Wii U Price Drops, Effective September 20

Wii U Price Drops, Effective September 20

Nintendo’s home console can be yours for just $US299.99 starting September 20, the house of Mario announced today. That’s a $US50 price cut for a console that’s about to get a steady flow of Nintendo-made games but that’s been struggling to sell at even half the pace of its predecessor.

The Wii U will sell in two models: the existing black deluxe model bundled with the pretty-good game compilation Nintendo Land or in a new Zelda model. An image of the latter leaked last week.

That Zelda console is black, but its GamePad controller is etched with Zelda-style script The bundle will also include vouchers to download a digital (duh) copy of the Hyrule Historia Zelda lore book and a copy of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD.

Both consoles include 32GB of on-board flash memory. The system can be connected to self-powered hard-drives for more storage capacity.

“Obviously we want to drive Wii U momentum,” Fils-Aime said of the reasoning behind the price drop. “We’ve been very clear that software is what drives hardware. And we feel very good about the line-up of software for Wii U. Taking the added step to improve the value just reinforces our commitment to make sure that Wii U has a strong holiday this year and is set up to be a strong platform into the future.”

The Wii U has been struggling to catch on in its first year, a fact Nintendo, to their credit, isn’t trying to hide.

“All you need to do is look at the numbers,” Fils-Aime said. “At this point in time the Wii install base was beginning to approach three million — this is US numbers — and as we sit here today, the Wii U installed base is at about 1.5 million. So clearly the sales pace is different. But I will also tell you that the focus on making sure that this holiday — its second holiday — is really strong is actually quite consistent with the way we’ve always thought about our hardware launches.”

Nintendo has all but phased out the white 8GB version of the Wii U, a system that retailers seemed to begin dumping this past spring. That “basic” version of Nintendo’s console had originally sold for $US299, sans pack-in game. “That has largely sold through in the marketplace,” Fils-Aime said. “There is not much of that particular configuration out and we don’t expect there to be much at all come September 20.”

Nintendo has not announced plans to bring a white 32GB version of the unit to North America.

For comparison’s sake, PlayStation 3s and Xbox 360s in their various hard drive and game-bundle configurations range from $US200-$US300. The November 15-launching PS4 will cost $US400/$A549. The November-launching Xbox One will sell for $US500/$A599.

We will let you know of any changes to the Australian Wii U price shortly.


  • An official price drop could help but did anyone buy one when Dick Smith slashed $100 off? Can $50 change a lot of people’s minds?

    • My wife bought one from dick smith when it was 25% off Nintendo gaming. She got the premium console with super mario u for $378. She is keen for all the Nintendo 1st party games due at the end of the year and she enjoys Mario and the next purchase will be rayman.

    • This^

      I was tempted at $110 off RRP from a few places Big W dick smith and still its not worth the entry price, the price drop needed to be be at least double this and equal to $150 Aussie price drop for it to be even on my radar.

      Its basically a 4gb 360 with a tablet at twice the cost and with 0 games. Not even Wind waker and a new Zelda along will all the games coming out by end of year and early next year can make the console attractive.

      PS4/XB-O are what 5-8x more powerful than this console and only 30% more expensive, its a joke. The hesitance on Nintendo’s part to give an adequate price drop will be the death of them.

      Anyway you look at it this Christmas this console will be left in the dust. Parents won’t be getting their child an old tech Wii U, they’ll buy the next gen stuff leaving only hardcore and enthusiasts (or you know people who haven’t had enough of the 47 super Mario game) So i Was expecting a much large drop to keep it competitive, this wasn’t it.

      Though this price drop AND a $100 price slash from Dick Smith or Big W would suffice, but i doubt that’s happening now.

      • As a big Nintendo fan their consoles have NEVER been the best value for money. They normally try to turn a profit on their hardware and they always take forever to drop the price of games on their consoles.

        Mario Galaxy 2 and Mario Kart Wii are both several years old and are $89 and $79 at JB Hifi right now. Halo: Reach and Red Dead Redemption which were two of the bigger Xbox games of the same year are $29 and $25 respectively.

        • That is also because there are no other wii games.

          The reason the Mario games and 1st party Nintendo titles stay so high is because they are the only games on the system outside niche titles that sell. Ergo supply and demand, even 5 years later the only options you have are Mario galaxy and Mario kart.

          Where other consoles have competition for games, after red dead there was a new fallout, after halo then next cod and gears came out and then another halo.

          The fact that those products of nintendos stay so high isn’t a good thing, (might be for nintedo but not consumers). ITs just evidence of a system with less than adequate 3rd party support and is the reason i hope Nintendo leaves the home console market and just makes games for microsoft and sony (while keeping their hand helds).

          • I understand, but at the same time you have to think. How many copies of Twilight Princess is Nintendo still selling at $49?

            Sometimes I get the feeling that they care so little about the market for their older games that they just stop paying attention and just keep the original price point until the game goes out of manufacture.

