Gamers in the U.K. may be in for a bit of sticker shock in the near future as Nintendo has warned that the "trade price" for retailers on Wii hardware will be going up and that new software prices could follow.
The company said the depreciating pound sterling has forced it to increase the price it charges retailers for the hardware, a jump predicted by GamesIndustry to be in the range of ₤18-20 ($25-28). The increase won't force retailers to raise their prices but it will significantly reduce the already extremely tight profit margins on game hardware. The Wii currently carries a recommended retail price of ₤179.99 ($250) in the country.
"Due to the severe and continuing depreciation of the pound, we are, unfortunately, having to raise our trade price to U.K. retailers of Wii hardware. The price that they then offer to consumers is, of course, up to the retailers," Nintendo said in a statement.
"We are only - reluctantly - raising our trade price now to retailers due to unprecedented and sustained depreciation of the pound," the statement continued. "This is a problem brought about by extreme currency fluctuations that are a symptom of the global economic situation."
While the price of the Wii will almost certainly be going up, Nintendo said costs for the handheld Nintendo DS and upcoming DSi, which will hit the shelves on April 3, will remain untouched. "The present exchange rate was taken into consideration when we announced the trade price of DSi to retailers across Europe. At this time, we do not expect to have to change the trade price we charge to retailers for the DSi or DS price in the UK in the foreseeable future," the company said.
And while the cost on current software will remain unchanged, the company said new releases could also see a bounce as a result of the exchange rate. "We will not be increasing the trade price of existing Wii or DS software," the company said. "However, the trade prices for new titles yet to be released may rise as a result of the depreciation of the pound."