Ubisoft CEO 'Can't Say He's Happy' About The Price Of The Wii U

What say you with regards to Wii U pricing? Too expensive? Willing to pay a little more? Ubisoft's CEO Yves Guillemot has been a big supporter of the Wii U console, if you look at Ubi's extensive launch line-up, but even he thinks the Wii U might benefit from a more accessible price tag.

"I always prefer lower pricing, so I can't say I'm happy," said Guillemot.

"I'm never happy when the machines are expensive. What we have to do there is remember that compared to an iPad, it's cheap. With what it brings [to the gaming table] it's cheap. But I hope they'll be able to drop their price in time."

Putting Guillemot's comments in context, it's in Ubisoft's best interests for consoles to be cheap, to shift more units and expand the software market, but does he have a point when it comes to consumers? Considering the Wii U comes packaged with what is essentially a tablet, I thought the Wii U was pretty reasonably priced.

What are your thoughts?

Ubisoft CEO on Wii U price: "I can't say I'm happy" [GamesIndustry International]


    Consoles are always expensive when they just come out, and then drop over time. Yes, it means that only a select few who actually have the money/saved up will get it upon release...but that does not mean the games they produce will not be purchased later when the console drops.

      Yes, but the games that late-adopters buy will more than likely be pre-owned, discounted or bundled, so the publisher will see far less profit than if the same number of copies were bought day one.

        ...and the launch games will look way less attractive when the system is in it's 2nd wave of titles.

          That's probably less the case for the Wii U since it's more or less on par with other current offerings, the tech is already there and tuned to platforms of it's capabilities. I doubt well see the usual gulf in mechanics and tech that you normally see between the first and second round of games with this machine.

            Except that it is much more powerful than the 360 and the PS3

    The Premium Wii U is $30 more than the Wii was 7 years ago and comes with more.

    Whine more.

      As I'm fully employed, I agree that its not really an increase. However, 7 Years ago was about 18 months before the GFC. Times have changed in the US my friend.

    What's that, Ubisoft? Consoles are too expensive? I can't hear you over the mountainous price tags your games come with.

    I was surprised by the price - in a good way.

    Last edited 13/11/12 2:24 pm

    I thought they priced it pretty well actually. The price of their games on the other hand...

    Exactly as has been said already. The price of games is the prohibitive thing here. You buy 5 games and you've spent more than you did on the console.

      Fortunately it's unlikely that there'll be 5 games worth buying for quite some time.

    In terms of market demand here, I think its an accessible price for a new console.

    In terms of specs, the gamer/engineer in me realises its still a premium on a generation's old tech.

    Just seems like an odd question to ask the head of a game publisher. He has a vested interest no matter his answer.

    Shouldn't he be saying it's awesome, affordable and guarantees women?

    Does not compute.

    Extremely happy with the price. I thought it was going to be much higher, but now I have no hesitation in picking one up at all (unlike the 3DS...).

    "Considering the Wii U comes packaged with what is essentially a tablet, I thought the Wii U was pretty reasonably priced."

    What rot. If it were true that the Wii came with a tablet then sure, an argument could easily be made that the Wii U is very well priced. But the fact is that it doesn't come with a tablet. It comes with a gamepad that shares some similarities with a tablet, but is not a tablet. It can't be used any significant distance from the console and has limited functionality. I'm not saying the gamepad is worthless, as I'm sure it isn't - at least for now it acts as a good tv remote control, which I expect will quickly be emulated by other manufacturers. But it most definitely is not a tablet.

    Why try to fool readers that the Wii U comes with a tablet when it doesn't. Gees, we don't all have to fall for Nintendos marketing. As a journalist can't you just try to be honest and factual and try to avoid bumping up Nintendo due to your bias towards that company.

    I think the Wii U is well priced, but not very exciting. I'm not so much concerned about the pricing, but more so what the Wii U will give me that my PS3 can't. If it doesn't give me much then there's no point in buying it, whether it's $400, $300, or $200. At $200 it will be hard to say no to, but then by the time it is the PS4 / next xbox will probably be available, or by then our smart phones / tablets / notebooks will be much more enhanced. As I see it, the Wii U will give me slightly better graphics, a handful of 3rd party exclusives, several cutesy Mario games, and a gamepad. None of those things excite me and I can easily choose to ignore all of those benefits.

      I think this comment is a bit inflammatory, but I agree with the point. Your not getting a 'what is essentially a tablet' here. Its a fancy control pad. That is how you should weight the price.

        Agreed, the tone was unneccessary even if the main gist was fair.

          Your patronising comment is unneccessary. I'm entitled to have whatever tone I feel is appropriate.