            Either way it is a big factor when considering if I should buy a WiiU. I know that even if I wait another year and can pick one up a little cheaper, my game buying dollar for games like Mario 3D Land or the Wind Waker remake will be competing with the 2013 Xbone games that I have missed and which by then will be up to $50 per game cheaper.

            There’s a handful of probably great Wii games (Metroid Trilogy, Mario Kart Wii) that I never bought because there was dozens of great 360 games that I missed which I could pick up for much cheaper.

      • I think you’re off-base on the parents. A lot don’t know the difference between a PS3 and a PS4.
        The Wii was last-gen tech, too, and it was mostly bought by parents.

    • What if I told you this artical doesn’t apply to Australia, as Nintendo have confirmed the price drop won’t come to Aus because Nintendo Japan are happy with Aus sales…

  • Still won’t sell if there’s no marketing and no “must-have” title that appeals to the mainstream. Retailers have pretty much given up on supporting it too.

    • Didn’t you read the article? And what retailers? Not an hour ago saw demo units and big signage in a store.

        • It’s not doom and gloom its fact.

          The console is doing WORSE THAN THE VITA FOR CHRIST SAKE. While the overall numbers aren’t that horrible that its knocking on its death bed, it’s the sales since launch that are. Something like over 50% of its total sales were in the first month of launch, which means outside of die hard Nintendo lovers who have a goldfish like memory retention for super Mario style games, no one is buying it.

          A price drop LESS THAN what retailers were already slashing themselves (Big W and Dick Smith slashed $110 off premium) doesn’t make an impact and neither does yet another remastering of an old game, when the “good games” come next year or later.

          • This Christmas is make or break for Wii U. If this price cut and those games don’t get it a significant boost in sales – and a lasting boost, not just a brief spike – then by March it’ll be time to put a fork in it.

          • Pretty much brains.

            If they don’t make decent dent once the next gen consoles start hitting their strides I would reason that its time to abandon ship.

        • Doom and gloom? It’s the truth. All you have to do is look at the sales charts- they went from selling 3 million at launch to 400,000 in Q1 and then 160,000 in Q2. That is ABYSMAL.

          My local EB Games, Target and Big W stores only have 12 and 14 games for Wii U in stock respectively, and neither of them stock the consoles anymore. Ask anyone who doesn’t own a Wii U and you’ll find they either don’t care or don’t know about it- chances are they’re waiting for PS4 and Xbox One. They’re only 3 months away and actually have system sellers from the get-go, not to mention they’re being marketed heavily and actually have hype.

  • Too little, too late, I think it’s safe to say that the WiiU is shaping up to be almost a virual boy size disaster.

  • Drop the price of the deluxe to the basic price.
    Ditch the basic model.
    Release the deluxe in white as well.

  • Fun fact: The Dreamcast sold 10.6m units of its lifetime.

    At the rate of sales demonstrated since April this year (53,000 a month), the Wii U will pass the Dreamcast for total sales sometime in 2024.

    Yeah, i’d say a price cut might have been on the cards!

    • Execpt the Dreamcast actually had more than 1 or 2 good games to play and was half the price, oh and the games clearly looked better than its existing rivals.

      • Yeah the Dreamcast was much more “future proof” when it was released.

        Much like the WiiU it jumped about a year before it’s rivals but it was a lot closer the the PS2, Xbox and eventually Gamecube than the WiiU is to the PS4 and Xbone.

        It was also a pretty clear leap forward from the PS1 and N64.

        I’d love to see a year one comparison of availiable titles too, the Dreamcast had Sega Rally, Sonic Adventure, House of the Dead 2, Soul Calibre just that I can think of within the first year. I’ll tell you for sure, there’s nothing as super-impressive on the WiiU as Soul Calibre was when it was released on the DC. That game was EPIC!

        • I still have my original Dreamcast, it worked last time I played it although that was going at least 10 years ago now.

          • Mine died but I think it’s easily fixable.

            The biggest problem with the Dreamcast as far as longevity goes were those TERRIBLE cases that the games came in. They were super clunky, the hinges would break all the time and so would those little knobs that held the discs in place. I think I could fix the Dreamcast itself, but a lot of the discs are probably toast by now.

            At least a lot of the games are now available on Xbox Live. Sonic Adventure, Soul Calibre and a (soundtrackless) Crazy Taxi are all on there. I do wonder what happened to that HD remake of Shenmue though….

        • Marvel vs Capcom 1 and 2. Resident Evil: Code Veronica. A really great system with bad controls.

  • I’m actually thinking of picking up a Wii U. They’ve got some good stuff coming out for it in the next 6 months or so and this price drop (if we see it in Australia) might convince me. I still have my original Wii that I can sell (not trade in) to help with the cost, and a gift card I need to use before November…

    Mark, if you’re reading this, can you try to chase up whether this price cut will apply to Australia too?

  • Great. So those of us who bought at launch are STILL waiting for new games and we paid more to boot.

    I just never, ever thought it would take them this long to release titles. I regret the day the damn thing came into my house. Much rather have spent that money on new speakers for my PC.

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