Of course the games come first, but price comes second and the Wii U would definitely sell more this holiday if they drop the price too. And considering how poorly it's doing, they need to do everything possible to spur sales.
Why? What good does it do them to sell at a larger loss just to get a few extra games sold during the holidays? When they could keep the price, still sell a lot, and then sell even more next year when Mario Kart 10 and Smash Brothers hit?
I don't see this mystical benefit to boosting sales right here right now. Is Nintendo hurting for money or something?
@-JKR- I don't think they're selling at a loss anymore, and probably wouldn't at $300 either. And I don't think it'd be a temporary boost either, sales will also be higher all next year if it's cheaper as well. More systems means more software sales, where Nintendo make the bulk of their money.
Nobody can make the excuse that PS360 are still priced high any more. It looks extremely bad when MS/Sony deflate console prices ($400 and $500 versus $400 and $600) while nintendo inflates theirs arbitrarily. The Wii U was 3DS'd.
The article I linked to said they are selling at a loss.
Is that a lie? Maybe, I guess. I don't have much of an option but to trust Nintendo, and frankly I do. I don't see them trying to screw me over, but obviously they do try to remain profitable, which is okay with me if I get my Pikmins and Mario Karts.
The thing is, you aren't taking into account the profit margins of that GAME, then. These amazing works of gaming take millions upon millions of dollars to create, so it's not just the cost of the disc (or console) and that's that. A lot more goes into it. It isn't like the cost to produce the disc is $1.00 and the case is 25 cents and the remaining $58.75 is profit profit profit. If it were, man, sign me up for that industry. :)
We love to break it down into easy-numbers and say "Oh, it costs X to make and Y to sell" but it is never, ever that clear cut in the real world. There are a thousand different aspects to consider, which is why we often THINK we know better than the companies doing these things, but most of the time we're operating with insufficient data or pulling things out of our butts. And I think it's okay to do that, so long as we keep in mind that's what we're doing. It's when we start truly believing we know better that things get hairy. (Or at least that how it was for me for generations of consoles before I really understood how much I didn't know.)
I'm sure the big companies tend to really simplify things when they're making PR statements too. It's just too complex to lay out to the average consumer in 10 seconds or less. No one likes sitting around reading full profits/loss statements.
EA and Capcom rarely make the games I so desperately want. If they went away tomorrow, I wouldn't shed any tears.
Though I do question EA's decision making because I own their stupid stock and their stupid stock does terribly and has lost me thousands of dollars over the years. Probably the worst monetary choice I ever made.
EDIT: Also I think there's a difference between questioning and believing/acting-like you know better. Not claiming anyone here is doing that in particular, just many times gamers can very, very, very easily fall into that mindset. I know I did once. Once you actually start running a company, though, you realize it's CRAZY complicated and nothing is ever so black and white. Logic is turned upside down every day in the real business world.
@-JKR- Hm, good point. Although I can't think of a reason why they would lie about taking a loss, that still seems a little suspect to me. I just don't see what about the Wii U would cost that much, but of course, I'm no expert. They also didn't specify if it's just the Basic or both models. But either way, since I'm proposing a $50 price cut on the Deluxe, and discontinuing the Basic, then they wouldn't really be selling at any more of a loss than they are willing to now. If it is true then it would make sense why they are so hesitant to drop price, but I'm still leaning towards a price drop being best for the long run, given that the Wii U desperately needs to build a userbase.
All I can say with certainty is that I'm not buying a Wii U at $350, no matter what games are available.
Well you make a great point, which is that some people AREN'T going to be swayed by any number of games. I was in the exact same boat with the PS3, for example. Ain't no way I was droppin' $600 on a console, even if they paraded out a row of Elebits sequels and threw in a new Chibi Robo on top. That's just too much. And in that case, you're right, a price drop is the only thing that's going to speak to you and folks like you.
I just think the market of "We will spend $350 when the games are a 'callin" is large enough that it makes sense to wait for those games to come and sell to them at that price point. Because after all, are you NOT going to buy a Wii U when it hits $200 (or whatever) down the road? It's not like they're going to lose your sale, right? They're merely going to delay your sale.
EDIT: It's two different markets, really. The one crowd will spend higher amounts up front if the games are there they feel are must-owns. The other crowd doesn't care if the library is the PS2's in HD, they are holding out for a certain price. I think we can all agree the Wii U has NOT cornered that first market yet. Given DKC and Mario 3D, though, (plus Mario Kart and Smash Bros) it very well COULD.
@-JKR- The Wii U is the most expensive Nintendo system ever created, so I don't know of any actual data to go on to judge how well it'll sell once the big hitters are released. If Nintendo don't drop price, then I do hope you're right, because I'd like to see the Wii U start selling.
The thing about the waiters is, if a lot of people buy a Wii U years down the line, these people are more likely to buy games used or at less than the full launch price. So Nintendo have to be careful about when they choose to lower the price, because they could miss out on a lot of games sales if they wait too long. I know I'd certainly be more likely to buy more new games if I got a Wii U this holiday instead of next; there's no way I'd pay $60 for Super Mario 3D Land in late 2014, but I would in 2013.
I hold Nintendo in higher esteem as well, but the point is that even people at the head of billion dollar companies make mistakes. Nintendo admits as much that they haven't always done the right thing. I'm not saying I know for sure what the right thing to do is, no one does, but I still can make educated observations based on the information we have (which, admittedly, is not that much since the industry is shrouded in secrecy).
In this case, I'm not even saying that Nintendo is doing anything wrong, per se, but just that the logic that Iwata gave for his PR answer about a price drop is spurious. In reality, I'd be pretty surprised if Iwata actually was basing his decision off of Basic vs. Deluxe anyway, I think he just said that to placate the interviewer. Nintendo, I imagine, uses much more sophisticated market research and focus groups, etc.
I do think there's a good chance they drop price this year though. Even without a price drop I think Wii U has a solid chance of being the best selling next-gen console this holiday season, but with one I think they could remove the doubt (along with appropriate marketing, etc.)
@-JKR- I'd have to disagree. Maybe there is a market of people who are waiting for the games to come out so they can pay $350 (over $400 after a game), but it's going to be nowhere near as big as the market of people who want games AND a price drop. I think the Wii U can do well, but as of now I think it's at a point where Nintendo needs to go for an all-in approach with it. Maybe the market is big enough to keep the price at $350....but is that a risk worth taking?
Still, I think SM3DW is just managing to look slightly underwhelming like many Wii U games, I swear to fuck that Nintendo does not know how to show off their HD offerings. The games keep getting weak reveals and showings until YOU dig deeper.