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.




User Comments: 26

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1 person liked this | Guest said:

I bet that the new nintendo console is already in the works....this thing wont last 2 years

2 people like this | ikesmasher said:

Sell a version with the pro controller and lower price by $ 100.

yRaz yRaz said:

I'm waiting until they release the new smash brothers. In sure many people are doing the same. I think the main force at play here is people waiting for the xbone and ps4. I'm fairly confident that this would sell much better if it had been released after the other next gens. As a side note, I know many of my friends are waiting for the new smash brothers to come out before they pick one up. Everyone knows that's one of three AAA titles that come out on any Nintendo console.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Priced to high. I won't buy it at the basic or the higher price either. I have their Wii Black prior model. That's $129. Sell the Wii U for basic in Black for $129 and I'll buy it. But not for $299. They make money no matter what. They can sell it for whatever they want.

If they already spend money to make them and they are just not being sold they're losing money so take heavy price lost and sell it cheaper. Otherwise watch it doesn't sell at all.

Guest said:

I know a number of people who haven't bought a WiiU because there hasn't been a new super smash brothers. Maybe they should get with the picture as far as what the consumer wants to play and a better online community will boost sales.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

They really should have waited until the PS4 and Xbox One came out, sure it's spec and stuff is lower but they would finally have some great games on it which would sell it in droves, I know people holding their breath for a new Zelda, once that comes out Wii U will sell like hot cakes.

The spec may be lower but it doesn't matter this time round as long as Nintendo get it supported properly, ports are going to be harder because it's not x86, this time round though games will as least be the same resolution as the PS4 and Xbox One, Games will look better than any Xbox 360 or PS3 games since it is more powerful, but compare it to the Wii and its miles better.

Nintendo still have a chance, they just need some games, decent publicity and Advertising and they could pull this off, but when will this happen? I hope soon, but I can't be so sure.

Ranger1st Ranger1st said:

When they had the launch preview I saw amazing promise and game design dynamics for the WiiU and controller.. but so far no one has taken advantage of it. everything is just a higher resolution, higher poly count version off WII games. You sell a product with a purpose .. but don't provide an outlet for that purpose, no one is going to buy it.. The new B4 with it's external 'commander' view is a perfect example of what might be done with the the WiiU

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Take out the leaches at the top, I bet it wouldn't be a loss.

JC713 JC713 said:

I bet that the new nintendo console is already in the works....this thing wont last 2 years

They have to have a new console in the works with the Xbox One and PS4 coming out. They have to bring something truly revolutionary to win back customers/win over PS4 and the xbox One.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Lol, that's a nice $100 increase us Aussies have to pay.

The Basic pack needs to die. Deluxe pack needs to drop to $280 or so, and there should be a new 'Basic' pack that gets rid of the stupid touchscreen controller. This can then be sold at <$250.

Btw, the U is less powerful than the current-gen consoles.

MrAnderson said:

I think it could do well at the $299 mark, and although the have options for flash and it is safer when it come to hardware failure... maybe they could switch to hybrid HD SSD with higher capacity and upgrade their online support to store record of purchase in the cloud and not per device which has been a source of customer conflict. And rebrand Wii U to Wii 2...

Then should also, lower the price of the Wii to 129.99 and re-release all of their best selling Nintendo titles for 29.99 each with special features. These disks could have Wii 2 (err Wii U) Easter eggs and extra content like game soundtracks, special but simple mini games that run on Wii U, and in game extras, options, play-modes that can alter the original experience in interesting ways that would not require too much work.

Also... change the dang shape of the Wii U controllers so that they look different and distinct... round them off more. Shape them more like those grips that people place over them to give them a newer look than the Wii motes to let customers know they are something new!

And get get on the horn with indie developers that are making waves... don't need exclusives... just get some interesting stuff on the platform. Team up with steam and allow steam Wii U cross like Sony has or something... maybe Origin cross play to give EA some incentives to stop dogging them in the media.

Geez Nintendo get with it! We have come to an innovative impasse were doing cheap and interesting stuff with hardware is leveling off before it costs more. They could use a thriving eWare store with cheaper App store like purchases to puff them up. They should extend this virtual console to all their platforms and have a universal API that developers can query functionality that might not be available on all platforms... e.g. dual screen on DS... Gamepad on the Wii U... err something special about Wii... (okay perhaps base experience)... okay so I have lots of ideas... I can dream.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I have an idea!

How about a free console and a certain percentage of all game sales, go toward the cost of producing the console.

ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

I know many people still waiting for the new smash bros and the new Zelda before pulling the trigger. It was a terrible business strategy launching that console with neither of those titles. That's like launching the new Dodge Charger with only a 4 cylinder and waiting a year to release the big boy V8 hemi. What happened to Nintendo's marketing department...

sentrycube sentrycube said:

This console was released too late, and with a lack of highly expected titles.

Also the next-gen competition doesn't help it flourish in sales.

Most gamers would be pocketing their cash for the next-gen consoles.

1 person liked this | avoidz avoidz said:

I think Nintendo should ditch the Wii brand for their next console and focus on getting those good games ready for launch.

MrAnderson said:

The Wii brand is actually strong they whether we liked it or not. They just need to make it clear that they new system is actually new... it looks too similar. Also, the games Nintendo initially showed in ads looked like end-of-life-cycle Wii games... you know the time where games look best because developers have mastered the hardware...

