Rumor Mill: Wii U Won’t Be Under $300

Rumor Mill: Wii U Won’t Be Under $300

Another juicy rumor from the lovely folks over at the rumor mill.

Take a peek at your console of choice for a moment. You can more than likely tell me exactly how much you paid for it which limb you sacrificed to do so. BUt chances are you you have no idea how much it actually cost to build the thing in the first place. For many companies, they actually lose money on systems, at least for the first few years until they technology becomes cheaper and they iron out manufacturing quirks. Where companies end up making their money back is typically in software and accessory sales.

To much surprise, a juicy rumor has spilled about the total cost of the Wii U that is sure to turn this trend upside down.

According to Forget the Box media, who have talked to ‘sources closely involved with manufacturing and distributing Nintendo products, the final build of the Wii U and all of its components (including the controller) will add up to roughly $180. Additionally, their source reports that the controller itself will be eating up nearly one third of that cost, clock in at nearly $50 to manufacture.

Keep in mind that these are manufacturing costs, not final retail costs. A final retail cost is rumor to roll in at no less than $300.

So that begs the question. If Nintendo is manufacturing a system containing $180 worth of parts, and most systems are meant to lose money for the first few years, what exactly is the big N up to?

Well, the unnamed source went on to disclose that Nintendo is actively seeking to maximize profits by cutting production costs. That in turn is supposed to assure investors that the company is still going strong. However, as one who regularly seeks out cheaper electronics as opposed to more expensive ones, I have quickly learned that you get what you pay for.

That $200 laptop is going to work exactly as you would expect a $200 laptop to work. A $300 80 in LED 3D TV? Well, what could possibly be wrong with that deal? See, this whole thing can go either one of two ways. Nintendo has mastered the art of electronics production has has built a great machine with cheap(er) parts and in turn is looking to capitalize by over charging on the system. On the other hand, it’s no big secret that Nintendo has been struggling to keep pace with Sony and Microsoft in terms of graphics and appeal to hardcore gamers for the past couple console generations, so this could end up being Nintendo’s last big hurrah with a system that is supposed to appeal to both casual and hardcore gamers alike. But at what cost? Cheap manufacturing usually leads to a cheap product and that in turn creates a nightmare for people who have purchased the system having to deal with system malfunctions and what have you.

I guess the other alternative is that we let go of our hopes that Nintendo will in fact be releasing a system that is up to par or even ahead of the curve in the graphics and processing departments and resign ourselves to the fact that we will finally be getting a chance to play Zelda and Mario in 1080p.

Another concern I see arising is that if the controller costs $50 to make, exactly how much is one going to be expected to pay to purchase the thing? A full Wii controller setup at the time of launch was $60 and there is no possible way those things cost much to make, especially the nunchuck. So, that leaves me betting that a single Wii U controller will be upwards of $75-$100, unless Nintendo is will to take a loss there. I can’t imagine people chomping at the bits to pay more than the price of a new game for a controller.

Either way, all of this specualtion, rumor, and hearsay, but Kotaku has reached out to Nintendo for comment on the situation and as you can imagine they responded with the typicall “We do not comment on rumors and speculation.”

 

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