Nintendo is still selling each Wii U at a loss

By on August 8, 2013, 3:30 PM

A Nintendo representative has confirmed that each Wii U console is still selling at a loss, making a price cut for the console unlikely in the lead up to massive launches from Sony and Microsoft later this year.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said last October, ahead of the console's launch, that each unit would be sold at a loss, and since then it appears the situation hasn't changed. Selling hardware at a loss is an unusual practice for Nintendo, but the company's American president, Reggie Fils-Aime, dismissed concerns as a single software purchase by a consumer can make the entire transaction "profit positive".

The Wii U continues to sell at its introductory price: $299 for the basic bundle, and $349 for the deluxe bundle. Compared to the launch prices for the upcoming Xbox One ($499) and PlayStation 4 ($399), the Wii U is a cheaper console option, but it's failing to sell. Nintendo sold just 160,000 units in the second quarter of this year, as consumers wait for the newer and more powerful systems from Microsoft and Sony to arrive.

The lack of Wii U hardware sales, and the fact that each console makes a loss, is hurting Nintendo's bottom line, with the company posting very slim profits for Q2 and an overall operating loss. The original Wii is currently outselling the newer Wii U, and as Nintendo is unable to cut the price of the console, things are not looking good for the company in the current-generation console market.

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