Nintendo Slashes Price of Its Unloved Wii U Console

Nintendo Wii U gaming system

Photo credit: Barone Firenze /

It’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to buy Nintendo’s current video game console, the Wii U. With technology that matches the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 — both of which are set to be replaced by new systems this fall — it’s an overpriced, underwhelming experience.

Most consumers seem to recognize that. Sales of the Wii U, which first hit retailers during the 2012 holiday shopping season, have been terrible. Just 160,000 units sold during the first quarter of 2013.

What’s the problem?

Aside from a large touchscreen controller, there isn’t anything particularly unique about the device. Games running on the system look pretty similar to those on the Xbox 360 and PS3, even though those systems both cost significantly less money. Worse still, many game producers are ignoring the system, meaning the most popular titles are only coming to consoles from Sony and Microsoft.

Now, Nintendo is attempting to revive interest in the Wii U by slashing the price of the device. As of September 20, 2013, the Wii U Deluxe set will be available for $299 — that’s $50 less than what it costs right now.

Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime says it’s all about making the Wii U more accessible to gamers.

“Nintendo has one of the strongest and most diverse video game lineups in our history,” Fils-Aime said. “We’re making those unique Nintendo experiences more accessible and affordable.”

Will the price drop work?

Don’t count on it. Consumers are focused on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, both of which are set for November 2013 releases. Buyers of those systems can expect far more impressive hardware specifications and a wider variety of games for a price that’s just $100 to $200 higher than the already painfully dated Wii U.

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