Nintendo missing Wii U price cut opportunity with Pikmin 3’s release
The Wii U needs both a price cut and better software. Part of this is being rectified starting this Sunday in North America with the release of Pikmin 3. With a steady stream of games from now through the end of the year that leaves us wondering when Nintendo will pull the trigger and cut the system’s price.
Nintendo has said that they don’t want to cut the system’s price if they don’t have to. Of course they would say this even if they had a price reduction planned for tomorrow. But it doesn’t appear that a Wii U price cut is coming until the holidays at the earliest.
A lot of fans speculated online over the past few months that if Nintendo was going to cut the Wii U’s price it would be along side the release of a big first party game. Pikmin 3 seemed like a good candidate for a lot of folks. Not to mention the fact that the 3DS also received a price cut in August 2011 just before the release of Star Fox 64 3D that September.
It is easy to see why some people thought dropping the Wii U’s price or releasing a new bundle to line up with Pikmin 3’s release on August 4th would happen. It didn’t happen in Japan or Europe weeks ago when the game released in those regions but there was still a small chance of it happening in August.
As it turns out retailers will still be selling the Wii U for its normal price this Sunday despite the popular belief that Pikmin 3’s release would be a good time to cut the price. Both Target and Best Buy will be offering $50 gift cards with the purchase of a 32GB Wii U this coming week. That’s sort of like a price cut but not really.
So retailers know that Pikmin 3 presents an opportunity to get more consumers to buy Wii U systems, hence why they’re giving out these $50 cards. Obviously if there was a price cut coming in the next few weeks to accompany Pikmin 3 these retailers wouldn’t be giving out $50 gift cards. If not Pikmin, then what game could they couple with a price cut? I doubt Nintendo would cut the system’s price along side Wonderful 101 since its very niche in appeal.
The next big first party games that could present opportunities to cut the system’s price would be Wind Waker HD in October or Donkey Kong in November. As is, it doesn’t look like the Wii U will receive a big August price cut like the 3DS. A theoretical price cut would likely happen before Black Friday and possibly before the PS4/Xbox One ship to stores so late November/December doesn’t seem likely. That would just be too late for a price cut and they might as well wait until 2014 if so.
There are rumors about a Wind Waker HD system bundle being in the works. Perhaps they’ll replace Nintendo Land in the Deluxe SKU with Wind Waker. Nintendo was recalling 8GB systems in June despite denying it. Multiple retailers confirmed these recalls so they look like they’re heading towards a future with only a 32GB SKU, just in both black AND white.
The yen has weakened this year so the Wii U may be somewhat cheaper to produce that it was in mid-2012 when Nintendo set the system’s price. Wind Waker HD is a remake that for all intents and purposes doesn’t appear to have as large a budget as other first titles like Donkey Kong and Mario 3D World. That makes Wind Waker HD a prime candidate for being bundled as a free piece of software since Nintendo can stand to lose money on a $10-$15 million remake rather than more expensive first party games.
So what do you think? If the Wii U gets a price reduction at all in 2013 when do you think it will happen? Let us know in the comments below!