Wii U manufacturing costs 'estimated at $180'

Nintendo 'to put a bigger focus' on downloadable content and digital distribution
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The manufacturing cost of Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U console is estimated at around $180 per system, according to a report.

Speaking to Forget The Box, sources “closely involved with manufacturing and distributing Nintendo products” also said that the cost of components and materials for the controller is set around $50.

The costs of R&D, shipping, packaging and holding were not included as part of the estimates.

“Cutting production costs to maximise profits is Nintendo’s main concern with the Wii U,” said one of the sources.

“They are cutting costs in the Wii U’s hardware to build back confidence in investors. Nintendo wants investors to view Wii U as a less risky proposition.”

The insider said that Nintendo is still finalising the price of the console for customers, but that it would “be no less than $300 retail price when it launches”.

The console giant could however sell the system for much less, given the low manufacturing cost of the Wii U and the need to compete with the discounted PS3 and Xbox 360.

Despite revealing how much the console is to make, no details were given on its exact specs, although the sources said the GPU and CPU were similar in processing power to current generation consoles.

“Nintendo chose an economical GPU and CPU that could keep up with the performance of today’s current consoles, but keep hardware costs down to maximize profits," said one of the insiders.

“Nintendo got a bargain price on the custom GPU and CPU that the Wii U uses. There is a bigger focus on downloadable content, applications, video content, digital distribution, and services to create a stream of revenue. Investors will be ecstatic with the news.”

It is believed the console will be released in late 2012, rumoured to be in November.