Alex Phillimore: (alex.phillimore-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2013-09-01 05:42:59
Discussing the Wii U Price Cut
I just had a holiday away from writing articles for Direman while I enjoyed a moderately sunny week in the city of Bristol in the UK. During that week, there were two extra juicy slices of Nintendo news: firstly, that the Wii U will be receiving a price cut of $50 (about 30 pounds in the UK) on September 20th; and secondly that Nintendo have announced the 2DS handheld system. And so, being an avid observer of just about everything Nintendo does nowadays, I feel compelled to give my two cents about these nuggets of gaming news.
For this article, let's have a look at the Wii U price cut - in the United States, this will put the Wii U down to $299 (UK retailer GAME have the product listed for 249 pounds). For that price, you can pick up the Wii U Wind Waker HD bundle, which includes the 32GB Wii U console with the golden triforce decals on the Gamepad, a copy of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD and a digital copy of the recent Zelda anthology, the Hyrule Historia. For the price, this is a fairly enticing bundle for people who haven't yet picked up a Wii U - the price cut puts it exactly $100 below the suggested price of the nearest next-gen competition - the Playstation 4 - and $200 below the Xbox One.
This distancing of price will work in Nintendo's favour, and I'm definitely excited for the potential sales increase this will (hopefully) result in for the Wii U. A common complaint I saw among gamers before the price cut announcement was that although many wanted the Wii U, few were willing to part with $350 when the Playstation 4 would only be an extra 50 bucks. A lot of gamers hesitated to buy the Wii U, instead opting to wait for the Playstation 4 for a marginally higher price. To many gamers, the Playstation 4 offers greater value for money than the Wii U, making the 50 dollar difference too little to justify a purchase from gamers.
Cue a $100 difference and gamers are now starting to pay attention. Already I've seen a lot of people on message boards declaring that they will now take the plunge and purchase a Wii U based on both the price cut and the imminent exclusive software coming out throughout the rest of the year (Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze; Super Mario 3D World; Sonic Lost World etc.). While it's fair to say that the Wii U's library of games up to this point hasn't been great, the exclusives are starting to hit finally (taking into consideration games such as Pikmin 3 and The Wonderful 101 as well), and the console is beginning to look like a more attractive prospect.
Come Christmas time, I can realistically see a lot of parents buying Wii Us for their kids now that the Wii U is decidedly the cheaper of the three next-gen consoles. When pressured by their kids for a new console, a family can look at the three options and conclude that the Wii U is the cheapest gift for Christmas. Plus, by the time the Playstation 4 and Xbox One come out, the Wii U will have a good software line-up with some big names that will likely entice younger consumers more than games such as Killzone: Shadow Fall or Ryse: Son of Rome will. I myself would rather play Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze than just about anything available over the Christmas period on the other two consoles.
It has taken a while, but the Wii U is starting to look like a viable investment. With a list of exclusive games coming out and a much more reasonable price tag post-price-cut, Nintendo's system will become increasingly more appealing during the lead-up to Christmas. By utilising the nostalgia people have for their games - the Wind Waker HD bundle with the Ganondorf figurine taps into the hearts of many gamers - Nintendo are finally starting to advertise the Wii U as the cheaper alternative to the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One that it needs to be in the mind of consumers. Ever since the Gamecube I have viewed Nintendo's consoles as a complementary system; one to have alongside a Sony or a Microsoft console. At $299, I feel confident that the Wii U will be a worthwhile side-console to the Playstation 4 and Xbox One and, come Christmas time, it may just see a revival of sales after all.