They need to do a redesign, slim it down now, and take more of a loss on price to improve sales. You cannot force the games out the door before they are cooked... would be more of a disaster.

And they seriously need to expend into other markets. A games only company is getting very difficult to manage as the market changes. MS and Sony have their other businesses to lean on.

Guest said:

Its a loss to even buy a wii u

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I bet that the new nintendo console is already in the works....this thing wont last 2 years

They have to have a new console in the works with the Xbox One and PS4 coming out. They have to bring something truly revolutionary to win back customers/win over PS4 and the xbox One.

The competition in the console market is just too fierce with every man and his parrot announcing a new console daily. Something has to give. Nintendo came back from the brink a couple of years ago, Who knows?, maybe they can pull off another Houdini.

treetops treetops said:

Thats the first picture of the actual console I have ever seen, usually its just the controller, they did a terrible job advertising, half the people iv talked to that even knows it exists are convinced its only a controller. 90% of people say "oh its out already?" or "its not even out yet"

I also partially blame the name Wii U, people just glance over it at the store and see wii.

cmbjive said:

I know many people still waiting for the new smash bros and the new Zelda before pulling the trigger. It was a terrible business strategy launching that console with neither of those titles. That's like launching the new Dodge Charger with only a 4 cylinder and waiting a year to release the big boy V8 hemi. What happened to Nintendo's marketing department...

Traditionally, Nintendo has never launched a console with a Zelda Game. Twilight Princess was developed for the GameCube and then ported to the Wii in time for launch. I don't recall any Super Smash Bros. that has ever launched with the system.

However, either one could help Nintendo for a short period of time, but what then? Nintendo can't continue to survive on its first party offerings this generation. One guy gave them two years - I give Nintendo one more year of Wii U. If it continues to sell at a loss AND people are buying the system less and less, I don't see Nintendo holding onto the system before bring out another Wii.

Guest said:

The PS3 and Xbox 360 sold at a loss for like 5 years at least. The Wii U has been out for 8 months. This isn't really a big deal, and certainly not worthy of the "Nintendo is doomed" and "the Wii U is dead" comments.

Anyone suggesting they go software only or that they kill the Wii U and put out another system already are kidding themselves. Both moves would be stupid.

Guest said:

Agreed games, games, games battlefield 4 like someone said would be an excellent selling point making use of second screen and maybe proper gamers would sway towards it, as nintendo seem be more kids/girls gaming or for people who are not really into gaming as much but at min no one even thinks about it some dont even know about it, I even mentioned it to my friend other day as they said something about liking mariokart games not cod etc and they have xbox n ps3 n wii I mentioned U they were clueless and were interested when I mentioned the extra screen but yeah price would probably put them off

jeromie said:

Nintendo needs to realize the future of gaming is PCs and making their consoles as close to a PC is only going to help them sell hardware and software. This is what sony has realized and I'm sure microsoft knows the situation as well. Otherwise they need to merge the eshops and put gameboy advanced games, SNES games and other popular titles on the 3ds. It is just plain stupid to not have these games on the 3ds yet they are available on the wii. Software sales can save them a whole lot of time and costs releasing to systems that people have already bought.

XENRIX XENRIX said:

Why did they make a 'handheld gaming console' that takes up half your handbag (or manbag) and then loses all it's power in about 1 hour? To be honest, Nintendo should have built either a proper console or a slim handheld like a PSP.

Based on the looks of the PSP, then some added Nintendo features like... Erm... Ahem, erm...

What special things have Nintendo got?

I don't want to see Nintendo shut down, I have a Wii and I enjoy playing on it. If Nintendo don't want to lose money, they should take out some of the features that people don't use often, then rebrand it as the Nintendo Wii U2 or something.

At least they get money from the 3DS and 2DS.

cmbjive said:

The PS3 and Xbox 360 sold at a loss for like 5 years at least. The Wii U has been out for 8 months. This isn't really a big deal, and certainly not worthy of the "Nintendo is doomed" and "the Wii U is dead" comments.

Anyone suggesting they go software only or that they kill the Wii U and put out another system already are kidding themselves. Both moves would be stupid.

The difference being between Microsoft and Sony, and Nintendo is that both Microsoft and Sony have other businesses that can see them through losses for their respective systems for the short term. Nintendo, on the other hand, sole business model is video games. Them selling the Wii U at a loss will have a bigger impact on the company and I don't expect that they will continue in this regard.

I would not like to see Nintendo go software only, but it is reasonable to expect that they will come out with something that is more powerful and flexible than what the Wii U is. I think those kidding themselves are Nintendo fans who think that Nintendo can do no wrong.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I would like to see Nintendo go Software only! I would love to see Zelda on PS4 or Mario on PC!

The only reason I get Nintendo hardware is usually for Zelda, If they went Software only and released it on all platforms well it's just saving me money! and them as they don't need to make any hardware and to top it all off the PS4/Xbox One/PC's all have much more power than any Nintendo consoles meaning they really could pushing the games to a whole new level and to makes matters even better, all platforms being x86, it would be easy(er) to develop for all 3 at the same time.

But my dream of Zelda on PS4 probably will never happen

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