The UK High Street has called on Nintendo once again to lower the price of Wii U.
The retailers were speaking ahead of the arrival of a Mario Kart 8 Wii U bundle, which retails for around £250.
Nintendo’s racer is expected to be one of the biggest Wii U launches yet. However, stores say the cost remains a stumbling block for its customers. Tesco has already made prices moves of its own, selling the bundle for £200 to customers using a voucher.
These calls follow a similar message from the trade in MCV issue 772 (January 24th).
“The market needs a sub-£200 Wii U proposition and the Mario Kart 8 at £250 RRP is going to be a tough one to drive extra sales,” said ShopTo purchasing director James Rowson.
“To get the same kind of weekly sell through that PS4 and Xbox One are seeing a sub-£200 price is needed.”
The head of games at a major retail chain added. “£199.99 would be when Wii U would get interesting. Nevertheless the fact this is the first high res Mario Kart game and is very exciting.”
Speaking about Tesco’s £200 price point for the bundle, Xbite’s CEO Steve Thomas added: “It’s a step in the right direction, but it would have been better if all retailers were involved. Nintendo needs support from the wider industry rather than one retailer.”
But Games Centre’s MD Robert Lindsay plays down pricing concerns, and believes software is key to Nintendo’s success: “[The Mario Kart 8 pack] is a fantastic bundle at an attractive price which should see a nice sales spike over the coming months.
“Will this continue through to Christmas? That really depends on the strength of additional software which is the key to ongoing sales, not the price point.”
Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata had previously stated that simply cutting the price ‘is not an option’. The firm has promised to showcase a number of games and software to make Wii U a more attractive proposition, and we will know more at a special Nintendo Digital Event that will take place on June 10th.