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Nintendo Talks Wii U Pricing, Pre-Order Numbers, F2P

Immediately after the big Wii U press conference on Thursday, GamesIndustry spoke with Nintendo of America president and CEO Reggie Fils-Aime about the console's pricing and other related topics.

Probably one of the more amusing topics of discussion centered on the reactions from industry analysts, especially a comment made by EEDAR's Jesse Divnich who predicts that core gamers won't be persuaded by the $299 price point. The analyst even pointed out that straight ports like Call of Duty from the Xbox 360 won't be enough to entice gamers.

Even more, Michael Pachter predicts Nintendo will have a sellout during the holidays, but will face difficulties in March 2013 when Sony and Microsoft cut the prices of their consoles again. GamesIndustry asked for his thoughts on the seemingly negative feedback.

In response, Fils-Aime said that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are a completely different generation than the Wii U console, and that in the end, the consumers are going to decide – and apparently they already have.

"We've announced the price and we have a number of retailers taking pre-orders and the feedback that I'm getting from retailers is extremely strong in terms of pre-sales and consumer excitement at the store. In the end, I care about those people. I care about the consumer who's putting money down on a pre-order and whether or not we're presenting a great value to them. Based on some of the reports I'm getting, the answer is yes."

GameStop said on Thursday that it is now taking pre-orders for the new Wii U console. Customers can even trade in their old consoles for the new machine, receiving a $50 trade credit for the original Wii, $90 credit for the original Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita or Nintendo 3DS, $115 credit for the original PlayStation 3 or the slim Xbox 360, and $140 credit for the slim PlayStation 3.

"As an added bonus, GameStop PowerUp Rewards members can get an additional $10 in credit for each of the above hardware trades when applied to the pre-order of a Wii U, giving members the opportunity to save up to $150 on the Wii U," GameStop announced on Thursday.

Fils-Aime said Nintendo believes that when it comes to hardware, the company wants to pack a lot into the smallest price possible, and that's why Nintendo doesn't charge for additional services like some of the competitors (Xbox Live, PlayStation Plus). Nintendo wants to make money off the hardware, but wants to make it worth the purchase for consumers like adding built-in cameras to the GamePad.

The interview moves on to the software portion of the announcement, including Nintendo Land which offers a theme-park type experience that covers many popular Nintendo properties like Mario and Metroid. GamesIndustry then asks the Nintendo of America CEO if the company may be going to far with the Mario property, or rather, is Nintendo milking the franchise?

"I would say categorically, no," he replied. "And that's because our developers, starting with Mr. Miyamoto and going through the entire EAD development organization, they understand the power of our franchises, and they understand that the only reason these franchises have the power that they do is that they have to make sure that each subsequent edition is unique, different and offers something new."

"They know that if they don't do that, we'll kill the golden goose that lays the golden egg," he added. "So it's something they are highly cognizant of, and even the executives on the business side, we hold that IP very dearly to make sure that every edition in the series is foundationally sound. "

To read the full interview, head here.


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