          If you disagree with any of my comments feel free to express that and to show me what you disagree with. Making derogatory comments about my tone is offensive and pointless. Especially when you have chosen not to disagree with any of the points that i've made (and have been entitled to make).

            Way to get people off side for no reason whatsoever. Do you often snap at people who offer some pretty mild criticism?

              I'm sorry, would you prefer me just to accept your patronising and offensive comments without calling you out for your bad behaviour?

              If you don't want to be called out, don't needlessly insult others. It shouldn't be that complicated a concept for you to grasp.

                No, no, I am sorry. I didn’t realise that agreeing with you but offering a valid criticism constituted being patronising, offensive, bad behaviour or being insulting.

                You had several mature options available to you when faced with the criticism of your presentation in your points, instead you chose to be extremely immature and lash out – drawing this into a pointless argument where it is blatantly obvious that you aren’t open to any feedback whatsoever and quickly descended into obviously hypocritical accusations. I would offer advice that being overly aggressive makes it harder to see validity in your arguments, but you would likely see that as being “patronising” again. So instead I will stop wasting my time with you.

                  OK, you clearly want to be insulting, that's clearly your way. So I'll just leave you to it. Can you not comment on any of my posts in the future, please. Your insults are not welcome.

      haha ps4... dude that will cost you $800 plus.

        With the way consoles have been going in terms of price. The ps4 is gonna be over 1000.

          I don't think we're going to see next Gen consoles hitting $1000 any time soon. Certainly not the PS4 or Next Box.

        I doubt that price point, but even if that was the launch price... if the generation runs on as stupidly long as this one will then it's not really a massive investment. Eight hundred dollars may seem like a lot up front but over the course 8 years worth of usage it's a drop in the bucket.

    Oh boo hoo

      Its undermining the whole point of Kotaku when you see an article and think "hey I could do better than that." He was more than formal enough yet was still able to vividly express his frustration and dissapointment.

      Last edited 13/11/12 8:54 pm

    I don't think there is meant to be any malice in that comment. I'm sure every game developer wants their games exposed to the biggest market. The biggest markets are usually those with the lowest barriers to entry, and for consoles the biggest barrier is usually price.

    Maybe he could have worded it better though.

    It's a Nintendo console so we all know it's first price cut will be within 6 months of release, after that it will be a sitting duck console as the PS4/Xbox3 will be in the limelight.

      you do realize wii has well over 50 extremely good games worth playing, with at least another 20 not so great but enjoyable games. The releases only started slowing for the last 2 years, thats at least 10 good games a year, and the console successfully ran its course of ~5 years or so.

      Funny you mention a price cut, which i assume you are referring to the 3DS one. It saved the system, and has allowed it to pass over 21m consoles sold, while the Vita, with such a ironic name, has only just passed 3m units sold. How about the xbox and ps3? do they seem to be doing good in sales? no? okay then

    I was expecting more so $500 for deluxe and zombiU is very reasonable. Except that I am working till late on launch day.

    Agreed price depreciation is always around when the competition is as strong as Sony, Micorsoft and PC.
    Not only is it not a tablet, its not even a fancy gamepad I just don't like it. If it is a considerable amount of the price tag maybe... they should have an option to buy with a Pro-Controller instead now that is something I would consider buying. Although to buy an official retail game pad seperately is the equivalent of buying spare parts for a BMW for any console.

    Last edited 13/11/12 8:47 pm

    I think I've found the problem with Australian's thinking it's cheap and Americans thinking it's expensive:

    Wii American release price $250USD, Wii U American release price $300USD
    Wii Australian release price S400AU, Wii U Australian release price $350AUD

    As you can see american price gained $50 while the Australian price lost $50, for once the "Australian gaming tax" was minimal, how about fixing the game prices to around $60 then nintendo?

      Don't forget US prices don't include taxes while AUD prices are always quoted GST inclusive. Once you add US sales tax it's much more even.

    Cheaper? I remember about a week ago seeing a chart, listing every single console launch with price range (prices altered to suit inflation) and the Wii U was around the 4th cheapest console (Behind Gamecube, Dreamcast, and Wii)

    For those wondering, the 3DO was the most expensive, at over 1,100 USD.

    Imagine if for the first week the Wii U came out, the price was guaranteed to be cheaper than it would be for the next 18 months - eg. 100-150 discount on the proposed price. This would probably increase the user base, as well as pushing over the edge the people that are relatively happy to wait for more titles on the console. It would also make devs happy, because there would be more new game purchases - people who were going to buy the console anyway would probably pick up another title because of the discount.

    Granted, it probably wouldn't make retailers happy..

    Well seeing as this is Nintendo's first home console selling a t a loss, then I'd say they've priced it about as low as is reasonable for them as a business

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