Nintendo plans to remedy flagging console sales without lowering the Wii U’s price.
The Wii U got off to a strong start, but following its launch and holiday sales, things have slowed down a bit for Nintendo’s newest console. Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo, has expressed concern over these numbers, but already has plans in place to see if the Big N can bring some momentum back to the Wii U market. If you’ve been waiting for a price drop, though, you’ll have to keep waiting: Iwata is categorically opposed to that plan at this time.
“With Wii U, we have taken a rather resolute stance in pricing it below its manufacturing cost, so we are not planning to perform a markdown,” Iwata explains, reminding investors (and consumers) that Nintendo is already selling each Wii U console at a loss. “I would like to make this point absolutely clear.” The problem, according to Iwata, is one of consumer perception, not of price. He believes that Nintendo did not do a sufficient job of communicating the Wii U’s features and potential to the general public. Once the next wave of Wii U software emerges, however, Iwata states that the company will have another, better opportunity to demonstrate the system’s value and unique properties.
Iwata has a few thoughts on why the Wii U’s sales are slow compared to that of its predecessor. “Since we were unable to incite enough excitement in society, we have failed to maintain its momentum, after the turn of the year,” he says. In particular, delays in highly anticipated software titles have slowed consumer interest and made the Wii U more reliant on the ebb and flow of consumer interest. “This has further upset our scenario for market penetration, for which momentum is the key.”
One thing is clear: Iwata has no interest in resting on the Wii’s laurels in an effort to sell its successor. “People always try to compare the sales of Wii U with that of Wii, but the current situation is requiring us to focus upon how to reenergize Wii U sales irrespective of any comparisons with the previous platforms,” he states. Given that Nintendo recently announced some pretty exciting titles, Iwata’s chance at resurgence may be on the horizon after all.