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Ubisoft's CEO isn't too hot on Wii U's price tag
Ubisoft's CEO isn't too hot on Wii U's price tag
November 13, 2012 | By Kris Graft

November 13, 2012 | By Kris Graft
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    9 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



"I always prefer lower pricing, so I can't say I'm happy."
- Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot on the Wii U's $300 and $350 price points, in a GamesIndustry.biz interview.

The launch of a new console is a time of uncertainty for video game publishers, as they find themselves starting, once again, from a hardware install base of zero. Convincing people to spend hundreds of dollars on new game hardware -- and buying your expensive new game -- is harder than ever, in today's world where games can be played on so many other platforms.

"I'm never happy when the machines are expensive," added Guillemot. "What we have to do there is remember that compared to an iPad, [Wii U] is 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."

At least one industry prognosticator is betting the Wii U can have a stronger launch than the original Wii (which debuted at $250), but whether or not Nintendo can maintain that momentum over the coming years is difficult to predict. The company has shown a willingness to drop hardware pricing early on if sales are lagging -- maybe that can ease Guillemot's price tag anxiety.

In any case, Guillemot's reserved displeasure isn't as aggressive as other industry CEOs' console pricing criticisms. Remember when Activision boss Bobby Kotick not-so-subtly suggested his company might stop supporting the PlayStation 3 back when it was $400?


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Comments


Eric McVinney
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It really does make me wonder why they start off with a high price tag to begin with. I do know why, but still begs the question.

Ian Uniacke
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Perhaps because Nintendo left millions of dollars on the table with the original Wii? Gray market prices showed that the Wii could have been initially priced at about 50% more (which in fact is about the price difference between the Wii launch and WiiU launch in the US).

Merc Hoffner
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err, old business logic?? It's easy to start high and work down. It's almost impossible to start low and work up.

Adam Rebika
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It's also because the console is much, much more expensive to produce.
The Wii at 250$ was a net profit. The WiiU at 300 is a net loss.

Joe Wreschnig
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"I always prefer lower pricing"

"and that's why we kept charging only $50 for our console games and $20 for our handheld games."

No? Oh...

Ian Fisch
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When the Wii launched, I was incredibly excited about the hardware's potential.

This time, not so much. I couldn't care less about the Wii U's extra screen.

It would be one thing if Nintendo compensated with a strong launch lineup, but another 2d mario reheat just isn't enough.

Terry Matthes
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$350 dollars is not a lot of money for something that would essentially become the center for your gaming entertainment at home over the next 5-7 years. Jesus even at 5 years that's only $70 a year or ~$6 a month. If you can't afford that then your ass should be out getting a better (or "a") job, not playing video games.

Just because people can't afford every game and system doesn't mean there is something wrong with the pricing model.

Eric Geer
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I'm not sure why everyone is up in arms about WiiU pricing. It is just about the same price as a 360 or PS3--and they have been on the market for 6 years. This is a brand new machine.

John Flush
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Very true. Those that see the glass half-empty though wonder why the price of the 6 year old models still rivals that of a new system - then wonders why anyone would by the new system when the old one is $50 less and has a lot more games they could play today on it.

I always wonder if the price is up simply to grab all the money from those that buy the latest gadget just with the expectation of dropping it once they have cashed in on the initial excitement.


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