles and tablets. In our view, Nintendo was smart to introduce the Wii U at higher price points in order to maximize initial sales from its core audience. We expect 1 – 1.5 million Wii U units to be shipped into the US by the end of GameStop’s fiscal year (January).”
So why the price drop? “We expect demand from Nintendo’s core fan base to remain high through the end of its March 31 fiscal year. Once initial demand begins to subside, we expect Nintendo to lower prices.” Admittedly, this is a slightly quicker timeline than the previous generation. Microsoft dropped the price of the premium Xbox 360 model to $349.99 in mid-2007, less than a year after the original launch. Which is to say, Nintendo won’t be overreacting, they’ll be doing what is expected, and assumed. Nothing to see here, move along, and wait until… when?
“We don’t expect a price cut until summer 2013, at the earliest, but do expect a cut prior to holiday 2013. Any prospective price cut will depend largely on competition, which we expect to materialize in the coming weeks.”
There you go. Wait until summer, 2013 to buy your Wii U. Chances are, it won’t have the same demand ‘problems*’ the Wii did.
*Clarifying: does anyone actually think Nintendo didn’t cannily make small numbers of Wii consoles to stoke demand and create the impression of an unstoppable juggernaut. Yeah…